When Ashton release their biggest new release a few years ago, the Don Pepin blended & made San Cristobal I was disappointed even before I ever touched the cigar. I knew the name ‘San Cristobal’ was owned by Habanos and couldn’t be used outside the USA for any other cigar. I was afraid that I might never be able to get my hands on this cigar, but Ashton recently came with a solution, a name change for the cigar for the areas outside the USA. The cigar is now called Paradiso.
I smoked the Francisco, one of the three vitolas available on the Dutch market. This 5½x44 corona has a € 6.00 pricetag. The cigar looks good with a quite dark and oily wrapper full of small veins. I smell a sweet horse stable smell. The construction feels good, and the predraw is fine. I taste a mix of dry tobacco and some sweet herbs.
I taste espresso with herbs, wood and some sweetness. Soon after I mainly taste leather with some coffee. All other flavors have gone but the sweetness returns quickly with some herbs on the back of my throat and a hint of nuts.
After a third I taste more nuts with herbs and leather. Halfway the cigar has a herbal flavor and after two thirds spicy too. Near the end I get a strong pepper flavor.
This cigar lasted me an hour and five minutes. I got a lot of thick white smoke and salt and pepper colored ash, which was quite firm. The draw and the burn are very good. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Probably yes.
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10