Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown
Filler: Dominican
Size: Double Corona 7.0″x49 ring

Today I am smoking a top-shelf, hard to find cigar. This review is brought to us courtesy of CigarsDirect.com. This is the inaugural CigarsDirect review, so we are kicking this thing off right.

Ashton Cigars was created in 1985 by Robert Levin. Levin teamed up with the Fuentes taking advantage of their manufacturing experience to help him create his cigars. Ashton’s popularity was originally built on its mild, yet flavorful Connecticut Shade wrapped cigars. The popularity of the Ashton brand would explode with the introduction of a powerful full bodied cigar, the Virgin Sun Grown (VSG). In November of 1999 Ashton Cigars unveiled the VSG, the most powerful and full bodied cigar in the Ashton catalog. The VSG sports an Ecuadorian sungrown wrapper. Apparently the VSG, before it was called VSG, was going to have a Chateau de la Fuente wrapper of Opus X fame(Keepers of the Flame, Oct. 1, 2006). But the rarity of the wrapper and the popularity of the Opus killed that plan. That’s how The VSG ended up with the Ecuadorian sungrown wrapper. A few of the VSG vitolas have pretty standard names like Belicoso and Robusto, but others have been given more mystical names like Tres Mystique, Spellbound, and Sorcerer. Not sure why that is and unfortunately I was unable to find any info on it.

The VSG Sorcerer is a 7.0″x 49 ring Double Corona. It is wrapper in a beautiful sungrown wrapper with tiny veins throughout, sporting an expertly applied cap and a rich tobacco aroma. The cap clipped nicely with my Palio and the foot took a light perfectly. This cigar packs all the power it is hyped to have but even with that power it is surprisingly smooth. The flavors are full bodied yet refined. I’ve heard the VSG referred to as “The Velvet Hammer” and the name fits. It starts off very rich and smooth with a slightly sweet spice. A fellow BOTL once referred to this flavor as a “sungrown twang”. The burn is razor sharp and the ash is well formed but is a little loose and doesn’t hold more than an inch or so. It has a long almost sage like finish that is quite unique and it produces plenty of thick, creamy, off-white smoke. As the smoke progresses the twang lessened and it developed strong notes of earth and leather with an almost floral undertone. I am very impressed with the smooth, refined nature of the flavors given how full and and powerful the cigar is. It packs quite a punch without any harshness or muted flavors you sometime get with strong powerful cigars. In the last third the VSG really picks up with lots of spice and leather with spice on the finish. I smoked it to the nub.

A double corona is a long smoke that needs to be above par to be enjoyable otherwise you inevitably get bored with it before you finish it. No chance of boredom here. The VSG Sorcerer is a robust, complex smoke that holds your attention for the entire hour plus it takes to smoke it. It is definitely not a cigar for beginners as the length and power may be too much for someone not used to smoking full bodied cigars. For an experienced cigar smoker it is a real treat and is so good you will want to smoke one more often than just on the special occasions despite it’s price tag. You can get the VSG Sorcerer and other VSG’s at CigarsDirect.

Link: Ashton VSG @ CigarsDirect.com.

Rating – A

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