Nat Sherman International is shutting down, the company announced, ten months after announcing it was for sale and 3-and-a half years after it was sold by the Sherman family to tobacco giant Altria Group in early 2017.
Nat Sherman International, the entity that controls the non-cigarette Nat Sherman brands, will shutter both the wholesale business and its Townhouse storefront in Manhattan by the end of September.
Nat Sherman International’s cigar portfolio, made by the Plasencia and Quesada families, features three primary brands: Timeless, Epoca and Metropolitan. The Timeless cigar scored a 92 rating in Cigar Snob’s Top 25 of 2015 and all the brands have consistently scored 90 points or higher over the last several years.
“We delivered our early goals of reestablishing the legacy of Nat Sherman International’s premium cigar business,” Michael Herklots, vice president of Nat Sherman International, said in a statement. “Hopefully our cigars will live on in the humidors of our greatest fans…for many years to come.”
Altria, previously known as Philip Morris Companies, blamed the covid virus for the closure of Nat Sherman International.
“We worked hard to successfully transition Nat Sherman International to a new home, [but] the Covid-19 pandemic created new challenges that were unfortunately too big to overcome,” Jessica Pierucki, managing director of Altria said in a statement.
But the brand has been on borrowed time since Altria purchased it from the Sherman family. At the time, Altria acknowledged it was making the deal in part to access Sherman’s premium cigarette holdings.
In October, when announcing that Nat Sherman International was on the market, Pierucki said “While we recognize the strength and value of the premium cigar business, it’s not core to Altria’s tobacco portfolio so we are exploring options for NSI.”