November 18, 2009
Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Belicoso
Size : 5 1/4 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Price : ~$13.75 each, $200 for a box of 25
I picked up a few of these at another Aston Taste of Excellence events. These are great events. That evening the Cabinet Selection was paired with Oban 14 because it starts sweet but ends with a hint of spice. For this review, I smoked the cigar with no libation. The Cabinet’s Dominican filler is aged at least four to five years. The wrapper is aged one year longer. Aston claims no less than six different fillers in the cigar and it takes seven years to make it from seed to cigar.
Appearance : [rating:4/5]
This is beautiful cappuccino colored wrapper with minimal veining. It almost appears seamless. The label is classic Ashton, and is very well done.
Construction : [rating:4/5]
The slightly sweet smelling tobacco is well packed, resulting in a firm cigar. The draw was spot on. The cigar lit easily giving of a wonderful smell of tobacco. It is well rolled, as I have come to expect from all Ashton products. The burn line was slightly wavy and required a couple of minor corrections. The grayish white ash easily held on for a couple of inches before I tapped it off.
Flavor : [rating:4/5]
My pre-light tasting noted a light sweetness and tobacco. Initial tasting was creamy, there is that word again, with copious amounts of smoke. It was nutty with the tiniest bit of woodiness. The retro-hale was pleasurable with the slightest amount of spice after the first inch or so.
The second third of the cigar was still very creamy. I really hate using that word to describe a cigar or smoke, but it is really the only way to relay this. My friend and I both came to the same conclusion during the Ashton tasting event- there is really no other way to describe this particular cigar.
The final third became more peppery, almost cayenne-like with oaky notes. This cigar was certainly finishing with a bang.
Value : [rating:3.5/5]
At almost $14 per cigar it is expensive for an every day smoke. If you don’t smoke that often, or enjoy indulging, this may be your cigar.
Overall Rating : [rating:4/5]
This is a very good vitola with the quality and tastes I have come to expect from Ashton, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. I find Ashton consistent and enjoyable. I normally like a sweeter and spicier profile in a cigar but this is a nice change. The flavors were complex with slight changes from beginning to end. I would recommend picking a few up to try for a special occasion. or even a break from full-flavored cigars. As usual though, your mileage may vary.
November 18, 2009
Ashton makes the best cigars in my world! I was just in South America where Cubans are available cheap ($3). But they don’t hold water to a good Ashton 8-9-8, VSG, or Cabinet series.
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