Review: Nat Sherman Sterling Marevas (Prerelease)
Since Michael Herklots started his tenure at Nat Sherman, the brand has done a lot of work reshaping and refining its portfolio. The core of the company’s efforts have been under the Timeless name, a cigar that debuted in prototype form at IPCPR 2011 and was released later in the year. Since then, it has gone through multiple expansions, including the addition of Timeless Nicaragua.
Earlier this year, we broke news the company would be adding the Nat Sherman 1930 Collection, a cigar that debuted just before the annual trade show earlier this month, and it turns out that was not the only addition. Just before the trade show, the company announced it would have a second new line for 2013, Nat Sherman Sterling.
The press release reads:
July 8, 2013 (New York, N.Y.) — Nat Sherman, Tobacconist to the World, unveils the newest addition to its premium cigar portfolio, The Nat Sherman Sterling. The Nat Sherman Sterling will make its debut at the 2013 International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Convention in Las Vegas later this month, per an announcement made today by William Sherman, Executive Vice President of Nat Sherman.
“The Nat Sherman Sterling redefines elegance,” said Mr. Sherman. “Following on the heels of our Nat Sherman 1930 and award-winning Timeless collections, The Nat Sherman Sterling maintains Nat Sherman’s tradition of passion and creativity by showcasing yet another unique blend of the world’s finest tobaccos.”
Made up of four traditional vitolas, The Nat Sherman Sterling are tied in wheels of 25 cigars and packed in beautiful slide-top cabinet boxes. The Perlas (4” x 40), Marevas (5” x 42), Dalias (6.25” x 43) and Corona Gorda (5.75” x 46) feature a blend of aged-Dominican filler tobaccos (the oldest has been aged for ten years), a Dominican binder and a stunning Ecuador-grown Connecticut wrapper.
“The Nat Sherman Sterling represents a new standard for complexity, balance and finesse in premium cigars,” said Michael Herklots, Executive Director of Retail and Brand Development. “They’re inspired by some of the most prized Havana cigars of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s that continue to be collected to this day. These cigars embody balance and sophistication, and focus on flavor more than strength.”
Handmade at the MATASA factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic, The Nat Sherman Sterling range in price from $9.00-$15.00 per cigar, and are available exclusively at authorized Nat Sherman Tobacconists throughout the United States
The four Sterling vitolas for debut are:
- Nat Sherman Sterling Perlas (4 x 40) — $9.00 (Boxes of 25, $225.00)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Marevas (5 x 42) — $11.20 (Boxes of 25, $280.00)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Dalias (6 1/4 x 43) — $13.60 (Boxes of 25, $340.00)
- Nat Sherman Sterling Corona Gorda (5 3/4 x 46) — $14.80 (Boxes of 25, $370.00)
And the particulars.
Cigar Reviewed: Nat Sherman Sterling Marevas
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: MATASA
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 42
- Vitola: Marevas
- MSRP: $11.20 (Boxes of 25, $280.00)
- Release Date: July 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
It’s not exactly the most obvious Connecticut Shade depending on the light, but it does contain some obvious hints about what it is. There’s quite a few veins and the wrapper has visible character, although it’s very soft to the touch. Off the cold draw, i get a healthy dose of chocolate, including a noticeable milk chocolate note with good resistance.
The first third of the Sterling starts with cocoa and woods, both quite detailed with lots of development. I get a really interesting hop-like sensation through the nose, it’s not an exact hoppy note, but it invokes a similar reaction. In the mouth there’s cocoa, a touch of grass and saltiness. It’s rather Cuban in the sense that these flavors were all quite bold and dominant, yet incredibly smooth. Construction-wise, the ash holds through the first third and the draw is about as good as it gets. Strength is light, not even medium, but the flavor is where this cigar shines.
Somewhere into the second third, the Nat Sherman’s aroma has shifted to a much more roasted note that is highly-enjoyable. In addition, it’s also stronger than it was in the first third. Flavor-wise, there’s a roasted cedar, bread notes, sweetness and creaminess replacing the cocoa notes. Through the nose is a cotton candy sugariness that adds tons of depth. There’s actually some pepper increasing, as the flavors themselves also increase. Tons of depth and most importantly, all the notes are developing.
The saltiness returns to a prominent role right around the transition into the final third. As for other changes, the cocoa is absent, but the cedar, bread and creaminess are all still there. I pick up some muted coffee notes and touches of earthiness, neither into their respective primes and both really overshadowed by the level of depth every other flavor had throughout the cigar. At some point the Sterling unfortunately goes out and I call it a day. Up until that point, construction was pretty much flawless: no touch-ups, no changes in the great draw and ash that held through each third.
- “This isn’t a cigar for everyone” is something you are likely to hear a lot about this cigar. It’s not a typical Connecticut Shade/Dominican Republic combinations. There’s a depth of flavor that is just not normally found in these cigars.
- The foot band reminds me of Cohiba with the squares. I really like the boxes and the bands, I’m just not sure they go together.
- There’s no arguing, the pricing is a bit high, but then I look over the Davidoff Nicaragua pricing and wonder what I am complaining about. I think 10-count packaging would have been a big advantage for this cigar.
- Nat Sherman used to make a lot of one-off cigars, some of them had gigantic price tags far higher than this, although some of that was caused by the New York state cigar taxes.
- Construction was phenomenal.
- Not only did Nat Sherman decide to use classic sizes, they kept the names. This makes life easier and promotes the “cigars as they used to be” line the company has touted with the release. Bravo.
- Michael Herklots told me he hopes to have the cigars on sale by this weekend.
- The cigar for this review were given to halfwheel by Nat Sherman at IPCPR 2013. SAG Imports, the distribution arm for the Quesada family is a site sponsor, Nat Sherman itself is not.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
The Bottom Line: There are a lot of companies that are making cigars in this price range that probably shouldn’t. The results can oftentimes be confusing and uninspired; this is not that. The Nat Sherman Sterling is a very good cigar with a lot of unique flavors that you don’t normally find in this style with this balance. This will be a cigar that is criticized for one thing and one thing only, price. But it’s a flagship cigar and should be treated as such. Easily my favorite Nat Sherman to date and I think it will get a lot better.
Final Score: 90