Tonight I smoked my first Ashton VSG ER. This is an Ashton VSG (virgin sun grown) Belicoso that has an aged Opus X wrapper on it, the first time the Chateau de Fuente Rosado Opus X wrappers have been used on any cigar other than Fuente's flagship Opus X cigar. Given that my experience with Ashton VSG cigars has been rather mixed (had one great cigar, two bitter pills with draw issues), I was a bit approaching this cigar with guarded optimism.
The deal goes that this cigar was issued only with a limited edition Prometheus humidor: 200 humidors were produced, and each humidor came with 100 cigars. So that's a total of 20,000 of these cigars that were ever produced, rolled together in 2000 for the special 2001 Prometheus/Ashton humidor. Another lame "special" cigar, or something truly worth the price of admission? I was about to find out.
I rushed off to my local smoke shop to spark up one of these red-headed babies; they were playing poker while I sat back to enjoy the cigar. It looks beautiful: a nice deep reddish brown rosado wrapper that seems slightly out of place compared to the velvety VSG wrapper you're used to seeing on Ashtons. Given that wrappers are said to have a large influence on the taste of a cigar, I was curious to see how the Opus X wrapper affected the taste of the normal VSG blend.
I certainly was not disappointed. This one was amazing cigar. It wasn't as spicy as you might expect of an Opus X cigar, but it had an absolutely stunning array of medium-bodied tastes that I found more than compelling. The draw is slightly sweet, followed by a wave of spice, and an aftertaste of oak/toasted nuts that was absolutely exquisite.
If you puffed it slowly, the taste was sweet and satisfying; start really drawing on the cigar, and it builds up to a wonderful spice that never becomes harsh. The aftertaste was milky-sweet, leaving your mouth tingling in pleasure. Wow.
This cigar tastes neither like an Opus X, nor like an Ashton VSG, but rather takes flavor profiles from both to create something entire new, and utterly enjoyable. The ash was almost pure white, and although it wasn't the most solid ash I've ever seen, it burned straight and true, without needing a touch-up or re-light.
The only problem here was that I was rushed in finishing this wonderful smokes; I had to be somewhere, so I smoked this thing down quicker than I would have liked. It had a wonderful array of flavors that I could see sitting back and enjoying for hours on end.
I drove home wishing I could have smoked it longer, and in a more relaxed manner, and reflected on the wonderful musty/nutty taste left in my mouth. No nasty "I sucked on an ashtray" flavor here, only a hint of the wonderful experience I had. Can't wait to have another. Amazing smoke.