Since I’ve been leaning towards the lighter side of cigars lately, I figured I’d treat myself to one I’ve never had. Indeed, finding one was a task in of itself, almost as difficult as forking out the dough to try the chosen cigar, Ashton Vintage, otherwise known as the Cabinet Series, or Cabinet Selection. Whatever you want to call it, Ashton is a consistent cigar that receives a lot of praise, so I thought it would be nice to sit back with the upgraded vintage version.
I chose the #1, a humungous 9”x52 figurado. This thing is huge, and the Connecticut shade wrapper is a work of art – smooth and shiny with no veins. The construction seems top notch - it’s thoroughly filled with 6 different Dominican tobaccos, leaving no room for a soft spot. After cutting the well-applied cap I light up and am on my way. The draw is tight off the start, making it a struggle to produce any smoke and pull in any flavor. My co-workers probably think I left for the day, since they’re used to seeing clouds billowing from my desk at any given moment. After a few minutes the draw opens up a little, easing my mind, and coating my palate with a light creaminess. For such a large cigar, the flavor is subtle and smooth, while leaving the slightest aftertaste on the tip of my tongue. Now that the draw has opened up a bit, I settle in for the ride feeling better about today’s pricey purchase. After about 15 minutes I begin to realize that although the ride is free of bumps and potholes, I’ve yet to encounter any fun curves and hills. Instead, it’s a 45mph, cruise control drive on a long, straight road. The flavor is nice, but flat. One wouldn’t expect this from a cigar that employs 6 different tobaccos under this pretty wrapper. But, I give it the benefit of the doubt, keep my foot on the gas and continue on with tonight’s ‘gar de jour. There isn’t much more to report on this cigar. Other than a tight draw, it’s mild, creamy and smooth, but rather one dimensional. If I were a golfer, I might bring one to the course with me, since it’s light enough to accompany a case out in the sun. But I’m not, so instead I’ll hand these off to my friends that don’t smoke too often - they’ll probably appreciate them more. After nearly 2 hours on the road with the Ashton Vintage, I’ve decided that I can do better for the price. Actually, I know I can.