Friday, December 5, 2008

Cigar Review - Ashton ESG Robusto

by club co-founder John

Another in our ongoing series of reviews of cigars given to us by the fine folks at Cigars Direct. Featured this time is the Ashton ESG (Estate Sun Grown) Robusto given to us in November 2008.

Vitola: Robusto
Origin: Dominican Republic
Length: 5.25
Ring Gauge: 52
Filler: Dom. Rep.
Binder: Dom. Rep.
Wrapper: Sun Grown Rosado from D.R.
Strength: Med.-Full
Price: $25.00

Produced by Tabacalera A.Fuente y Cia, it features a rich looking rosado wrapper and a nicely constructed robusto shape. Following Cigar Aficionado's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) I sat down to rate this cigar while enjoying a glass of Syrah Port and a cup of fresh coffee with my good friend Fernand on his back porch.

This cigar’s appearance got my attention right off the bat. It appeared well constructed, with a nice wrapper and a well-executed cap. I took off 2 points for minor blemishes and slight mottling of the wrapper near the foot.

It seemed firm throughout, in fact, I was a little worried that the draw would be too tight, but my concerns were soon allayed. I was very pleased with the roll (In general, I do prefer my cigars slightly tighter than some.)

The burn was also right on, with an easy light, a consistent burn throughout its length, producing plenty of smoke, and leaving a nice long and stable light grey ash.

The flavor was of a rich and creamy throughout. It started out a little sweet, wafting prune and molasses in the first third. Towards the second third, it eased into some leather and oak flavors, still very smooth, and finally ended by adding a little hint of pepper, but never too spicy or hot. In fact, the whole cigar was delicious, with subtle changes in flavor, and never overpowering. I’d say it was medium to full strength. The smoke itself was rich, plentiful, and silky, even towards the end. The flavors were complimented very nicely with the coffee and port.

This was one smooth and fine-flavored cigar. It was the kind of smoke that left me satisfied and without any lingering “taste bud hangover” half an hour later. My wife didn’t even voice the usual post cigar complaint when I climbed into bed…now if that’s not a good endorsement, I don’t know what is!

My rating for the Ashton ESG Robusto is 95.
Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 13 pts (87% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 24 pts (96% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 24 pts (96% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 34 pts (97% of the points possible)

(click on images to enlarge)

© 2008 The Cohiba Club – All rights reserved.


jbarrettz said...

I'm smoking an ESG 20 year salute churchill right now. You nailed the flavor, and I have to agree it's a fantastic cigar. It's amazing how much smoke it's making. Normally I'd say $20 is too much for any cigar to live up to, but it seems the ESG is the exception to the rule. Hopefully I can get my hands on some more of these without burning a whole in my wallet. Great review! I decided to try it out based on your review, and I'm definitely glad I did. Keep up the good reviews!

TCC said...

Thanks 'j' for the kind words. We couldn't agree more. The ESG is one of those 'special-occasion' cigars that should be on everyone's high-end list.