Padron cigars are one of those magical brands that pretty much every smoker loves or wants to try. It’s not hard to see why, because for decades Padron cigars have included some of the best, tastiest, and highest rated cigars available anywhere.
They owe their success largely to two things. First is a fanatical dedication to quality: they could easily grow bigger to meet demand, but refuse to do so if it means the quality of their cigars would be compromised. The second is their being “vertically integrated,” a fancy corporate word that really just means that they control their entire supply line. So all of the tobacco used to make Padron cigars is grown, harvested, cured, fermented, and aged by Padron in Nicaragua.
Today I’ll be smoking and giving my Padron cigar review cigar from their core line, often referred to as the “thousands series.”
I wanted to go back to my cigar smoking roots so I could do an Antonio y Cleopatra Grenadier cigar review, and no- I’m not talking about my college days at Groovy UV. Antonio y Cleopatra cigars have a certain… let’s say stigma about them. If you were ever rebellious or live in Colorado or Washington State, you know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t (most likely my mom and dad), don’t worry about it. But what’s terrible about this stigma is that we break away from how popular these cigars really are and what they offer.
Cigar review time! Honestly, I love doing cigar reviews because it means I get to kick it here in the office, light up, and simply enjoy a smoke. It beats nervously puffing on a cigar while trying to meet deadlines at the threat of getting taken out back and beaten with a rubber hose (OSHA, help!). I’m just kidding of course, but today I’m featuring my Gurkha 125th Anniversary cigar review, I’m going with the XO size, and this baby is a behemoth of a cigar coming in at 6×60 and ranked number 9 on Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 Cigar of the Year list. Of course there are other sizes available that are much more manageable such as a Robusto, Rothschild, and Torpedo, if you’re like me and tend to stray away from bigger cigar sizes.
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.
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos cigars are among my list of personal Fuente favorites, and I’m glad to bring you my Arturo Fuente Don Carlos cigar review. I call this line “the original Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars,” because just as the latter were created by Don Carlos “Carlito” Jr., this selection was created a generation earlier by Don Carlos Sr., himself. Coincidentally, both cigars took years to create and are rolled with only the most select estate-grown Dominican tobaccos. From the very beginning, the filler leaves used for the Don Carlos line have always been aged for as long as 10 years, which accounts for their abundance of rich flavor and remarkable smoothness.