You and a bunch of friends have gathered for an evening of cigars and camaraderie when suddenly what is supposed to be an elegant affair falls victim to the pitfalls of the communal ashtray. As everyone crams their cigars together around the bowl, ashes pile up and you find yourself jockeying to rest your precious smoke in an open slot.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The Nat Sherman Executive Ashtray is so well laid out and roomy that it upgrades your cigar’s accommodations from crowded coach to comfortable business class. The ingenious design of this elegant pewter and mahogany piece affords room for each of a number of sticks to burn in its own separate spot.
The flat top of the Executive has a griddle pattern that creates discrete channels for each cigar. Your butt is thus protected from butting up against buddy’s cigar and singeing a blemish in its wrapper—even while eight people can easily share the same ashtray. Furthermore, their holes in the 9” by 9” grid let ashes drop to a cavernous space (three inches deep) below so cigars aren’t forced to rest in anyone’s burnt remains.
Clean up is also a snap as the top lifts off, allowing you to dump spent cigars out of sight in the pewter chamber beneath. So the party continues without you ever leaving your chair. In the Cigar Aficionado offices, where a multitude of test cigars are typically smoked through in a day, we’ve found this feature to be understandably quite convenient.
The Executive Ashtray ($125) is available at Nat Sherman’s New York City store and online. It also comes in a stripped-down pewter-only construction (without the mahogany casing) for $45. The advantage there is you can keep it outside on your deck or porch, where it will withstand the ravages of the elements. And this summer Nat Sherman will also have a larger model called the Executive Conference Room Ashtray ($295). It’s the same design, but four times larger (about 18” by 18”), so everyone can have a slot even when a considerably larger quorum is called. Sometimes it pays to be square.