Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Belicoso No. 1

Celebrated worldwide for their infinite commitment to quality, consistency and excellence, Ashton Cigars utilize only the finest aged tobaccos.

Launched in 1999, the Ashton Virgin Sun Grown (VSG) was the super-premium cigar in the Ashton Cigars lineup. The Ashton brand got its start in 1985 by Philadelphia-based Holt’s Cigar Company store owner Robert Levin, who worked with the Arturo Fuente company to create a brand that would be among the top brands in the country.

The Ashton line is known for its mild, flavorful and well-made cigars, but the Ashton VSG is a fuller-bodied offering. It has a dark Sumatra seed wrapper, which is called Virgin Sun Grown because it was the first time the farm in Ecuador grew this particular seed varietal. It was rumored that this was the same blend as the Fuente Fuente Opus X with the VSG wrapper instead of the Dominican wrapper, but to my knowledge this is simply hearsay. The Dominican filler tobaccos are aged four to five years, and the cigar smokes like a cigar of its caliber should—an even burn with a perfect draw.

The Ashton VSG line comes in 12 sizes, from the Trés Mystique Petit Corona to the Spellbound Double Corona; some have mystical names, and some have traditional names based on the size.

The Ashton VSG Belicoso No. 1 has a tapered head, allowing one to decide how much to cut off to get the optimal draw. The shape funnels the smoke into the mouth, giving a little different smoking experience than a straight-sided, or parejo, cigar. That is, unless you cut too much off, then you just have a robusto. The Belicoso No. 1 is also box pressed, so it has a square shape as opposed to being cylindrical.

The cigar has rich flavors of espresso and cocoa, with some spice as well. It’s not what you’d expect when it comes to Dominican cigars, or Ashton cigars for that matter. I think it competes well with its cousin the Opus X.

Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Belicoso No. 1

Wrapper: Ecuador Sumatra Sun Grown

Binder: Dominican Republic

Filler: Dominican Republic

Origin: Dominican Republic

Size: 5.25″ x 52

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