Last year many cigar companies responded to the new FDA regulations by releasing a lot of cigars, excessive amounts of cigars one could argue. Some were like Illusione and Tatuaje, who had loads of new products on display at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, while others went the route of Alec Bradley, who had no new product on display at the trade show, but shipped dozens of new brands to a small amount of retailers to meet the Aug. 8, 2016 before the aforementioned regulations took effect.
And then there was Nat Sherman.
I remember chatting with Michael Herklots, the company’s vp of retail and brand development, who said they just wanted to execute the plan they originally had prior to the regulations. So, at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Nat Sherman added the Metropolitan Habano along with a new size to the Metropolitan Connecticut and Maduro lines.
As for the new release, it’s a Nicaraguan puro made at Plasencia Cigars S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua. It’s offered in five sizes ranging from $5-7.25 at introduction.
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Short Robusto (4 1/4 x 54) — $5.50 (Boxes of 18, $99)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto Fino (5 x 46) — $5 (Boxes of 18, $90)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto (5 1/2 x 56) — $6.25 (Boxes of 18, $112.50)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Toro (6 x 52) — $6.75 (Boxes of 18, $121.50)
- Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Gordo (6 x 60) — $7.25 (Boxes of 18, $130.50)
- Cigar Reviewed: Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $6.25 (Boxes of 18, $112.50)
- Release Date: July 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I won’t pretend to be an expert of the Nat Sherman Metropolitan line, but this is a Goldilocks syndrome. The lighter espresso-colored wrapper fits in squarely between the brighter Connecticut and the darker Maduro. While the top of the review and the text around the barcode might indicate this is a “Robusto”—it’s noticeably longer and thicker than a 5 x 50. While there’s a fair bit of flavor from the wrapper, after a lot of effort I cannot pick up much beyond a roasted almond and woodsy mixture. The foot provides a lot more flavors with cinnamon powder, gingerbread, peanut butter cookies and some powdered coffee. The cold draw provides my palate with a bizarre pasta dish sensation, driven by some bright and acidic fruits, meatiness and country bread, though it’s all fairly mild.
The Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano begins with some soggy chocolate chip cookie flavors in front of soy sauce and some fresh bark on the finish. While the initial puffs are medium, the flavor quickly picks up to medium-plus. It’s got an interesting mixture of peanut butter cookies and saltine crackers in front of a milder soy sauce. The retrohale is equally as intriguing as creaminess is joined by some cucumber and saltiness. Construction is fantastic through the first inch, though the burn is very slow, but as I approach the second third I see some unevenness that doesn’t appear to be sorting itself out.
All three cigars need a touch-up of sorts in the second third. This ranges from a small correction to lighting nearly one half of the wrapper, but the changes do wonders for the burn and flavor. There’s a big butterscotch note for a half an inch or so, but then the flavors meld together: creaminess, burnt nuts, liquid smoke, citrus, wheat and some kiwi. Because the individual flavors are so evenly matched, it’s a bit challenging to determine how much of the toastiness is independent and how much is connected to one flavor. At the halfway point a harshness begins to linger on the finish, though a sip of water gets rid of it completely. Flavor has finally reached the medium-full level, though the body remains medium-plus and the strength remains medium.
The final third is pretty similar flavor-wise to the second third, with one big change. Creaminess now dominates the medium-full profile, though most of the other flavors stick around, at least until the one and a half inch mark. There’s some pretzel dough and blanched peanuts that emerge underneath it, but the creaminess is the true king. The harshness makes a short return, sitting at the top left of my tongue, but it’s short-lived. With less than an inch to go I pick up some green chilis on the tongue, the first sign of any pepper. It’s mild, though certainly there, albeit a bit too late in my opinion as a good chunk of smokers will have already put the cigar out by the time I find it.
- In a world where new cigars seem to start at $10, it’s nice to see a line that isn’t marketed as a low-end product coming in at $7.25 and below. In addition, because the cigars are sold in boxes of 18, pricing is right around $100 per box.
- Not to get into yet another “what should a vitola be called” discussion—but if you are willing to call your 5 x 46 a “robusto fino”—I think describing this as a “robusto extra” is more appropriate than a robusto.
- While two touch-ups were needed on two of the cigars, one cigar suffered from five touch-ups.
- I really like the packaging. It’s got a very old-world feel and the tape around the edges provides a really nice touch.
- For a Nicaraguan puro, there was almost zero pepper. Even when I went searching for it I could barely detect any of it—almost all of which was with less than one-inch to go.
- Nat Sherman advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel. In the interest of full disclosure, Nat Sherman did give me a sample of the Robusto Fino size at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, but it wasn’t used for this review.
- After a very slow start, final smoking time ended up at right around two hours, though almost half that was the first inch and a half or so.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., JR Cigar and Smoke Inn all have the Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto in stock.
We don’t factor price into scores and while that might help some cigars, it certainly is not beneficial to the Nat Sherman Metropolitan Habano Robusto. It’s a very good cigar for the money; one of the better new, full-sized $6-ish cigars I’ve smoked in the last few years. For those looking for a new everyday option that won’t break the bank and can be smoked at any time of the day, this would be an excellent candidate particularly if you want something that is a bit thicker.