Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Grand Robusto
Size : 6.75 x 49
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$20 each
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After a delicious late lunch of grilled chicken kabobs and a couple of outstanding craft brews, my loving wife and I decided to finish out our day with a couple of cigars. Her choice for the early evening, was an Ashton VSG Enchantment, while I decided on a slightly longer venture with an Ashton ESG 20 Year Salute.
On sight, this smoke is quite attractive. The caramel wrapper has a slightly copper hue to it. No noticeable veins are present and a faint oily sheen coats its entirety. Its triple cap securely closes the head of this fine cigar. The band is also quite alluring with a jet black center and a ice blue halo serving as the focal point, thereby drawing the eye to this cigar’s namesake. Overall, this cigar has a subtly regal appeal.
After cutting into the perfect cap and taking a prelight puff, notes of barnyard, spice and peppery are hinted at. Despite the weightiness of this cigar, I am still met with a rather loose draw that, hopefully, will not get this one burning too fast. Bringing a torch to the foot, the cigar contrasts this point further by taking some time to light despite its dense filler. Copious amounts of thick white smoke reward the initial couple of puffs. While voluminous, the smoke is mild. Leather is most pronounced while spice and pepper bring up the rear. These are overlaid by a pleasant sweetness akin to caramel. My initial reaction is complete satisfaction with the blend.
Moving out of the first inch leaves behind a very sturdy white ash. Copious amounts of smoke continue to billow from the foot and the pleasant flavors persist. At about this point the burn begins to canoe slightly and much to my dismay, the rice paper thin wrapper begins unraveling from the foot end. In an attempt to dissuade this, I apply my wetted finger to the edge and press lightly to secure it. The canoeing requires a touchup to correct, which I grudgingly provide. After removing the ash and applying a slight purge, the caramel flavor becomes a little more enhanced and is now accompanied by a tasty nutty flavor.
The nutty caramel remains through the first half of the stick. Until now, the unraveling has continued despite my best attempts. So I gently tear the conflicting piece away from the most pronounced vertical vein. Only a minor part of the binder is visible at this time and does not seem to be seriously problematic. The caramel sweetness continues to play a central role throughout the entire smoke and the further into it you get, the more spiced it becomes.
A mild smoke that slowly progresses towards the softer end of medium based on its spice content, presents a very flavorful experience. The look of this cigar along with the wonderful mouthfeel and pleasant flavor promises a very leisurely experience. I would suggest smoking this not immediately after a meal but with some food in your stomach as there is a relatively high nicotine content. With the exception of the canoeing and unraveling flaws, this is a wonderful stick and was really its only downfall in this case. With such a high price tag I would not expect such flaws and its value suffers as a result.
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