For 85 years, Nat Sherman has operated a storefront in Midtown Manhattan, catering to New York City's cigar enthusiasts and tourists alike, living up to the company's tagline, "Tobacconist to the World." To celebrate the milestone, the company has announced its 85th Anniversary cigar, a limited-edition smoke.
Rolled at the Quesada Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic, the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary cigar measures 6 1/2 inches by 54 ring gauge and will be limited to 2,500 boxes that each hold 10 cigars. The suggested retail price of the cigar is $19.
While the cigar will begin shipping to retailers in early June before this summer's International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, some attendees at last week's Tobacconists' Association of America convention were treated to a sneak peek of the cigar. Retailers will still be able to order the cigars at IPCPR.
The 85th Anniversary's binder and filler all hail from Nicaragua, covered by wrapper grown in the Dominican Republic's Navarette region. According to Michael Herklots, Nat Sherman's vice president of retail and brand development, the filler is 50 percent ligero, the strongest leaves on a tobacco plant, typically used to lend body to a cigar. Herklots says that the ligero, though, does not dominate, but is tempered and balanced by seco- and viso-grade tobaccos.
"We as a company don't believe in cigars that you feel more than you taste," said Herklots. "Don't expect a ligero bomb."
The final blend was decided after a thorough testing process that included experimenting with "40 to 50 test blends," says Herklots. Interestingly, the 85th Anniversary is rolled using the entubado method where each filler leaf is rolled into a straw or tube shape, creating great airflow. However, during the testing phase, the final blend was rolled in a different fashion. According to Herklots, the effect on the final blend was profound, as the ligero became more prominent and suddenly smoked harsher. The mistake was remedied, and Herklots believes the fact that the 85th Anniversary is rolled entubado-style also helps to cool the ligero leaves inside.
In addition to the cigar, Nat Sherman plans to celebrate the anniversary by hosting a series of intimate dinners across the country throughout the year. While the details have not been finalized, Herklots did say that there will be a fundraising aspect to the dinners, with local food-banks being the intended charity.