In 2013, the Sterling debuted and added a milder, yet ultra premium cigar to Nat Sherman’s impressive portfolio. The Sterling is produced at the Quesada family’s MATASA factory in the Dominican Republic, which has also produced the Nat Sherman 1930, Timeless (Dominican), and the 2014 cigar of the year – Epoca.

NS Sterling Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican
  • Filler: Dominican (aged up to 10 years)
  • Factory: MATASA (Dominican Republic)
  • Production: Regular release
  • Vitola: 6.25″ x 43 “Dalias” (Pantela)
  • Price: $13


When you see the Sterling, you will notice its simplicity in appearance. The wrapper is a café con leche hue (dark tan). A color that is a bit darker than what you may see on most Connecticut shade wrappers, and the color is consistent throughout. There are some small, noticeable veins, an occasional lumpy spot, but the seems are tight and clean. There is a sweet, natural tobacco scent that comes off the wrapper and foot of the cigar.

There is nothing flashy or eye popping about the graphics on the band. It is simple and sophisticated. The bands are silver with some slight embossing that gives it a slight 3D effect. The text is very basic. The band has a 1930’s metropolis feel to it and I wonder if this was purposely designed to pay homage to the history and tradition of the Nat Sherman Company.

All in all, I think the presentation of the Sterling is very well executed.

Nat Sherman Sterling Dalias cigar review

First Third

So we are clipped and ready. The cold draw hits your tongue with a sweet hay note and the draw is a little firm. Now we are toasted and lit. From the start, there is an interesting bouquet of flavors I have yet to experience in a Connecticut cigar. I compare it to taking a first sip of a new wine you have never tasted before, while your brain fights to register what it is that you are tasting. As you take more sips, the notes start to open up and the profile changes over your palate.

Now that the flavor rush is gone, I pick up notes of dry wood, hints of floral, faint traces of mineral with subtle sweetness and cream. As I smoke this cigar, it is very apparent to me that the tobaccos are well aged, and the flavors are delicately pronounced. The Sterling is very smooth, sophisticated, and balanced, and the smoke glides off the palate cleanly with a medium finish.

The profile is predominately woody, but in the middle of this third, there is an introduction of a raw almond skin and mild moss notes. These new flavors play more of a supportive role. The ash is somewhat flaky, but firm. Unfortunately, the ash fell prematurely as a result of me positioning my cigar for photos for this review…

Retrohale notes: dry woods

Second Third

As I step into the second third, flavor notes from the first third remain constant. However, the wood notes become a bit more smoky and later transition into a toasty cedar note. In addition, as the cigar progresses, I slowly begin to pick up on a very mild cinnamon note. As we approach the doorstep of the last third, the strength picks up just a bit and mineral notes become more prominent. The smoke is still a bit dry on the palate, causing a longer finish. The ash is holding together nicely.

Retrohale notes: mineral, barnyard fire (interesting!)

Final Third

I’ve noticed that floral notes have returned with a nice, subtle sweetness. Cinnamon has kicked it up a notch, forcing the cedar and mineral notes to play second fiddle. You will find a slight creaminess bringing up the rear.

Retrohale notes: soft leather and pepper

Nat Sherman Sterling pantela cigar review

Would I smoke this cigar again?

Yes, I would grab one or two Sterlings again in the future. Especially if it was a special occasion and I wanted something mild and was looking to pair it with a smooth 18 year single malt.

Nat Sherman Sterling cigar review and rating

Nat Sherman Sterling
This was a cigar I had to take a step back from and analyze from its concept and execution. What I mean to say is that I’m not very big on Connecticut shade cigars. But looking at the Sterling as a “concept”, I have realized that this cigar was intended to deliver luxury, sophistication and good flavor. It wasn’t until I typed out this review that I realized its depth and complexity. This cigar was not designed to be abrupt in its transitions, so temper your expectations of any sharp left turns. The Sterling executes its complexity in subtle gradients. With that said, the Sterling is a cigar that should be looked at as a premium smoke, in the same class of, lets say, a Davidoff, Dunhill, or Ashton. Its strong suit is that it's more affordable and approachable than a Davidoff cigar, but in my opinion, more flavorful than what you may find in a classic Ashton. If you still can’t see yourself spending this much on a cigar ($14), feel free to enjoy the Nat Sherman Epoca.
  • Impeccable construction
  • Subtle complexity
  • Great mild, sophisticated flavors
  • A little pricey. But if you make a comparison to other high-end luxury brands, then this really isn’t a con
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