Review: Ashton Cabinet VSG (Aged)

Ashton_Cabinet_VSG_7Today, I will be reviewing an old Ashton Cabinet VSG (Virgin Sun Grown).  As you may notice in the photo to the left, the label says “cabinet” on it.  The word “cabinet” was used on the label until 2006 and it was removed in order to avoid any confusion with the other Ashton Cabinet series.  That makes this cigar at least 7 years old. Granted, this cigar will be different from one right off the shelf, so I will be reviewing an off the shelf cigar later and comparing.  Also, keep in mind that this is only one cigar that I am trying for this review.  Cigars can vary per year, and especially if they are aged, they must have been aged under the right conditions.  My state of mind can also affect how much I enjoy this cigar as well.  On this particular day, I’m feeling quite alright. 🙂
Now for the review:

Beverage: coffee, then water
Cleansed my palate with chocolate beforehand.
Cigars smoked for this review: 1

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 7 x 49 (Sorcerer)

Firstly, I inspect the cigar.  It has a smooth and velvety wrapper that feels and looks great.  I light it up, and right away, I can sense its smoothness.

First ¼:
It’s extremely smooth with strong flavors of chocolate and coffee and sweetness.  There is an extremely light spice that makes my tongue tingle ever so slightly on the finish. I sense a bit of fuente’s signature flavor on the finish as well.  If you haven’t smoked many Fuente, you might not know what I mean here.  But the reason for this, is that Fuente makes this cigar for Ashton with their tobacco.
There is a perfect draw.  Not too tight, not too loose. It’s producing a good amount of smoke, but not a ton.

Ashton_Cabinet_VSG_2

½ point:
Very even burn so far. Flavors are still consistent with the fist ¼ although I’m getting more spice and pepper now.
Extremely smooth still with some cedar notes sensed. The aroma is pleasant but very subtle with hints of cedar.
Strength feels medium at the moment.
Now I’m getting some leathery notes and a slight woodiness.

Ashton_Cabinet_VSG_3

It’s a very balanced and enjoyable smoke, not too bitter, not too sweet, and not salty. With the age, it is very smooth without any rough edges.
Had to even out the burn with my lighter as it started to canoe a bit. No problem though.

Ashton_Cabinet_VSG_8

Last ¼:
The aroma is more intense and rich. Extremely pleasant!
The burn is even now and has not gone out even though I’m smoking this pretty slowly and taking my time with it.
More strength and pepper at this point.
Getting tons of smoke!
Burning slightly faster on one side towards the end and needed to even it out.

Ashton_Cabinet_VSG_9This was overall, an extremely pleasant smoke. Very consistent (probably because of the age), very smooth, rich, and wonderful aroma. It was not overly bold, but more mellowed out. Once again, probably due to the age of the cigar.  Keep an eye out for a review of an of-the-shelf Ashton VSG.  Then we can compare the notes between the two wich should be interesting. I imagine the of-the-shelf VSG will have more spice and pepper, but we shall see.

-Ben