Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 23 September 2013

User Rating: / 2

601601 red label habano robusto
ashtonashton esg 22 year salute

Today’s reviews are all about full-bodied cigars.  We’ll start things off on the pricy side with the limited and highly regarded Ashton ESG 22 Year Salute, and we’ll finish up with the more affordable 601 Red Label Habano.

Ashton ESG 22 Year Salute

Ashton is a brand that is no stranger to putting out high quality cigars, and I think it’s safe to say that the ESG 22 Year Salute falls under that umbrella.  Well, that’s at least if you read the general consensus of reviews out there.  ESG stands for Estate Sun Grown, and that refers to the fact that the wrapper is grown at Chateau de la Fuente in the Dominican Republic.  Carlos Fuente Jr. is the man behind the blend, which was created, by the way, to commemorate over 20 successful years for Ashton in the cigar industry.  Since the ESG is made of rare tobacco, it is a limited edition cigar.  With that distinction also comes a pretty hefty price tag.  Is it worth its cost?  I guess it’s time to find out….

The Ashton ESG 22 Year Salute measures 6 x 52. Ashton offers the line in several other sizes, including the 6.75 x 49 20 Year Salute, 5.25 x 52 21 Year Salute, 6.25 x 52 23 Year Salute, and the 6.625 x 47 24 Year Salute. As you can tell by looking at the names, each refers to a different “year salute.”  That’s because Ashton has been releasing one per year to celebrate the company’s longevity.  As for its composition, the ESG is all about Dominican tobacco that is highlighted by that special wrapper I mentioned in the intro.  It’s also worth noting that the wrapper has never been used on any other Ashton line before.  In terms of strength, the ESG 22 Year Salute is listed as falling into the full-bodied category.

The first thing I notice when looking at the Ashton ESG 22 Year Salute is its pleasing box-pressed Torpedo shape. A nice band sits near the head that displays the Ashton name among a plethora of colors and ornate graphics. Estate Sun Grown is also stamped on the band to let you know which version you are smoking. The cigar itself has a rather smooth appearance and a medium-brown wrapper with a bit of oil. The cigar feels firm to the touch and has zero soft spots. Overall, the construction appears to be solid, just as I would expect. Before lighting, there’s a tobacco aroma and a spicy cold taste.

Once lit, the ESG 22 Year Salute burns without any issues. The draw is just right. Actually, scratch that.  It’s damn near perfect.  There’s plenty of thick aromatic smoke and the cigar burns slowly. The burn stays even from beginning to end without the need for touchups. There are also no re-lights that are necessary. The ash is solid and is gray in color.  We are good to go in this department.

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