Ashton VSG Belicoso No. 1
Wrapper: Ecuador Sun Grown
Filler: Dominican Republic
Size: Belicoso (5.25×52)
Ashton VSG Belicoso is one of my all time favorite cigars. I was looking for a good way to introduce the VSG to you, the readers, but could do no better than the Ashton website it self. And after reading about who is involved in creating this amazing stick – you too will realize that the Ashton VSG is something special:
“For those who desire a powerful and intoxicating flavor with a complex rich finish, look no further than the Ashton VSG. The VSG is blended exclusively for Ashton by Carlos Fuente Jr. using 4 to 5 year old aged Dominican tobacco taken from the finest and most fertile plants. The distinct flavor of VSG comes from its wrapper grown on a private estate in Ecuador owned by the Oliva family where this proprietary wrapper leaf is grown for the Fuente Family exclusively for Ashton VSG.”
Construction: Dark, spicy, and perhaps rugged are just three words I would use to describe the look of the Ashton VSG wrapper. The Ecuadoran Sun Grown wrapper has an oily sheen that not only looks amazing, but makes this cigar such a great build. Little veins run through the firm stick but do not effect the cigar in a negative way. Smoking down to the nub will not be an issue with this perfectly rolled stick.
Draw: Belicoso shapes do not leave many options for obtaining your draw: Cut or V Cut. Choose your preferred method of cutting and enjoy because the draw is perfect. In reality this is the kind of draw I wish every cigar had.
Burn: How picky do you want me to be about the burn? Had this cigar been in the 5 dollar range – I would say it was perfect. Except this cigar sits in the $10-$12 range (depending on markup, taxes, etc) so I have to say… the burn is good. While it does get a little off track the stick did a great job of correcting itself.
Taste: Let’s start by giving the Virgin Sun Grown cigar the “nose” test. Doing so will give you an indication of the spice you will soon encounter, the sweetness, and what I would call a light mocha smell.
The 1/3 of the cigar punches you with an amazing amount of spice – it is a medium-full bodied smoke from the start. Once you overcome the spice you get an amazing nutty flavor with a hint of coffee – or perhaps a light chocolate(?). The smoke is full and flavorful giving you a nice creamy finish and a firm white ash.
At the 2/3 point (midway of the cigar) the spice of the Ashton seems to die a bit and take backseat to a sweeter taste. This “sweet” taste only introduces what’s to come: leather, woodsy, and cedar like notes. The body is now in the full spectrum and the smoke is just as creamy. The ash is still white and firm but burned a little uneven.
Grand Finale: The VSG is still in the full range and the leather flavor is what dominates the smoke. The leather taste is supported by the spice (this spice never fades) and something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps it is a sweeter cedar – but it compliments it very nicely making the Ashton VSG easy to smoke to the nub. Again the smoke is creamy and the ash is firm and white. I would like to note the uneven burn corrected it self.
Verdict Is: This is a cigar you should have in your normal rotation and can easily be found in many retail tobacco establishments. I also found that the VSG is even more amazing when aged. So while this is a bit expensive to some (or anyone who smokes everyday) it is okay to buy some and save the VSG for that perfect day.
At this current time the only other cigar I can recomend (as in same spciy taste, full body smoke, and quality) is the Opus X.
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