Nat Sherman has been a landmark of New York City for decades now (and most of the 20th century). So it made sense when the producers of CNBC’s “How I Made My Millions” decided to feature the Nat Sherman brand. Take a quick look at this video though. You get an idea not only of Nat Sherman’s brand, but also how the cigar industry developed in New York City during the early 20th century.
This week, I was happy to be invited to 2 cigar events in NYC. The privilege of being wined and dined at flagship NYC cigar establishments is not wasted on me. I humbly enjoy every minute of spreading the good word of FineTobaccoNYC.com and The Cigar Rights of America.
Tony from Ashton Cigars was on hand and talked about the makeup of the cigar and how Ashton views their new line.
The second event was a real treat. The Rocky Patel Cigar Dinner and Birthday Celebration for Ron Melendi was fantastic. Nish Patel was on hand talking about 3 cigar blends given out over the course of the evening, and DeLaConcha’s house band, Smoking Grooves was fantastic. The event hosted about 40 people and guests were treated to an open bar and amazing dinner catered by Rue57. I was asked to say a few words and raise awareness for the CRA and our fight. I think it went well, and I was able to sign up a few new CRA members.
We were also happy to welcome a member of our lobby, Gotham Government Relations (GGR) to the event. Warren H. Cohen is GGR’s new Director of Public Affairs and is very interested in our fight. I plan to meet with him and follow up in a future post.
That’s all for today. See you after the next event!
Nat Sherman is at it again, hosting a traditional cigar dinner with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The night, which will cost you about $250 a ticket, will include a three course meal, with a different cigar paired for each course. This type of cigar dinner is an almost extinct tradition, which is why I’m so excited to see Nat Sherman bringing it back. Hopefully this event will remain a tradition for many years to come. Event information below
The Nat Sherman team, headed by Michael Herklots, is hosting a unique smoking experience – one of the few remaining cigar dinners in New York and indeed the world. Tickets are not cheap, but for what you get, it is a great deal that will appeal to Manhattan’s connoisseurs and upper-tier socialites.
NAT SHERMAN AND THE CHARLIE PALMER GROUP PARTNER TO OFFER “HERF & TURF” A Dapper New York Night Out at
the Legendary Nat Sherman Townhouse and Michelin-Starred Aureole
Nat Sherman, Tobacconist to the World since 1930, and The Charlie Palmer Group, Master Chef and Hospitality Entrepreneur Charlie Palmer’s collection of award-winning restaurants and hotels, have partnered to offer a quintessentially New York experience – Herf* & Turf. Designed for travelers and locals looking to commemorate a lifetime milestone, or simply celebrate a night out with friends, this package reserves an evening of indulgence at two Midtown Manhattan landmarks.
Herf & Turf kicks off with a cigar and spirit tasting at the private club of the Nat Sherman Townhouse, The Johnson Club Room. Named after Nat Sherman’s wife Lautia “Johnson” Sherman, the intimate space is reserved exclusively for members. From the comforts of leather couches and chairs, to the selection of letters from luminaries including Sammy Davis Jr., John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, which are framed and on display throughout the store, The Johnson Club Room’s old world atmosphere is sure to turn off the city sounds for a New York minute.
The evening continues across Bryant Park at renowned Chef Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Bar Room. Celebrated for its unabashed, energetic signature Progressive American cuisine, Executive Chef Marcus Gleadow-Ware has specially created a masculine three-course menu starting with Spring Rabbit and Foie Gras Terrine, followed by Prime NY Strip and Los Ancones Chocolate and Espresso dessert. Each course is sophistically paired with unique wines selected by Aureole’s sommelier.
Herf & Turf is offered Mondays through Thursdays for $200 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) to parties of 6-14. For more information and reservations, please contact Yulia Florinskaya (Aureole) by email or phone: 646-392-9172 x20, or Tina Parrish (Nat Sherman) at 646-442-1850.
* Herf (definition of): Fancy term for “cigar party” or a way of saying “let’s get together and smoke cigars”.
Since coming under the management of Michael Herklotz (formerly of Davidoff), the Nat Sherman Townhouse has become something of a second home to me. The selection is fantastic, there is more seating than ever before (minus access to the Johnson lounge downstairs), and the staff is knowledgable and friendly. So when I asked what was new, a gentleman kindly pointed out the new Bench Collection cigars. The first such cigar up for review is the L-IDD, which, from La Aurora, sports a unique Indonesian wrapper that I’m excited to smoke.
La Aurora, the Dominican Republic’s oldest cigar factory, has teamed up with Nat Sherman to offer two very special cigars to the Tobacconist’s loyal customers at their Flagship Townhouse Store.
These cigars were manufactured in 2007 in their Dominican factory. The blends were part of the development of the La Aurora Excepcionales, a cigar made exclusively available to a small group of New York City retailers.
“We had three blends we really liked”, said Michael Herklots, who worked closely with La Aurora’s Manuel Inoa on the project. “Ultimately we chose a blend for the Excepcionales, but there were two other blends that we really liked and decided to make a very small production of them to use sometime in the future.” On a recent visit to La Aurora, Herklots inquired about the small production of the other two blends. And, fortunately for Nat Sherman, they were resting in the company’s vast aging room.
La Aurora agreed to make the small amount of cigars avialable for Nat Sherman’s exclusive Bench Collection- a series of small production cigars that use harder-to-get tobaccos in more artisenal style blends.
Both cigars are available in limited quantities boxes of 20 cigars
Size: 6.5″ x 40
Appearance & Construction
This is not the most beautiful cigar my eyes have ever beheld. There are a few blotches on the Indonesian wrapper, and the color is (unsurprisingly) not quite like most cigars – sort of a light brown with a slightly reddish hue. The band, with the traditional Nat Sherman color scheme, says Nat Sherman “Bench”.
Otherwise, the construction is pretty much flawless, there are minimal viens, the wrapper is slightly oily, and the city is springy to the touch. After using a straight cut on the triple capped head, I find the draw to be about average.
Flavor & Smoke Characteristics
Before lighting this cigar, I take a whiff of the foot of the cigar. Apparent is a sort of woody smell, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on and am hoping shows up a bit more discernably when I light.
The second the smoke touches my lips, I’m tasting a very unique and powerful sweetness that I haven’t experienced in any cigar I can remember. It is also, delicious, with tinges of milk chocolate, butter, and the slightest tanginess on the retrohale.
As I hit the second third, a few things are apparent. First, the ash has a hard time staying put – it burns perfectly straight, but tends to fall quickly. Second, the wrapper is delivering lots of flavor with this vitola. The strength of the smoke continues to build, making sure I don’t get bored with this cigar.
The final third sees the body and strength of the smoke increase, and the retrohale gets significantly more spicy.
The Nat Sherman Bench L-IDD is a cigar worthy of the Nat Sherman name. I found it to be complex and very flavorful, mostly thanks to the lancero vitola. It isn’t a cigar I would smoke every day, partially because the flavor profile isn’t one that I typically smoke, but it is a great morning cigar. Pick up a few of these before they are all gone!