Back when I was cigar newbie, I think it was the summer of '95, I walked into a tobacco shop down in the west village of NYC. I pressed my eyes against the dirty glass case to get a better look at the goods. $11 - wow, that must be a great cigar. It was a Nat Sherman brand. Never heard of it, but if it cost $11, it must be phenomenal. And next to doin' the wild thing, it was the best darn experience I had ever had. I sat on a corner for about 45 minutes just people-watching (it's quite an area) and smoking my $11 cigar. I loved every minute of it. I thought "I just spent more on a cigar than I'll spend all afternoon on food and beer". It was creamy, full-bodied, held a nice chalky-white ash, felt like the most special thing I bought in my life. Being just out of college, I couldn't believe I just spent $11 on something other than beer. Simply delicious.
Don't ask me which Nat Sherman line I smoked, all I remember is that it said Nat Sherman and it held a special place in my heart. Well, 7 years later, things are very different in the cigar industry and Nat Sherman has been a feature in our catalog for some time now. I hesitated for a few months now to actually smoke one - I didn't want to tarnish that little piece of history. I finally gave in and I picked the Nat Sherman Host Harrington for my ride home tonight.
As I write this and look back on the past 45 minutes, I think I've got myself another gem. The cigar is constructed with super-smooth Connecticut wrappers and Dominican and Honduran fillers. You'll immediately taste a slight hint of sweetness - almost like honey - very mild, barely noticeable. Light one up and you'll quickly fill your tastebuds with a hearty, creamy smoke, and a mild-to-medium strength on your palate. It's extremely flavorful with some mild spice undertones. The body of this cigar is impressive, it's firm, holds a long medium-gray ash, never burns hot and never deviates from that flavor for one second. You're never left longing for more, this cigar gives it all up. There are no surprises and no imperfections. This is a superbly manufactured cigar and sure isn't some fly-by-night brand. I smoked it down to an inch and the creamy flavor and body holds throughout (and not once did the ash flake apart on my car seats!)
Today, there are a lot of great cigars out there and I hope none of you are paying $11 a stick to get your favorite. The Nat Sherman cigars start at just under $3 per stick. That's right, Crazy Eddie would be proud. And you know what - it's still manufactured like an $11 cigar. That retailer probably ripped me off in a big way. But who cares, I found a brand that I hold in the utmost respect and they impressed me yet again. I'm psyched this brand is plentiful and I'm proud it's in our catalog b/c this Honduran number is right up my alley. I love cigars, I have a passion for them, I get excited when I write about them. And, I’m often disappointed at some mediocre cigars that are rushed to market and never live up to the hype. Thankfully, this feature is my public service to all of you out there. Stick with me, I'll get you to the good ones - and this IS a great one.
I promise you'll be impressed - don't expect a "make your stomach turn" cigar, but expect a superbly constructed, superbly flavored, and superbly priced cigar that won't let you down. I bet some of you will make this your new everyday cigar - I sure will - at least until the next Pick. Light'm up!