New York City tobacconist Nat Sherman is heading to Nicaragua.
The 86-year-old company is adding a bolder Nicaraguan line extension to its long-running Metropolitan Selection brand, known for being a milder Dominican smoke. Metropolitan Habano, the first blend in the mainstay brand to feature Nicaraguan tobacco, will debut at the upcoming International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show in Las Vegas. Additionally, the company is adding a slew of new sizes to existing Nat Sherman brands.
Michael Herklots, vice president of retail and brand development at Nat Sherman, says the Habano blend has been in the works for over a year and consists of a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. The cigars come in five sizes: Short Robusto, measuring 4 1/2 inches by 54 ring gauge; Robusto Fino, 5 by 46; Robusto, 5 1/2 by 56; Toro, 6 by 52; and Gordo, 6 by 60. Each size will come in boxes of 18 and carry a retail price between $5 and $7.25 per cigar.
The New York tobacconist began producing the existing Metropolitan blend more than 20 years ago during the cigar boom of the 1990s. According to Herklots, the brand has stayed true to the mild Dominican cigars that were popular during those days. However, the company wanted to offer a new, fuller-bodied blend to accommodate the palates of today's smokers.
"The original Metropolitans are like a snapshot of the cigar boom—mellow blend and classic sizes—although many of our customers still enjoy this format, we thought it was time to bring a new-world type of blend to the collection," said Herklots.
The existing Metropolitan lines—Connecticut and Maduro—feature Connecticut-grown wrappers with an internal blend of Dominican tobaccos and are made by Quesada Cigars in the Dominican Republic. Metropolitan Habano, however, is made at the Plasencia Cigars S.A. factory in Nicaragua.
Nat Sherman is adding the same 6 by 60 Gordo size to the existing Metropolitan Connecticut and Maduro lines, as well as the Timeless Dominican brand, which is also adding a 4 3/4 by 50 ring gauge Robusto.