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In August 2014, Nat Sherman released a brand new cigar to commemorate the 75th birthday of Joel Sherman, who began working full-time at his family’s business in 1960 at the age of 21, and who at the time of the cigar’s release was the ceo and president of Nat Sherman International.

Appropriately named the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration, the cigar is a 7 1/2 x 46 fundadores gordo priced at $19 and packaged in boxes of 10, with only 2,500 boxes produced. Blend-wise, the cigar is made up of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering Dominican tobacco used in both the binder and filler. It was rolled at the Quesada Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic.

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However, the personal touches for this release do not stop at the name, as every cigar includes a secondary band that features Joel Sherman’s signature, and each box contains a note from Sherman himself explaining his love of cigars and his history in the family’s business. Finally, a crest on the front of each box the cigars come packaged in was inspired by a bass drum Sherman played when he was younger.

Here is what I said in my original review almost four years ago:

Everything about this release screams (or maybe quietly whispers) elegance to me: from the bands to the boxes to the story behind the cigar itself. Although fairly light strength-wise, the blend is a flavor bomb, medium-bodied and very well made. Having said that, the flavors of the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration are subtle for the most part and really need to be concentrated on to get the full experience, so take your time.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Joel Sherman 75th Celebration
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Quesada Cigars
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 7 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Fundadores Gordo
  • MSRP: $19.00 (Boxes of 10, $190.00)
  • Release Date: August 6, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 10 (25,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

Having come from the same box as the cigars for the original review, the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration is similar to those and covered in a pale golden brown wrapper that lacks any obvious oil and is extremely smooth to the touch. In addition, there are a number of small veins running up and down the length of the cigar and it is slightly spongy when squeezed. The aroma from the wrapper is a combination of citrus, dark chocolate, espresso beans, cedar and nuts, while the cold draw brings flavors of creamy oranges, cocoa powder, hay, cedar, cloves, peanuts and white pepper.

Just after lighting the foot, the Joel Sherman 75th features a dominant creamy cashew flavor, followed closely by other notes of cinnamon, bread, freshly roasted coffee, bitter cocoa powder and earth. Unlike the first samples I smoked, there is a somewhat surprising amount of spice on my tongue that hangs around until just after the halfway point—after which it disappears, never to be seen again—and I am also noticing a nice amount of white pepper on the retrohale. Both of those combine nicely with a distinct creamy and sweet orange citrus note that becomes obvious in the first third and increases the strength until the start of the final third, where it starts to recede noticeably. In addition, while the creamy cashew note remains dominant throughout the cigar, the second half brings a number of different secondary flavors, including vanilla, salt, baker’s chocolate, buttered toast and nutmeg.

Construction-wise, the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration gives me no issues at all, with a draw that features the perfect amount of resistance following a simple straight cut and a burn line that remains virtually razor sharp for the entire smoke, never coming close to needing to be touched up once. In addition, while the smoke production is firmly in the average range, the overall strength starts out extremely mild in the beginning and barely reaches a point halfway to the medium mark by the time I put the nub down one hour and 52 minutes later with about an inch to go.

92 Overall Score

I loved the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration when I first smoked it and four years of age has only made it better, with a new creamy and sweet orange citrus note that sticks around for pretty much the entire cigar. In fact, not only is the profile more complex, but the flavors are more distinct and it has a slightly better balance between the sweetness and the rest of the notes as well. Make no mistake, this is not a strong blend by any means—and the age has not helped in that regard, turning this into one of the lightest cigars I have smoked in quite a while—but if you are willing to take it slow, the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration will reward you handsomely.

Original Score (August 2014)
90
Redux Score (March 2018)
92

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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