Posts Tagged With: Ashton

Paradiso Quintessence

About 25 years ago Robbie Levin decided it was time to start his own cigar brand, next to the family tobacco business that already existed for a few generations. So he bought English pipe tobacco brand, Ashton, and made a private label blend with one of his long term cigar suppliers Arturo Fuente and the cigar brand Ashton was born. After more than a very successful decade and a few high praised and good selling cigar lines, all under the Ashton name, all made by Fuente in the Dominican Republic and all ‘old style’ it was time for something new, something that would attract the new generation of cigar enthusiasts, something with a little more edge and so 3 new brands were born. Benchmade, La Aroma de Cuba and San Cristobal, all made in Nicaragua by My Father Cigars. And like all Levin does, they became successful, so successful that we now can choose from a few LADC and San Cristobal blends.


Due to copyright Ashton can’t use the La Aroma de Cuba name outside of the USA, so they changed the name to La Aroma Del Caribe and for San Cristobal, a name that they could use in some markets but not in others, they picked Paradiso. The blends are identical, the labels and boxes are identical just the name on the labels and boxes changed. I used to work for the Dutch distributed of Ashton and had the pleasure of meeting Robbie, his daughter Meera and their vp of sales Chip Goldeen on several occasions and even though there is no professional relationship at the moment I met them at intertabac Chip handed me their latest release for the European market, the Paradiso Quintessence. The cigar is made from Nicaraguan tobacco grown by the Garcia family with an Ecuadorean Habano wrapper. I smoked the 6×52 epicure.


The wrapper is nice, oily and shiny with a few minor veins and the band is top, the recognizable parrots with the gold medals but this time an added name underneath the picture that says ‘quintessence’. The construction feels good but at the left side, right where the ring is, the cigar feels flat, box pressed, but just on one side while the rest of the cigar is round. That will of course effect the final score, but how much will depends if it effects draw, smoke and ash characteristics. The aroma is deep, mild acidic and reminds me a bit of autumn, like fallen leaves without smelling fallen leaves. The cold draw is fine, I taste some pepper on my lips. I used my cigar xi2 cutter to decap the cigar and my Ronson varaflame to light the cigar.


I taste coffee with some spices and a little bit of sweetness. The coffee remains the basic flavor but the spices tone down. The cigar makes my mouth dry. After a third I taste s little more sweetness and a little bit of lime with a little bit of red pepper in the aftertaste. After a third I taste some cinnamon with wood and lime. The lime is purely in the aftertaste though. After two thirds I taste a nice nut flavor, with a little bit of spice. No more lime, no more sweetness. Near the end this cigar is getting spicier and I taste a lot of pepper, especially on my lips. This all on a base of nuts.


The smoke is thick, it’s white and it’s plentiful. The ash is silver gray with black stripes. It’s not too firm. The burn is good, not razor sharp but I don’t have to correct either. The draw is great. This medium full, full flavored cigar have me 100 minutes of smoking pleasure.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, once in a while but I prefer the Paradiso Revelation

Score: 90

90

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Categories: 90, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

La Aroma de Cuba Coronation Noblesse

A few years ago Ashton decided to release Nicaraguan cigars, made by My Father Cigars, under the name La Aroma de Cuba (La Aroma Del Caribe in Europe). The brand was a success and several offsprings were born, the latest is a limited release under the name Noblesse. The original release was called coronation and is a 6 ½x52 double corona made from Nicaraguan tobacco with an Ecuadorean Habano rosado wrapper.
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The cigar looks great, a smooth reddish wrapper with one of the most beautiful cigar bands I’ve ever seen. The veins are thin and the wrapper has a nice shine although the flash makes the vein looks bigger on the pictures. The cigar has a nice barnyard aroma. The construction feels good although there is a small dent in the middle. The cold draw is a little tight and gives me hay, pepper and raisin.
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The first flavor I get is wood with a really mild pepper. The flavors are quite dry. The pepper slowly disappears, I only taste a nice woody flavor.
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Halfway the cigar gets more spicy again with more red pepper to the wood flavor.
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The draw is just fine, and the cigar has a nice aroma. The ash is silver gray and reasonable firm. The smoke is medium thick. The cigar is medium to medium full, both in strength and in flavor. The burn is slow and straight. The cigar is one dimensional but tasty. The smoke time is about 2 hours.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, once in a while.

Appearance: 9
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: La Aroma de Cuba - Del Caribe, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ashton ESG 20th anniversary

The Ashton Estate Sun Grown, Ashton’s own Opus X. And if I am well informed this is actually Opus X filler and binder with a unique Dominican wrapper, grown by the Fuentes, and never been used on any cigar before. Like any cigar with the Ashton name, these cigars are made by Fuente.
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The cigar looks great, a beautiful light brown colored wrapper with just one thin vein. The band is awesome and I smell a strong barnyard smell with some ammonia. The construction feels good and the band on the cigar is a piece of art. This 6¾x49 cigar had a great predraw with a nice tobacco flavor.
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I taste coffee and an earthy flavor with some pepper and some caramel. The pepper is also in the aftertaste and it is strong, red pepper. Soon I taste leather, wood and pepper. After half an inch I taste leather with a nice acidic flavor, herbs and some pepper in the aftertaste. After a third I taste leather with wood and some citrus. The aftertaste is now mild creamy with a herbal flavor.
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Slowly the herbal flavor grows in strength and become the main flavor with some creamy leather on the background. There are spicy herbs in the aftertaste with some citrus. I also taste some chocolate. The aftertaste slowly releases a red pepper flavor. The main flavor now changes to herbal leather with some citrus and pepper while the aftertaste is herbal. After two thirds I taste leather with wood, some citrus and herbs on the aftertaste. Near the end I taste mild creamy leather with herbs.
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This cigar lasted me for a full and pleasant two hours. The draw is great and the light colored ash is compact and firm. The burn is good. This cigar is medium bodied but full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I will, due to the price not by the box, but a single every now and then

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Ashton, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Ashton aged maduro #20

The Ashton aged maduro is rare according to the Ashton website because of the limited availability of the Connecticut broadleaf wrapper that is used. Most of the crop doesn’t make it through quality control. I wonder if that is true, as I have no problems finding the cigars here in The Netherlands. Anyway, I smoked the Ashton aged maduro #20, a corona with a length of 5½ inch with a ring 44 which I bought years ago in a cigarshop in Den Bosch.
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The wrapper is almost black, quite oily, mild shiny and it doesn’t have much veins. The band is simple. I smell a quite strong barnyard smell. The construction feels good and I get a good predraw, which tastes a bit like dry tobacco.
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I taste chocolate and coffee with a little bit of wood. Half an inch later I taste leather with some pepper and after a third I also get some citrus. Halfway I still taste the leather with the citrus, pepper, nuts and even some cinnamon sharpness.
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The peppery aftertaste becomes stronger and I even taste some chocolate. After two thirds I taste herb with citrus and wood. The cigar slowly gets bitter and unpleasant. Lots of pepper with some leather and citrus, but all burned flavors.
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This cigar lasted me fifty-five minutes. I got a lot of smoke that was medium thick. The draw was good on the loose side of good. The ash is white, a nice contrast with the black wrapper, but not so firm. The burn is good. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? If I smoke Ashton, I will go for the VSG or the brands like La aroma de cuba, San Cristobal or Benchmade.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Ashton, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Ashton cabinet pyramid

The Ashton Cabinet series has 10 different sizes, amongst which this 6×52 pyramid. The Dominican filler for this cigar has aged 4 to 5 years and the Connecticut Shade wrapper has aged for even longer. Six different kinds of tobacco are used to create the blend, which Ashton calls “the white burgundy of cigars” due to the complexity of the flavors.
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The wrapper is pale and light colored with a few thin and sharp veins. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell. The construction feels good and the cigar has a great predraw, I taste a spicy and peppery tobacco.
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I taste a smooth, mild spicy, peppery and bitter coffee flavor with some pepper in the aftertaste. After half an inch I taste herbs with pepper and a herbal aftertaste and a slowly growing cedar flavor. The mild sweet and sour herbs are nice, the sour flavor reminds me of lemon or citrus and I get some pepper in the aftertaste. Every now and then I also taste some chocolate in the aftertaste.
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Halfway I taste something bitter and herbal with far on the background even some chocolate. The pepper has gone. Later I taste a full wood flavor with some herbs and after two thirds the flavors get company from a bitter and spicy pepper. The pepper grows in strength towards the end.
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This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw and burn are great and I got plenty of thick smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is firm. When I purged the cigar I got a nice big flame. This cigar is medium to full bodied and full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I might, just a single every now and then.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Ashton, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Ashton Heritage Robusto

The Ashton Heritage puro sol is made from all sun grown tobacco, hence the name ‘puro sol’ and was the first Ashton with a Cameroon wrapper. The cigar is made as a tribute to two important families in the Tobacco industry, the Fuentes and the Meerapfels. The wrapper is handpicked by Richard Meerapfel
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This 5½x50 robusto has a nice mild shiny and quite dark wrapper with some veins. The construction feels good. I smell a mild barnyard smell. The predraw is good and I taste a dry bark flavor.
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I taste a pleasant coffee flavor with a quite strong citrus. After a quarter of an inch, the coffee is gone and I taste a spicy flavor with still a strong citrus flavor. After half an inch I taste herbs, mild spicy and the citrus flavor moved to the aftertaste. The citrus and the spiciness grow in strength. After an inch I also taste some wood with the citrus and the spice. After two inch the spicy herbs lose some of their strength, I taste some wood too and even some mint in the aftertaste.
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Halfway I get herbs with wood. The spice and the citrus have disappeared and I even discover a hint of chocolate. The herbs slowly grow in strength and the spice returns, but not as strong as before. The chocolate disappears and that’s what I taste until the final puffs, that bring me some pepper too.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw was too loose and I had to correct the burn several times. I got a lot of thick smoke though and the firm but frayed ash is almost white. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.

 

Would I buy this cigar again? I think I will stick to the Ashton VSG

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Ashton, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Ashton classic churchill

The Ashton classic series is a classic indeed, who hasn’t smoked or at least heard about and seen these cigars? They are made from Dominican tobacco which has been aged for a minimum of three years and the wrapper is a Connecticut shade. This cigar has a price tag of 9 euro in The Netherlands. The churchill is 7½ inch long with a 52 ring.
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The cigar I had was aged pretty good under perfect conditions. The band and the cellophane were starting to get yellow. The Connecticut shade wrapper is light colored and oily with a lot of small veins. The band is really simple. The construction feels good and I smell a barnyard aroma. The predraw is on the firm side of good and I taste a mild tobacco flavor with some pepper.
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I taste a mild coffee flavor with some pepper and soon some wood. The flavors are mild and smooth. After half an inch I taste grass with a hint of chocolate. After two inch the flavors are dry wood with some sweet milky chocolate.
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The grass returns and after two thirds I also taste some herbs with the grass and chocolate. I even taste some pepper. After three quarters I taste a hint of nuts and some sharp pepper
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The churchill has a smoke time of an hour and forty five minutes. The draw and the burn are good. I got an acceptable volume of smoke, but the smoke is very thin. The ash is quite dark, compact and firm. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. I got a huge flame while purging.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, it is too mild for me

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Ashton, Dominican cigars, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

La Aroma del Caribe edicion especial #5

Not too long ago the La Aroma de Cuba came on the Dutch market under the name La Aroma del Caribe and the Dutch distributer started with the La Aroma del Caribe edicion especial #1, La Aroma del Caribe edicion especial #2 and the La Aroma del Caribe edicion especial #3 and now he brought the La Aroma del Caribe edicion especial #5, a 5½x52 belicoso to the Dutch market for a retail price of 7 euro. I liked the first three vitolas, so I couldn’t wait to try this Don Pepin made cigar from Ashton.
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The cellophane wrapped cigar has a medium brown, mild shiny and oily wrapper with a double band. The top of the cigar is a bit blunt for a belicoso and the wrapper doesn’t have a lot of veins. I smell some wood and a barnyard smell. The construction feels a bit hard, but the predraw is easy and has a mild spicy taste to it.
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I taste dry coffee, mildly bitter, and something that reminds me of cinnamon. The coffee morphs into wood. After half an inch I taste herbs and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. After almost an inch I also taste some dark chocolate.
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Halfway I taste wood with herbs and some nutmeg and every now and then some cocoa powder. After two thirds the spices are getting stronger and I taste wood too with a mild pepper in the aftertaste.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and fifteen minutes and I got a lot of thick smoke. The pepper and salt colored ash is firm. The draw is great, just like the burn. This cigar is medium bodied and full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: La Aroma de Cuba - Del Caribe, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Paradiso fabuloso

These Paradiso cigars are known in the USA as San Cristobal, a Pepin made Ashton cigars but because Habanos owns the rights to the name San Cristobal globally, except for the USA, the cigars had to be renamed for the European market. The cigars are exactly the same, even the band is the same, just with a different name.
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This 6×54 fabuloso has a beautiful dark, smooth, shiny and mild oily wrapper with a few thin veins. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and leaves a mild hay flavor on my palate. The cigar smells like hay and a barnyard.
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I taste a strong coffee flavor, mild bitter, with some earth and pepper. After a few puffs I also taste hay. After half an inch I taste hay with some pepper and a little bit of chocolate on the background. Slowly a wood flavor comes in the mix too.
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After a third I taste a dry, herbal, mild peppery flavor with hay and wood. This mix of flavors don’t change for a while. After two thirds the herbs are gone, just like the pepper. I taste a nice mixture of wood and hay.
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This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes. The draw was great, just like the burn. I got a decent amount of smoke and the ash was very firm. The smoke starts out thin but gets thicker along the way. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, yes, yes.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars, Paradiso - San Cristobal | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

La Aroma de Cuba belicoso

These handmade cigars are made by Don Pepin Garcia for Ashton, just like the San Cristobal and Benchmade, two great smokes. The La Aroma de Cuba is made from Nicaraguan tobacco with a broadleaf Connecicut wrapper and has a nice classic cigar band.
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The wrapper of this 5½x52 cigar has a nice mocha color, it is also oily and contains a few minor veins. I smell wood and straw when I hold the cigar under my nose. The construction feels good and the predraw is fine. I taste peppery raisin. The head of this torpedo is short and blunt.
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I taste a powerful peppery cofee with herbs and a sweetness. After an inch I taste cedar with the herbs, the flavors are mild spicy. The spiciness disappears though and the structure of the flavors becomes mild creamy. The creaminess disappears quickly too.
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The cigar is still mild spicy with flavors of herbs and cedar with some pepper that slowly grows in strength. After ⅝ I also taste some nuts with the pepper, herbs and cedar. The structure of the flavors becomes mild creamy again. The cigar gets more spicier until it is time to put the nub to rest.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and a half. The ash is almost white and medium firm. This full flavored and medium bodied cigar produced a lot of thick white smoke. I had to correct the burn a few times, but the draw was good.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, hopefully this blend will be available in The Netherlands.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: La Aroma de Cuba - Del Caribe, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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