Sunday, April 06, 2008

(For the first time, I have opened this blog to the following guest review from Shaun Brannen)

Ashton Estate Sun Grown (aka Ashton ESG)
Size: 6.75 X 49
Tobacco: Dominican
Price: 29.95

Last night I had the opportunity to smoke THE ASHTON ESG. This was by far one of the very best cigars that I have ever smoked.

History: The Ashton brand has now been around for 21 years and during this tenure Ashton has grown its reputation to become one of the best super premium cigar names on the market. The quality that goes into every Ashton cigar has turned the brand into a name that is known by all connoisseurs and this quality has led to brand growth every year since the inception of the Ashton name. To celebrate this huge milestone Robert Levin and Carlos Fuente Jr. decided to create the Ashton ESG. What makes this cigar so special? Carlos Fuente Jr. actually created a new blend of tobacco for the wrapper, grown on the Chateau de la Fuente farm, which has never been used before, and is solely used in the production of the ESG. Because there is a very limited amount of the tobacco that is used to create this phenomenal cigar it will only be released in small batch quantities once a year. Every year for the next 10 Ashton will release a new size in the ESG line, and only after ten years will the entire line be available.

Appearance: The overall appearance of the ESG was exquisite, the wrapper was smooth, and there was only one vein that was even noticeable on the stick. During my examination of this perfectly constructed cigar I gave it a pre-light aroma test and I new that I was about to smoke one of the greats, the type of cigar that a true aficionado dreams about at night. If I thought the pre-light aroma was great the pre-light taste test blew my socks off with a rich spicy taste exploding in my mouth.

First Impressions: As I lit the cigar the first thing that I noticed was the spiciness and amount of smoke that filled my mouth with each draw (and currently spicy cigars are my favorite). After about a third of the cigar the spicy flavor started to mellow out and I started to get a complex taste and aroma that had a somewhat nutty flavor. During the 1.5 hours it took to truly enjoy this cigar it burned with a perfect razors edge, and it never once had a disappointing draw.

Overall Experience: This full-bodied cigar was one of the best, if not the very best cigar that I have ever had the opportunity to smoke. Sticks like these should be saved for people who really understand what a good cigar is and can appreciate the workmanship that goes into creating such a great smoke. If you consider yourself a cigar aficionado and have never experience the Ashton ESG you are missing out on one of the greatest blends that has been created. I would recommend that you go to anytime you are in the market for any super premium cigar such as the ESG.

C&S 10 Leaf Scale: Obviously from my review this cigar merits a 10 leaf rating.

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