The Nat Sherman Epoca is one of the most historically significant blends in tobacco history. When Sherman bought Schwab Brothers & Baer in 1929, this blend was the first Sherman took ownership of. Like any classic, though, it’s best to update it occasionally as tastes change and processes improve. It’s no different with this legendary stick, which no longer uses the Cuban tobacco mix that made up the original blend. To update the smoke, Nat Sherman approached the Quesada family, a family that Nat Sherman has worked with many times in the past. In 2013, an early version of the blend was introduced at the ProCigar festival, and the feedback the company received was worked into the final version. The result is a cigar worthy of so much history.

The Epoca cigar is produced with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and features a Dominican binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican. It comes in six vitolas, each with a unique name. They include Breva (5 x 42), Admiral (5 x 50), Perfecto (5 3/4 x 52), Prince (6 x 50), Senator (6 x 56) and Knickerbocker (7 x 48). It is an immaculately rolled cigar, with nearly invisible seams and only a couple faint veins. The stick is a little darker than most Ecuadorian Connecticut's and has darker marbling in spots. The band is a simple red, white and gold, and features the name of the blend in simple white type.  The cold draw consists mainly of wood notes though there is some spice and sweet tobacco in the mix as well.

The initial third of the cigar begins with the same wood notes detected on the cold draw, though there are a number of other notes as well. These include sweet fruit, cream, and some spice. The Epoca also delivers a nice amount of black pepper on the retrohale. The wood flavor is dominant throughout while the cream, fruit, and spice remain in the background. 

During the middle third, the smoke continues to produce strong wood notes, though the sweet fruit also emerges as a dominant flavor. The fruit starts off particularly sweet, though the sweetness eventually fades off some. The spice also splits off into a couple different flavors, including some baker’s spice and a distinct cedar note. The cedar also replaces the black pepper on the retrohale, and the cream flavor slowly moves to the forefront as well.

In the final third of the Epoca, the cream flavor returns to the background while the cedar and baker’s spice mix makes the jump into the foreground. In all, the wood, sweet fruit, cedar and baker’s spice all take turns playing the dominant role, and this continues until the nub. 

Reviewers considered the cigar to be on the gentler side of medium, and they also raved about the burn and draw. It’s also the rare cigar that both novices and aficionados can enjoy, as it's not overpowering but also provides enough flavor transitions to keep the smoking experience interesting. 

After 85 years in the industry, it’s important for a company to remember where its roots come from. For Nat Sherman, the Epoca represents a crucial part of its past, and the care put into the cigar shows.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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