In 2005, the cigar industry’s annual convention and trade show took place in New Orleans, LA. Little did we know that within a couple weeks, Hurricane Katrina would destroy the very streets we were walking on. In fact, the convention center that hosted us served as a relief center. At that show, Ashton premiered a new concept for themselves as well as the industry as a whole; their Ashton Estate Sun Grown (ESG) celebrating their 20th year in business.
This launch was important for a few reasons. First, the blend was incredible. It combined aged Dominican tobaccos with a gorgeous Dominican-grown wrapper from Chateau de la Fuente, the magical finca in Bonao, Dominican Republic that grows the precious tobaccos for the Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars.
The gorgeous band is colorful and vibrant, the gold leaf shimmering and contrasting the cigar’s rich chocolate brown wrapper tobacco. But more interesting is how the cigars would be released. The first, was a Churchill format to commemorate their 20th year in business. Each year since, a new format has joined the ESG collection (debuting at the annual trade show) a robusto followed by a torpedo and then a toro. This year will finally welcome the fifth and final size to the collection. The Ashton Estate Sun Grown will continue to be available as an entire line in premium tobacconists but in very limited quantities.
The Ashton Estate Sun Grown cigars begin with a relatively medium body and some light spiciness initially. Once they heat up, a darker earthier core of flavors like burnt toast, grilled meat and peppercorns begin to show. The finish has some woodiness and a touch of sweetness that lingers without being overwhelming.
These cigars really are special smokes, and deserve time and attention. The cigars are sold in boxes of 25 and range in price depending on size from about $495-$575 per box.