Nat Sherman opened his first tobacco shop in Manhattan, New York back in 1930. The store quickly grew into a local favorite, and soon an iconic location known around the world. Nat Sherman started as a family-owned business 86 years ago (85 with the cigar’s release in 2015), and still remains true to its roots to this day.
The Nat Sherman brand has done especially well over the past few years, expanding on their renowned townhouse and creating a successful lineup of premium cigars, beginning with the award-winning Timeless Collection—a personal favorite of mine.
To celebrate Nat Sherman’s rich and illustrious history, they have teamed with Master Blender Manuel Quesada to craft a special, limited edition release—the Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary. The 85th is a one-size, limited release of 25,000 cigars. The cigar is no doubt similar to the previous year’s release of the Joel Sherman 75th Celebration—commemorating family patriarch Nat Sherman’s son, Joel Sherman (now CEO of Nat Sherman), for his 75th birthday. But while both limited edition products, released in consecutive years, share similar titles and overall design, the cigar’s actual blending stats are clearly unique—with the 75th using an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over Dominican fillers and the 85th showcasing a Dominican wrapper over an all-Nicaraguan interior.
Nat Sherman 85th Anniversary Breakdown
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Quesada Cigars (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Limited Edition (2,500 boxes of 10 cigars)
- Vitola: 6½″ × 54 Toro
- Price: $19.00
The Nat Sherman 85th is a fantastic looking cigar. I’m a big fan of the look of the Timeless for its simplicity and class, and somehow the 85th creates a sense of luxury without losing its values. The 85th sports the same primary band as the Joel 75th, but it’s easy to tell the two apart. The 85th has a much darker wrapper, a shorter vitola, and a more bold, art-deco-inspired secondary band—a much better look, in my opinion.
The Dominican wrapper is a deep medium brown, with a slightly oily and delicate look to it. The leaf is rolled excellently, with a little bit of loose seams here and there. The triple cap cuts flawlessly, revealing a perfectly crafted draw. The cold tobacco breathes notes of earth, leather, a slight spice, and a bitter, dry tobacco.
Once lit, the 85th’s flavors become much more pleasant: a creamy leather, cedar, and a deep earth on the finish lingers long into the next draw. The palate is a rich, creamy texture, with a slight spice through the retro-hale. I can’t help but noticing similarities to the 1930 Timeless, as it starts off much like the 85th Anniversary—which is by no means a bad thing…
But unlike the Timeless, things begin to change quickly with the 85th. A higher quality aged tobacco must be to blame, as the notes begin to play different songs—all the while keeping perfect harmony. The creamy texture turns into a literal cream flavor, while the cedar adds notes of dark cocoa powder sprinkled in the mix.
Well into the second third, the cigar has performed wonderfully. The ash is nice and tight, holding on inches at a time. The draw is flawless, with the perfect amount of resistance and smoke output to boot. Another flavor change develops midway, with the creamy texture turning into more of a spicy tang. The cocoa notes bring forth a Central American coffee bean, high in acidity and fruit notes, as well as a distinct nuttiness that I can’t quite place. The cedar notes have also left the game, but not without pushing a deeper spice up to bat first—leaving me barely anytime to notice the change.
Down to the nub, things flip flop back and forth, but the overall palate remains the same. A creamy/tangy leather and citrus on the draw, a lingering pepper and anise through the retro-hale, and a deep and satisfying earth and spice on the finish.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Absolutely, although I’m not sure I can afford to. Although the $19.00 price tag is justified, I would much rather buy a 1930 Timeless for both a friend and I to enjoy. However, if I wanted to give a friend a prestigious and extremely well-made cigar, I would put the 85th Anniversary up there among some of the classics.
- Superb construction
- Balanced profile
- A little expensive