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Cigar BrandAshton
Cigar NameVSG
Factory:
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Sun Grown Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Vitola: “Très Mystique” aka Corona
Length4 3/8″
Ring Gauge44
CostUnknown, received in trade ($9.50 on Famous however)
Where purchasedUnknown, received in trade
Strength: Full
Smoked2014-04-29
WhereIn car, driving between old house and new.
WhenTuesday night, starting around 7pm.
OccasionNone.
Meal: None.
Where: N/A
Drink PairingFirst half was water, second half an Arby’s chocolate shake.
LinkHere’s a link to the Ashton VSG Tres Mystique on Famous Smoke
Review

Presmoke thoughts:

I’ve held off smoking these because I’m not a full strength kind of guy normally. I’ve never been a cigarette smoker so I don’t have the nicotine tolerance. However, it’s the smoke of the day on the cigars subreddit so I’m giving it a whirl. I’m currently in the middle of moving, it’s pouring rain, and I’m attempting to enjoy this to relax on the drive between the new place and old place before I pick up another car-load of stuff.

Construction:

Very minor veins, some shiny spots, and a couple water spots. It’s far from the ugliest cigar I’ve seen, but it’s not perfect.

Prelight:

The nose is kind of a cedar-sweet smell. I can’t put a description on exactly what it is, but that’s what comes to mind then I try. The Prelight draw is great with just enough resistance to the draw after using my Xikar double-blade guillotine. The draw has a hint of sweetness like the nose, but more subtle.

First Third:

The draw tightens up slightly immediately after lighting. I’m definitely getting some pepper on the retrohale. Earthy notes on the taste. A little sweet spice mixed into that earth too.

The retro quickly moves into a dark plum-like sweetness. Very creamy mouthfeel. I get notes that make me feel like I’m smoking this around a lot of sawdust, which I’m certainly not. It’s not a strong taste, but like a subtle woodsy taste.

Other than the little spice I’m getting mixed in that retro periodically, I’m loving this cigar so far.

I’m nearing the end of the first third and I can definitely already feel this is going to be true to its full strength description. I’m picking up notes of espresso at this point.

Ashton VSG First Third

Knocking off that ash at the end of the first third took some work as the ash was really solid, but once I did I found some tunneling starting. Fixing that up and into the second third…

Second Third:

Definite chocolate taste now. That may or may not be because I needed something sweet to keep the strength in check and picked up a chocolate shake. I’ve only taken a small sip of that so I’m not sure how much influence it could be having at this point.

The nose is simply delightful. Sweet, coffee, woodsy smells coming from it and any hint of spice is gone from the retro. The mouthfeel is staying consistently sweet and creamy.

The draw is getting progressively tighter but it’s not problematic, only noticeable.

PalateJack_AshtonVSGCorona_002

The burn continues to be super sharp, other than the brief tunnel earlier. No wavy burns, nothing is getting lopsided, and that’s just good construction as I haven’t been paying much attention to rotation while driving.

PalateJack_AshtonVSGCorona_003

The ash is hanging on for an entire third at a time without problem.

Final Third:

This thing is starting to burn hot moving into the final third, but bitterness is nowhere in sight at the beginning of the third. I’m getting sweet berry notes on the nose now though, which is great. Still a creamy mouthfeel with a chocolate coffee taste.

PalateJack_AshtonVSGCorona_004

This thing is finally getting too hot for comfort and, as much as I’d rather smoke this all night, I have to get back to moving. I’m letting this one go as the last pull starts to get bitter.

Burn:

A minor issue with tunneling early on that caused it to burn slightly off through the rest of the smoke, but otherwise perfect.

Final Thoughts:

This review was written while my car was stopped, and not while my car was in motion. I felt that was important to make clear!

Surprisingly, this cigar was definitely not as strong as I thought it was going to be as well as how it felt in the first third. The strength tapered down in the second and third which resulted in this being extremely enjoyable. For me this cigar reminded me of the Padron 1964 I smoked a couple weeks ago and, while not as good, the VSG is half the price of the Padron. I would happily smoke these again and will at the least pick up a 5-pack and will be keeping an eye out for deals on larger quantities. Very enjoyable, and not nearly as threatening to low nicotine tolerances as I was made to believe by one of my local B&Ms.

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