Ashton Aged Maduro May 14th, 2007 Steve R 90 Share: Wow. It’s literally been over a month since I posted a staff review. Don’t get me wrong...I’ve been burning my way through boxes of cigars during this time, but the craziness that is CigarFest kept me from actually sitting down and writing a review. Hosting 2,000 cigar lunatics and 26 of the world’s finest cigar makers for the best damn Herf on the planet can be very time consuming! It’s insanely hot in the office today. We decided to keep the windows open rather than turn on the air conditioning. Why? I have no idea…the heat is making me extremely sleepy and cranky. Fortunately, I’ve re-discovered a tasty old friend, the Ashton Aged Maduro. Since day 1, I’ve always been fond of Ashton Aged Maduro. But, several years ago, this cigar became very difficult to find due to the tobaccos and time required to make it. This has since changed, and although the cigar is a steady seller, it’s now in stock more than on backorder, so life is good. Many new cigar enthusiasts fall victim to the old myth, “the darker the wrapper, the stronger the cigar.” I hate this myth, because it scares plenty of people away from trying a cigar just because it’s a little darker, or dressed in an oily maduro leaf. The Ashton Aged Maduro is a great way to diffuse this myth. For one, it has big-brand recognition. Ashton is a sales juggernaut among new enthusiasts, and has a high level of quality and consistency to demand respect. Secondly, the Aged Maduro may be dark as night, but it’s gentle on the palate and offers a pleasant, mellow flavor. The cigar is well built and firm from head to toe. The classic combination of aged Dominican long-fillers presents a smooth, creamy flavor with toasted hints of wood, while the dark Connecticut maduro wrapper lends a rich, chocolatey element with a spicy sweetness on the finish. Some unique flavors come and go during the burn, including a touch of leather and a slight earthiness. For a smooth(er) cigar, there’s a variety of flavors at play, making the Aged Maduro something that can be enjoyed by most palates. The burn is suprisingly even, considering how oily and thick the wrapper leaf is, and the ash is white and strong. All things considered – quality, flavor, consistency, performance – this is a very good cigar that pairs perfectly with an espresso or mature single malt. The Ashton Aged Maduro ain’t cheap, and you may not be sparking one up every day, but I am confident you’ll want to treat yourself every now and then after giving it a try.