Why The Dominican Republic Grows Great Tobacco
Though Nicaragua has become the breeding ground of choice for many tobacco growers, in terms of sheer numbers, The Dominican Republic remains El Rey (the king) of the Central American tobacco-growing nations. The DR accounts for more than half of the cigars sold in the United States. Of course, the Dominican had a big lead. After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, many of Cuba’s best growers and blenders emigrated to the DR. Most histories of Dominican tobacco production credit Carlos Toraño Sr. for introducing Cuban seed to the country, which we know today as Dominican “Piloto Cubano;” though it should be noted that many other Cuban tobacco men brought their seeds with them to other countries such as Honduras and Nicaragua. Continue reading
No Ashton VSG Cigar Review would be complete without a quick rundown of the Ashton brand, which was created in 1985 by Robert Levin, a Philadelphia tobacconist. After years of experience as an importer and retailer of cigars, Levin decided to break into the manufacturing side. Today Ashton cigars are made by the world-famous Fuente family in the Dominican Republic, and are offered in six unique varieties: Ashton Classic, Ashton Aged Maduro, Ashton Cabinet, Ashton Heritage Puro Sol, Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown), and the ultra-exclusive Ashton ESG (Estate Sun Grown).
Ashton VSG is made using a powerful blend of Dominican tobaccos that have been aged four to five years by the Fuente family. The cigar’s distinctive flavor comes from the proprietary wrapper leaf which is grown exclusively for Ashton VSG. The wrapper is grown under cloud covering and harvested from the higher primings of the plants, which equates to a stronger, more flavorful leaf. Continue reading
What’s that Ben Franklin quote about death and taxes? Oh yeah: “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Sure enough, even a 3-day reprieve didn’t stop Tax Day from getting here. Haven’t filed yet? I suggest you scramble to the accountant’s office or break out the calculator. Time is running short.
Whatever your political position, Tax Day serves to remind us that we don’t own everything we earn. This year stung even harder for me, since I owed my local taxing authority their ludicrous 1.5% cut of my livelihood.
But the good news is that it’s over!
The older I get, the more I realize that few occasions in life call for a good smoke like Tax Day. If there’s a sliver lining, it’s this: I’ll never be further away from Tax Day 2012 than I am today. Now THERE’S something to celebrate…Cue the cigars!
I’m still deciding on what to smoke, but for now, this Ashton ESG should help ease the pain nicely. What about you?