At the 2013 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, Nat Sherman introduced a new line called the Sterling with four sizes at launch. In January 2014, three Nat Sherman Super Lanceros were introduced, including one in the Sterling blend. And at the 2015 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, Nat Sherman brought three new sizes to the blend, bringing the grand total to eight.
- Nat Sherman Sterling Perlas (4 x 40) — $9 (Boxes of 25, $225)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Marevas (5 x 42) — $11.20 (Boxes of 25, $280)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Dalias (6 1/4 x 43) — $13.60 (Boxes of 25, $340)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Corona Gorda (5 3/4 x 46) — $14.80 (Boxes of 25, $370)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Super Lancero (8 x 38) — $18 (Boxes of 10, $180)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Short Robusto (4 x 52) — $12 (Boxes of 10, $120)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Robusto (4 3/4 x 50) — $14 (Boxes of 10, $140)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Churchill (7 x 48) — $16 (Boxes of 10, $160)
- Cigar Reviewed: Nat Sherman Sterling Churchill
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 7
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Churchill
- MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 10, $16)
- Release Date: July 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The light brown wrapper has some visible veins and puckering around them, giving the Sterling Churchill a slightly rough or rustic look. Once I run my fingers over the wrapper however, it is extremely soft and delicate. Inspecting the give, there are a couple of softer spots that aren’t consistent with the rest of the cigar, but they aren’t too extreme. The aroma off the wrapper is made up of fresh alfalfa hay, vanilla, graham crackers and a slight vegetal note. Cutting off the cap, the cold draw has some molasses sweetness, a hint of peppers and a touch of hoppy bitterness—an interesting note I don’t think I’ve tasted in a cigar before.
The first third starts out with more of the mild hoppy bitterness from the cold draw, along with some oak, a dark brown sugar sweetness and a light touch of pepper in the background. The draw is nice and so far the burn is staying mostly even. While the ash is fairly flaky, it actually holds on surprisingly long to around the inch mark. As the bitter hops note is fading away, out of nowhere comes a huge vanilla note so bright it would be impossible to miss.
All the bitterness disappears in the second third of the Sterling Churchill, while the oaky wood note continues to be prominent along with the brown sugar, a lighter vanilla than before, and a nutty note in the background. As previously mentioned, the draw is seemingly right in the middle of ideal, but each draw seems to be less than productive in keeping the cigar burning enough and doesn’t produce much smoke. Because of this, it seems multiple draws are needed to keep the cigar going and it starts to burn hot and slightly bitter. The bitterness now is more of a harshness from a hot burning cigar though and not the hoppy bitterness from before, which unfortunately means it slightly overpowers the profile.
In the final third the burn has finally started to go awry, and I start out this section with a touch up. The harshness continues, tingeing the remaining oak, brown sugar, vanilla and nuttiness with it. The smoke production is still a problem, requiring multiple draws to get anything from the cigar. This seems to cause the burn to get fairly jagged again and isn’t doing the profile any good. Not looking like the cigar will get any better, I go ahead and let it go out with about an inch remaining.
- After doing the review of all three samples, I went and looked up Charlie Minato’s review of the Sterling Marevas. I found it interesting that while the rest of the review had some differences, we both tasted the same hoppy bitterness in the profile.
- One sample was significantly more bitter and harsh throughout the cigar, while the other two only seemed to develop that towards the end.
- The name of the line is no doubt referencing sterling silver, which isn’t said anywhere on the bands, but is prominent in the theme of the cigar with the silver bands.
- Nat Sherman advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged around two hours and fifteen minutes.
- Site sponsors Cigar.com and STOGIES World Class Cigar have the Nat Sherman Sterling Churchill in stock, while JR Cigar carries some of the line.
The beginning of the Nat Sherman Sterling Churchill pulled me in with interesting notes and a flavorful profile. I love the Churchill size too, so I quickly settled in with high hopes for the experience. Unfortunately around the halfway mark things really started going awry, not only with the burn but the flavor profile as well. By the final third I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore, and would be sorely disappointed if I had purchased these as a consumer, regardless if it was a $16 price tag or less. I think there is great potential in the blend if the harshness wasn’t present, and would love to try other sizes to see if they burn better and produce a better profile, but the Churchill wasn’t my cup of tea.