The Cigar Right of America offerd a 10 pack of cigars to it’s members for a rediculous price and I jumped on it. According to the CRA website, “Ashton Distributors will offer CRA members a memorable experience using 4-5 year old Dominican tobacco and an Ecuadorian wrapper. Ashton Distributors Vice President Sathya Levin stated, “Ashton is pleased to provide this one-time only presentation of the VSG. For the many fans of the VSG, this should be a great experience.” On a side note, other then the size I think there is nothing different between this and the regular VSG line.
Cigar: Ashton VSG CRA Edition
Size: 6.5 x 52 (Toro)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Appearance and Construction (19/20): The CRA Edition of the AShton VSG feature a rustic looking wrapper on this box pressed stick. The cigar has a few minor veins and a gorgeous roll right down to the triple cap. The cigar has no soft sports from cap to foot and looks like it will be a great smoke. The cigar features the standard Ashton VSG Label and a secondary CRA label underneath. The VSG is a strange cigar, the wrapper is grown on a plantation owned by Oliva for the Fuente Family who in turn makes these cigars for Ashton.
Flavor & Notes (27/30): The prelight ritual for this smoke reveals some pepper on the lips, but the draw offers a nice sweet tobacco flavor. As the first third smokes there are some wonderful sweet mocha notes, a slight pepper and something else that eludes me at this point in time. The second third of the smoke has a sweet mocha that is well defined with some pepper notes that remain. The note that eluded me is a roasted nut, or a charred wood. I can’t really choose which it is, but it adds a nice complexity to the stick. The final third of the cigar the roasted note idenitify themselves as nuts and the cigar takes on some leather notes as well.
Burn/Ash/Draw (23/25): The cigar started out with a really horrific burn, but I decided to ride it out and sure it enough in true VSG fashion the cigar evened out and burned like a dream. The cigar did get kind of soft on me, but the ash was mostly white with some marble effects throughout. It held on rather strong and I only had to ash 3 times for the duration of the smoke. The draw started off rather tight but it become ideal about 1/4 into the smoke.
Overall (23/25): When I first started to smoke cigars I despised the VSG. I never found them enjoyable and I always chose to give away those that were gifted to me. In time though the VSG grew on me and became one of my top sticks. Despite this being a part of the CRA sampler, it smoked and tasted like a VSG and that was a very good thing.
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