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Written by HeavyMetal

Thursday, 15 June 2006

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2004 vsg corona gordacorona
ratings and scores

2004 Ashton VSG Corona Gorda

5.75 x 46

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Storage: 63 – 65 RH at 63 – 68 F.

Construction: Nice oily mottled colorado wrapper with two medium veins. Very solid and even roll.

Prelight: Leather, earth, cedar, and rich tobacco aroma. Sweet wood, cedar and leather flavors. Medium draw.

Burn: Lit evenly, very sharp burn throughout. Off-white/light gray ash.

Drink: Starbucks Frappuccino.

Smoking Notes: Initial impression is a very sweet-woody and rich tobacco with a bit of cedar. The smoke is very oily, very thick and VERY smooth. Around the ¼ point, the cigar warms up and the classic strong leather notes of the Corona Gorda begin to emerge. The finish is marked by very creamy and sweet-woody notes. By the 1/3 mark, the CG has really hit its stride with superb leather, cedar, light earth, and some dark coffee notes around a very sweet-woody and rich tobacco core. There is just a hint of black pepper spice on the creamy-sweet finish. Down to the nub, the cigar deepens a bit, but always maintains the core flavors.

Overall Impression: A solid A+ and a great 1 hour smoke. The Corona Gorda is my fav out of a superb line up due to its very leathery flavor. This smoke tastes like a well-cured baseball mit! VSGs come in two distinct colors – a lighter mottled colorado (reddish) and the darker mottled maduro. The maddie color smokes tend to be far more spicy and the colorado’s more leathery. I discussed this a few years ago with John Oliva, Jr., who grows the wrapper. John noted the two wrapper colors but was at a loss to explain how they occur. It seems that both colors come off the same plant with the same fermentation! He also noted that preferences are about evenly split, with 50% preferring the more leathery profile of the Colorado and 50% preferring the peppery maduro. Either way, the VSG is a classic smoke and one of the best on the planet. And, if you really love VSGs, the aging effect should not be overlooked. In 99 Ashton released the now famous and highly sought “VSG Round”. Aside from the round vs. normal box press, most VSG smokers had no idea what they were, but remarked on their extremely smooth and sweet flavors. Turns out that these were regular blend VSGs produced in 97 but not released until 2 years later. While the “Rounds” are almost all gone and today would set you back about 20 bucks, you can make your own by putting a few in the humi for a couple years. The effect is the same – allowing for yearly variation, of course.




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