Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ashton Benchmade Churchill
Size: 7.0 x 50
Tobacco: Nicaraguan puro
Price: $3.25

Pepin is the Clint Eastwood of cigars: he may play the same character over and over, but it's always fun to watch.

I happened to stop by the Tinder Box in Collierville on the way home from work. I was in the mood for something to smoke on the drive home, but didn't want to spend much money, so I picked up the cheapest thing they had: Ashton Benchmade. (Tinder Box was having an "Ashton event" with free with hors d'oeuvres).

Benchmade is a sandwich cigar blended by Don Pepin. I paid $3 for mine; they are available online for around $50-65 for a box of 25.

The first thing I noticed about this cigar was the pigtail cap. The wrapper was extremely dark and toothy but also splotchy with a lot of veins. The head of the cigar was a little soft, not uncommon with sandwich cigars. Despite the lack of long filler tobacco, it burned with no problems at all. The draw was loose without being hot. It even stayed lit when I sat it down for 10 minutes to go into another store.

The taste was vintage Pepin. Very spicy and peppery at the beginning and the end. In the middle, the strength abated and was supplemented by notes of leather. Not complex, but good nonetheless. Tasted very similar to every other Pepin cigar I've had.

The biggest drawback of Benchmade, however, was the little flakes of tobacco that kept falling into my mouth. I remembered why I don't like sandwich cigars to begin with.

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