Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ashton - Estate Sun Grown (ESG)

AshtonEstate Sun Grown (ESG) - I'm not a big fan of Ashton's regular cigars - but I absolutely love their special efforts.  The VSG series, The San Cristobals are favorites of mine.  So its been a long time coming that I get a hold of an ESG to smoke.  I've been intrigued by the series, and being a VSG lover, the ESG is a smoke I've been dying to get my hands on.  I've heard good things and thanks to my friends at CigarsDirect I'm finally getting that opportunity.
This particular cigar is named the "22-Year-Salute".  It is a Torpedo vitola and weighs in at 6" by a 52 ring; it could almost pass for a Belicoso. The label itself is awesome; covered in ornate design and a little gold foil to give it a top of the line appearance. 
Blended by Carlos Fuente Jr. on Ashton's behalf, this series is a limited edition line, featuring a new vitola each year until they reach the 25th Anniversary of Ashton's business.  The original ESG is a Churchill vitola, and came out on the 20th Anniversary of Ashton's business - that cigar is named the "20-Year-Salute".   See the pattern?.....
Prelight- This cigar is an absolute masterpiece.  The flawless milk chocoloate wrapper is nearly seamless and is grown on Fuente's legendary Chateau de la Fuente farm.  Ashton's website states that this wrapper leaf has never been used on any other cigar, and is unique to this product.  Needless to say, Ashton is probably paying Fuente a pretty penny to produce these limited and artisan wrappers. 
The cigar has a mild-sweet aroma to it and the foot smells fresh and earthy.  Knowing  Fuente's Opus X is grown using Chateau del la Fuente tobacco, I'm interested and salivating....LETS BURN ONE

Sparking it - The cigar lights with ease and the draw has a welcomed bit of resistance.  Thick clouds of smoke pour with each early puff and the early flavor profile seems to be a little milder than expected for a sun grown.  While a bit mild, its full of flavor.
I sit back a few minutes to watch "WifeSwap" and enjoy my cigar - I'm not even a third way into the cigar and that mild profile has stepped it up to a medium bodied smoke.  I taste vanilla, cream, coffee and something-like cinnaomon floating around in there.
The ash burns to a near-white grey, maintaining the same form as the tobacco that preceded it.  I like this cigar....tasty and smooth.  I should've have mentioned earlier the smooth factor.  The smoke has a velvety feel and the is smooth on the palette.  A real prominent feature on this cigar.

Smoking it - The Estate Sun Grown (ESG) is definitely a great cigar.  I love a Torpedo vitola, so the 22-Year-Salute  is a treat for me.  Throughout the smoke, the cigar burnt with a razor's edge; no runs - no touches - no bother - great experience.
In contrast to the VSG - the ESG packs a little less punch, but does not lack on the flavor.  Coming into this smoke, I thought there would be some similar tastes, but the ESG is a cigar all on its own.  The cigar is not as full as the VSG, but the sun-grown wrapper provides a little extra spice to the sweet blend.
The flavor profile is complex and has a lot of nuance and subtly. 
I recommend this cigar as a celebratory treat for any aficianado out there.  These smokes are not cheap, but sometimes we all deserve a top-of-the-line cigar.  So next time you get some good news and feel you are due for a treat, reach for an ESG.

Overall - A

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