Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broad Leaf
Origin: Dominican Republic
Price Per Box: $191.50
According to the Ashton website, the Aged Maduro is a limited production cigar due the leaf which covers it. This cigar features a Connecticut grown, Connecticut broad leaf Maduro wrapper as well as binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic. The dark color of the wrapper comes from Ashton’s proper fermenting and never rushed, all natural aging process.
The Aged Maduro is available in eight sizes which include a #10 (50 x 5.00), #15 (44 x 4.375), #20 (44 x 5.50), #30 (44 x 6.75), #40 (50 x 6.00), #50 (48 x 7.00), #60 (52 x 7.50), and a Pyramid (52 x 6.00). All sizes are packaged in elegant varnished boxes of twenty five.
Once removed from its cellophane sleeve, the first thing I noticed about my Ashton Aged Maduro was the inconsistent splotchy color of the wrapper leaf. Color varied from a rich oily brown to a deep tan color. The texture was a bit rough due to a few small protruding veins and the natural tooth of the leaf.
The three turns of the wrapper leaf were easily noticed and added to the rough appearance of the wrapper. When given a light pinch I found the cigar to be firm and consistently packed from head to foot. The aroma on both the wrapper and at the foot were rich and enjoyable. Once clipped I found the draw to be good with just a little resistance to keep me from over puffing.
After a quick and easy toast and light session I had my Aged Maduro evenly lit and producing a decent amount of smoke. Initially the smoke felt airy and light on the palate while the flavors were extremely mild. After a few puffs the smoke seemed to thicken up a bit.
The body kicks off in the medium range with just a bit of a bite. After expelling each puff I am left with a soft creamy texture on the walls of the mouth and tongue. In the flavor department I find the naturally sweet Maduro wrapper leaf taking the focus while an aftertaste of nuts linger in the background.
The ash produced by this cigar was medium grey in color and tightly compacted with no signs of flaking. The burn line was thin but varied a bit around the foot of the cigar. The resting smoke was light and mildly aromatic while the smoke time seemed a bit fast for my liking. The draw produced a decent amount of smoke with each puff, however it still felt a little on the airy side.
After about forty five minutes had passed I found myself into the second third of my Ashton Aged Maduro. The body was slowly creeping up the scale but never exceeded the medium range. The finish remained creamy and left an enjoyable texture on the walls of the mouth.
The flavors changed over to a one dimensional Maduro flavor at one point which muted all other flavors. After about a half dozen puffs the flavor shifted back down and allowed some of the more subtle flavors to come forward. While this was going on the Connecticut broad leaf Maduro flavors were developing more character and richness with a lot less strength behind it. The subtle flavors that were coming forward included wood and nuts. This new blend of flavors were much more enjoyable, at least to my palate.
The strength of the ash is becoming very frustrating. After the initial ashing, which was over an inch in length, it no longer holds for more than a half inch before falling off without warning. The burn line is thin and even while producing a decent volume of smoke on the draw, which is becoming less and less airy as I smoke.
As I rounded the ninety minute mark I found myself coming into the home stretch of my Ashton Aged Maduro. The body continued to slowly creep up the scale but never exceeded medium. The finish grew more and more creamy as I progressed and made for a complete feel in terms of body and finish.
The flavor did not change much since the last third in terms of definitive flavors but seemed to get richer and more complex as I smoked along. I found myself enjoying the primary Connecticut Maduro flavor with a splash of wood and nuts in the background.
Just like before, I had to keep up with the ash to ensure that it wouldn’t prematurely drop while handing. At about a half inch in length a gentle tap over the ashtray took care of my problem. The burn line was thin and even while producing a decent volume of smoke with each puff. The draw was free with some resistance which kept me from over puffing and made for a cool smoke.
Overall I was happy with the flavors of my Aged Maduro but disappointed in the weakness of the ash. Constantly keeping close to the ashtray, while not seeming like much of a task, really did take something away from overall experience of the cigar.
With a price in the neighborhood of $7.50 per single it is certainly out of my $5.00 comfort zone. While I would be happy to smoke more in the future for their enjoyable flavor, I would be reluctant to pick one up due to the price and my trouble with the ash.
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