18 October 2016

Eight Great Alternatives to the Cigar Aficionado’s Eight Great Cuban Cigars to Buy Now

Recently, the United States eliminated the restrictions on bringing Cuban cigars and rum into the United States when returning to the country from international destinations.  Cuban cigars, are among the best cigars in the world.  Arguably, they, along with Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras produce the majority of Premium Cigars enjoyed by cigar enthusiasts around the world.  Cigar Aficionado reviews cigars blind, giving ratings and tasting notes to each.   CA’s staff has put together a list of “Eight Great Cuban Cigars to Buy Now”.   Of course, only those fortunate enough to live or travel internationally (or those willing to risk purchasing online and shipping to the US Illegally) are able to try these eight cigars.  So, using Cigar Aficionado’s Ratings and Review database, I’ve compiled a list of alternatives, trying to match size, flavor and score as best I can.  Here are my:

Eight Great Alternatives to the Cigar Aficionado’s Eight Great Cuban Cigars to Buy Now

CA: Bolivar Corona Gigante (93 points): Cuba's Bolivar brand is not for the faint of palate, as this smallish brand is known for some of Cuba's stronger cigars. The Corona Gigante is one of few Churchill-sized smokes still rolled in Cuba. Tasting Note: Topped with an attractive mounted head, this well-made Churchill exhibits richness with every puff, showing an earthy palate of coffee, walnut and cedar notes that all harmonize for a complex finish. (£22.86)

MH: Ashton Symmetry Prestige (93 Points) Tasting Note: Dark and imposing with an oily wrapper, this cedary-tasting Churchill has a bold, meaty underpinning with notes of bittersweet chocolate and an earthy finish. A medium- to full-bodied smoke. ($12.75)


CA: Partagás Corona Gorda Añejados (91 points): When Cuba's cigar gurus looked at how connoisseurs age cigars, they figured why not do the aging for them? That's the idea behind the Añejado program, where cigars are rolled and left to age in the box before being released. The time certainly works on this Partagás, which is medium bodied and rich.  Tasting Note: A subtly box-pressed cigar with an excellent three-seam cap. The firm draw shows notes of dried fruit and sweet nuts before leading to a warm, bready finish. (£21.60)

MH: Padron Serie 1926 No. 90 (94 points) Tasting Note: Nearly flawless in appearance, this richly-hued cigar showcases a nuanced mix of walnut, cedar and toast interwoven with stronger notes of leather and pepper. (19.50)


CA: Punch Punch (91 points): One of the longtime go-to sizes in the Cuban cigar world, the Punch Punch is true to its namesake, with a medium to full body and notes of leather and butterscotch. It's an old size, and one that has long been prized by cigar smokers in the know. Tasting Note: Well made with an impeccable three-seam cap. The smoke maintains a warm, toasty quality while imparting sweet molasses notes, a touch of baker's chocolate and a rich almond finish. (£17.33)

MH: Quesada Reserva Privada 6 ½ x 56 (92 Points) Tasting Note: This blonde corona gorda has a great draw and a wavy burn that corrects itself. Rich, creamy smoke blossoms on the palate to show orange peel and toasted almond. ($14.95)


CA: H. Upmann Petit Corona (91 points): Living up to the big things come in small packages saying, this little H. Upmann, a mere 5 1/8 inches long by 42 ring gauge, is pleasantly sweet, with a medium body. Ideal for cigar smokers with only a half hour or so to spare for a fine cigar. Tasting Note: A softly pressed corona with rounded edges and tapered shoulders. The burn is notably firm, but delivers a chewy smoke full of brown sugar notes and baking spices balanced by cedar and a marzipan finish. (£11.69)

MH: Davidoff Winston Churchill Petit Corona (92 Points) Tasting Note: The sweet aroma of molasses cookies that emanates from this cigar as it burns recurs on the palate, along with notes of espresso and savory wood. ($9.90)


CA: Cohiba Siglo I (90 points): Another small smoke, and one with a considerably powerful character. The Siglo I is only 4-inches long, but packs a kick, brimming with notes of walnut and chocolate. (£12.80)

MH: Nat Sherman Sterling Perla (85 Points) Tasting Note: The dense smoke of this cigar starts out rich and fruity with plenty of raisin notes ($9.00)


CA: Juan Lopez Selección No. 1 (90 points): The casual cigar smoker may have never heard of Juan Lopez, as it's one of Cuba's smaller cigar brands. The Selección No. 1, a medium- to full-bodied corona gorda, is often superb, having earned multiple scores of 90 points or more in our publications.  Tasting Note: The prominent graham cracker notes of this corona gorda intermingle with a sweet nuttiness and an elegant salty finish. The draw and burn remain even throughout. (£17.20)

MH: La Flor Dominicana Coronado Corona Especial (92 PointsTasting Note: With a lush draw and even burn, this cigar starts spicy with a backbone of sweet nuts, developing heady notes of roasted coffee bean and minerals. A bold smoke. ($8.80)


CA: Montecristo Petit No. 2 (90 points): One of Cuba's newer cigars is also one of its best. A shortened version of the superb and legendary Montecristo No. 2, this short figurado is medium bodied, bold and earthy, packing quite a bit of flavor into less than 5 inches of cigar. Tasting Note: This tan, mini-belicoso is bold and earthy, but at the same time creamy and floral with some almond notes and a tangy orange peel finish. (£18.22)

MH: Nat Sherman Panamericana Belicoso Fino (NYR) Though this vitola has not been rated, the Churchill format for this blend scored 90 points. Tasting Note: The initial flinty and tangy notes of this Churchill settle down to show a dried fruit and licorice character that recurs on the finish along with touches of leather. ($11.00)


CA: Partagás Salomon (90 points): If you have a long, long time to enjoy a cigar, this intricately shaped figurado is for you. Curvy and voluptuous, measuring more than 7-inches long, it's consistently rich and superb, never scoring lower than 90 points in our blind tastings.  Tasting Note: Picture-perfect with fine tapers and an alluring wrapper. The cigar's firm draw eventually opens to show notes of salted caramel, spices and a graham-cracker finish. (£26.59)

MH: Tabaquero Hamlet Paredes Salomon (90 Points)  Tasting Note: This large and imposing Salomon has intricate curves. The first puffs offer copious amounts of earthy, charry smoke with elements of licorice and fruit. ($9.80)

Should you find yourself abroad, I do encourage cigar enthusiasts to try Cuban cigars… experience the flavor of their tobacco, the style of the blending, the craftsmanship of their construction.  But, I also encourage you to visit your local tobacconist, and try these recommendations above.  Or, better yet, ask your local tobacconist what they would recommend as alternatives.  

11 October 2016

Oktoberfest 2016 at Nat Sherman



16 August 2016

How to Develop Your Palate

I was recently featured on CigarAficionado.com helping to answer the question, "How do I develop my palate?". The article has some of my favorite tips on how to begin to learn how to truly "taste" cigars, describe cigars, and differentiate one from another.  Below is my full answer to the question, "How do I develop my palate?"

I like to approach palate development for cigars the way we do for wine or beer. The first time one tastes wine, regardless of color, grape terroir or vintage, it tastes like wine. The same goes for beer. As we are exposed to more of each, one can develop a preference for red vs. white or a light beer vs. a dark beer. And further exploration allows consumers to begin to prefer Cabernet Sauvignon over Merlot, or Italy over France.... Or, ale over lager, for example.

The same development occurs for premium cigar enthusiasts. The first few times you taste a cigar, or smell a cigar.... It simply tastes and smells like a cigar, no matter the origin of tobacco or brand. However, the more one pays attention to what they select, the more they're able to "split hairs", and differentiate one cigar from another, preferring Dominican or Nicaraguan made cigars, "dark" wrappers over lighter colored wrappers... fat cigars or thinner cigars. And while of course it's not a perfect science and there are exceptions to every rule, it at least begins to lay a foundation of assumptions that permits the enthusiast to make educated guesses about a cigar prior to trying it.  

Then the real key is to keep track of the ones you like and the ones you don't. And equally important is to record the reasons why you liked one or disliked another, in whatever vocabulary or vernacular you have. You don't need to record "herbaceous finish with a spicy mid palate impact and notes of anise" (though you certainly may... if you're able to detect such complex flavors). But, was it hot or cool? Did it dry your mouth? Did it taste good or bad. And were there any familiar flavors that reminded you of anything you've had before?  "This cigar reminded me of the way my morning coffee tastes."  "The aroma of this cigar smelled like the aroma of a bakery." From there, you're able to begin to draw conclusions by comparing the things you like, with their details and components like the tobaccos used, the country of origin, manufacturer, size etc...

Finally, shop with a retailer that has a great a great staff, a great selection, and a great point of sale system. That way they can not only keep track of what you purchase, but can also make sound recommendations based on your experiences. For you cigars are a hobby. For us, we've made our hobby our profession.  And it's truly our pleasure to help guide you on this journey.

13 May 2016

An evening with the Fuente Family

L to R Liana Fuente, Carlos Fuente, Jr, and Cynthia Fuente

Monday, May 23, 2016
$175 per person (includes $25 donation to the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation)
Each guest will receive three commercially unavailable cigars.
Complimentary tasting of exclusive expressions of Johnnie Walker Whisky
Hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer will also be served.

Join us at the Nat Sherman Townhouse for an incredible evening with the Fuente family celebrating Fuente Cigars.  Carlos Fuente, Jr, his sister Cynthia Fuente and his daughter Liana Fuente will join us for this special night.   We are very proud to offer a full range of Arturo Fuente Cigars, from the classics like the Flor Fina 8-5-8 to the Chateau, and on to the Don Carlos and Fuente Fuente Opus X.  On THIS evening, we will be offering cigars for sale that are NEVER commercially available, as well as some of our own, vintage collection of Fuente Fuente Opus X, Arturo Fuente Anejo, and other incredibly rare Arturo Fuente Cigars.

IN ADDITION - we will be raising money for the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.  We will host a silent and live auction in addition to the $25 from each ticket.  ALL the money raised will go directly to the CFCF.

For more information email Michael Herklots or your Nat Sherman Tobacconist or call (212) 764-5000 and speak to one of our tobacconists.


Here's a look at just SOME of the incredible cigars that will be available for sale!

Arturo Fuente:
Arturo Fuente  Don Carlos Personal  Reserve
Arturo Fuente Eye of the Shark
Angels  Share :
Angels  Share  Fuente Fuente
Angels  Share  Perfection X
Angels Share  Robusto

Opus  X :
Opus X Perfecxion  X
Opus X Fuente  Fuente
Opus X Perfection No. 2
Opus X Reserve  D’ Chateau
Opus X Perfexion A
Opus X  Super Belicoso
Opus X Double  Corona
Opus X Perfexion # 4
Opus X Robusto
Opus X Love  Affair

Destino Al Siglo :
Destino Al Siglo De Passion 
Destino al Siglo  De Amistad 
Destino al Siglo Familias 
Destino al siglo Don Arturo Passion 13  

Opus  X Oro  Oscuro
Opus X OXO Oro Oscuro 

Arturo Funte  Anejos
Arturo Funte  Anejos # 77 shark
Arturo Fuente Anejos #888
Arturo Fuente Anejos #49
Arturo Fuente Between the lines 

04 January 2016

The Nat Sherman Bench Legacy Series, George

Introducing the Nat Sherman Bench Collection Legacy Series "George"

Nat Sherman created his namesake company in New York City in 1930.  For the past 85 years, it has remained owned and operated by the Sherman family.  While the company has certainly grown since 1930, the Shermans are quite proud of the steadfast loyal group of employees who've worked with the family for years and years.  In 2011, Nat Sherman honored their longest serving employee of the Townhouse, Sam Perry by creating a limited edition cigar in his name, the Nat Sherman Bench Collection "Sam".  We're proud to once again honor the career of another long-time Nat Sherman Townhouse employee, George Georgiadis.  George worked for Nat Sherman's retail operations for 19 years... developing an incredibly devoted roster of clients that span the globe, and all of whom would look for George if they needed anything.

The Nat Sherman Bench Collection "George" will be launched at a special gathering of friends, family and customers on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 7:30pm at the Nat Sherman Townhouse.  The cigars were made in 2014, and have been aged ever since.  They measure 6" x 48, and are an incredible blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, with a Dominican binder and a gorgeous wrapper from Ecuador.  
For more information, please contact Tina Parrish at 646-442-1850 or email tparrish@natsherman.com

09 December 2015

The Nat Sherman Heritage Humidor

Nat Sherman Heritage Humidor lined in Milk Glass (Macassar)
The Nat Sherman Heritage Humidors are a limited production collection of humidors that embrace some of the most traditional humidor manufacturing styles of the early 20th century, while incorporating a more innovative humidification system in three classic exterior finishes. These gorgeous humidors are hand made in Santa Ana, California under the careful watch of humidor master Daniel Marshall.  Each humidor is lined in milk-glass, a popular humidor lining material from the Prohibition Era.

The Nat Sherman Heritage Humidors offer a non-porous, non-aromatic environment with an impenetrable seal, providing unwavering conditions for your most treasured cigars, while preventing any foreign odors or flavors from being absorbed by the tobacco during the aging process.  Each humidor features two movable dividers, in order to organize your collection.  Humidity is created and maintained using three Boveda-60 gram two-way humidity control packs (included).

Nat Sherman Heritage Humidor in Burl
Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control ensures a stable environment within the humidor by continually adding or removing humidity as conditions require. Simply remove the pouches from their transparent plastic outer wrap, and slide them into the wooden slots affixed to the lid.  Once the Boveda packs become rigid, they need to be replaced (likely every 3-4 months).  These incredible humidors, and their contents, will be sure to last for countless generations.
Nat Sherman Heritage Humidor in Rosewood.
The Nat Sherman Heritage Humidors are made in extremely limited quantities, and hold 125 coronas.   (Dimensions: 14" x 10" x 5.5").  All finishes are matte, with no visible exterior hardware.  
MSRP: $2,300.

For more info visit http://www.natsherman.com

25 November 2015

Rocky Patel at the Nat Sherman Townhouse

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 
at the Nat Sherman Townhouse 12 East 42nd Street in NYC.

Meet Rocky Patel, Nish Patel and famed Cuban cigar Hamlet Paredes
Each Guest will receive:
  • $25.00 Credit for same day in-store purchase
  • 1 x NEW Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes Cigar
  • 1 x Rocky Patel 20th Anniverary Cigar
  • 1 x Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Cigar
Light hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served.
PLUS Enjoy a complimentary Scotch tasting by The Macallan.

Promotions, raffles and prizes throughout the night.

Tickets are $75.00 per person and must be purchased in advance.
Call Tina Parrish 646-442-1850 or email tparrish@natsherman.com

20 November 2015


Beginning on Friday, November 27, 2015 and ending NO LATER than Monday, November 30, 2015 (unless supplies run out earlier).  

Step 1.  Visit the Nat Sherman Townhouse
Step 2.  Work with one of our Certified Retail Tobacconists
Step 3. Select great cigars and merchandise for yourself and friends
Step 4. Earn points for every dollar you spend
Step 5. Redeem your points for free gifts.

Dollars Spent
Points Earned

Choice of ONE
  • Single Joel Sherman 75th Celebration Cigar
  •  Firebird Torch Lighter
  •  Polaris Colibri Key Chain
  • 2-oz Tin of Nat Sherman Pipe Tobacco

  • Nat Sherman Timeless Nicaragua Assortment
  •  Colibri Leather 3-Cigar Case
  • Colibri Zephyr Money Clip
  • Jet Line Pipe Lighter
  • $25.00 Nat Sherman Townhouse Gift Card
  • Epoca Cigar Assortment
  • Colibri Stealth 3-Flame Lighter
  • Lotus Table Lighter with Punch Cutter
  • Lorenzetti Pipe
  • Box of 21 Nat Sherman Timeless Collection   749
  • S.T. Dupont Mini Jet Lighter
  • Colibri Orange Monza Watch
  • $75 Nat Sherman Townhouse Gift Card
  • Box of 25 Nat Sherman Sterling Marevas
  • Nat Sherman Limited Edition Xikar Decopauge Cutter
  • M-Clip Money Clip
  • I.M. Corona Pipe Lighter
  • Montecristo Luxury Lighter
  • Lamborghini Humidor
  • Colibri Ascari Watch
  • $150 Nat Sherman Townhouse Gift Card

Examples of Redemtion:
Points can be combined for any gift.  Points earned only in increments above, and will be rounded down to the highest qualifying purchase increment of $50.  Example: A purchase of $75 = 1 point.  A purchase of $100 = 2 points. A purchase of $225 =  4 points.  Choice of prizes is based on availability.  Prizes will run out.  Customers must select only from prizes described above.

A purchase of $500 = 10 points.  Points can be redeemed for 1 x 10 point prize, 2 x 5 point prizes, 3 x 3 point prizes + 1 x 1 point prize, or 10 x 1 point prizes.