For nearly two years—an eternity in the modern cigar world—Nat Sherman International hadn’t released a single new product.
While many would want to blame that on Altria’s acquisition of the company in early 2017 and the changes that were necessitated by the acquisition, it wasn’t like the company was releasing that many new products before the acquisition. After the company went through an extensive rebrand, the first of the new cigars was the Nat Sherman Timeless 2019 TAA Limited Edition, which as the name implies, was an exclusive for the retail members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America.
There were two more limited editions, including another one for the Timeless brand and another for the Epoca brand.
The latter is the Nat Sherman Epoca Limited Edition, the first limited edition for the Epoca brand, which is normally made by Quesada in the Dominican Republic. However, this cigar is made by Plasenica in Nicaragua and offered in a single 6 x 52 toro size containing only Nicaraguan tobacco.
It is priced at $15 per cigar and limited to 2,500 boxes of 10 cigars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Nat Sherman Epoca Limited Edition 2019
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $15 (Box of 10, $150)
- Release Date: August 2019
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I’ll admit that I don’t find myself smoking Nat Sherman Epocas very often, but I seem to recall the normal Epocas lighter than this. A quick stroll through the archives in our humidors suggests that I would be correct. Note: I wrote this sentence before I did any research on the cigar, more on that in the final notes section. The aroma from the wrapper is medium-full with quite a bit of acidity as well as some smells of pizza dough and some floral flavors. The foot is much different, nearly full with a bit more saltiness than acidity. I still find some of the floral flavors, though now joined by cookie dough and a touch of paprika. The cold draw tastes a bit like a chocolate Frappuccino: sweet, creamy, muted chocolate and some coffee. One sample shows a bit of blood orange on the cold draw, though it doesn’t make it into my notes for the other two cigars.
The Nat Sherman Epoca Limited Edition 2019 begins toasty with some cedar. Unlike the cold draw, the opening puffs are neither particularly interesting nor sweet. Fortunately, things develop after a half-inch or so. It eventually settles into a profile that is led by burnt cedar over some coffee beans and a dry cacao flavor. Retrohales are earthier with a burnt cinnamon roll flavor and pizza dough. The finish reminds me of soba noodles along with some acidity, cedar, coffee and strawberries. I’m not sure exactly how to describe this, but the overall profile is just a bit too clingy for me. It just seems like the flavors stick to parts of my palate a bit longer than I’d like, making it more challenging for me to find different flavors from the ones that initially hit each part of the palate. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is nearly full. Construction is excellent, though each of the cigars seem to have some damage from the cutting process.
While there were touches of saltiness at various points of the first third, it becomes a steady part of the profile in the second third. Fortunately, there’s still a cedar flavor that remains the dominant flavor, though it’s less toasty than before. Retrohales become super interesting with blood orange, some smoked chicken, a gose-like saltiness and nuttiness. The finish has nutmeg, peanut shell, black pepper and some saltiness. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and the strength is close to full. Construction remains excellent.
To varying degrees, each of the three Nat Sherman Epoca Limited Editions is physically unraveling during the final third. Fortunately, the cigar still tastes good. There’s French bread, lots of cedar and saltiness, the latter of which is starting to get a bit overwhelming. Retrohales are similar to the first third, though the cinnamon roll-sweetness is now joined by earthiness, a bit of citrus and saltiness. Thing finish with saltiness, earthiness, apples and a broccoli-stem flavor. The sample that got photographed is probably the worst of the bunch when it comes to the unraveling, though outside of a couple of touch-ups I manage to get through the end of the cigar.
- If you are confused by Epoca, Epcoa Limited and Epoca Reserva—join the club.
- Epoca — The original Epoca brand that uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and is made by Quesada in the Dominican Republic.
- Epoca Reserva — Previously known as the 1930, also made by Quesada.
- Epoca Limited Edition 2019 — This cigar, made by Plasencia.
- It’s still quite early into 2020, but the retrohales of the second third is probably the best flavor profile I’ve gotten from a review cigar this year.
- There is a lot going on with the bands on the cigar and I really think it works well. The top two bands are actually one band with two die-cut slots that give it the illusion of two bands. The Made Exclusive for Nat Sherman band is a completely separate one.
- I’m curious to see what companies like Nat Sherman do with their boxes now that warning labels won’t be required. It’s clear that this box was designed for a giant warning label, something that won’t have to happen thanks to a recent court ruling.
- If you are interested in buying an established cigar brand, Nat Sherman is for sale.
- Nat Sherman International advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was two hours and 10 minutes on average.
- Site sponsor Famous Smoke Shop carries the Nat Sherman Epoca Limited Edition 2019.
Just a touch less salt and the Epoca Limited Edition 2019 is knocking on the door of being an excellent cigar. There are flashes of brilliance, most notably the retrohale on the second third, and I think the saltiness plays well with a lot of the other favors. But after two hours of smoking the cigar, to the point where it is falling apart, I’ve had too much saltiness. Don’t let the picture from the final third dissuade you, this is a great cigar and one that is more than worth the price of admission.