Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ashton VSG robusto

Today, I'm blogging about the Virgin Sun Grown (VSG), one of the most successful blends from Ashton.  Blended by Carlos Fuente Jr, and using a wrapper from Ecuador (grown by the Oliva family), all of the tobaccos used in this blend have been "sun grown." 

This cigar is box-pressed, however the lines aren't as sharp as on some others I've smoked.  The wrapper has inconsistent shades of brown, and has visible veins.  I chose a straight cut and toasted the foot before starting up.  Paired with bottled water. 

1/3: Blast of pepper to begin.  Strength is recognizable here, and I expect it to last. 

2/3: Pepper notes continue, with some black cherry.  This is a bold smoke; definitely not weak.  The burning line is slightly wavy, but thusfar there's been no need to retouch or relight.  The taste is distinctly Dominican.  The ash is a little "furry."

3/3: Pepper is still present.  The wavy burn line led to a little bit of a "wrapper flap," but some retouching has corrected it.  As I expected, the final third has some bite to it, but not overly bitter or chary-tasting. 

Personally, I'd put this in the category of Padron's Anniversary series and Oliva's Master Blend 3, however while enjoyable, it didn't wow me all that much.  I think it's the strength, boldness, and price that put it in that group.  I'd gladly smoke another, but I'm not running out to fill up my humidor. (Too dark outside to take a "smoking" photo.)

Size: 5-1/2 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Berger & Argenti Mooch Schnorr

From what I've read, this cigar is marketed to cigar enthusiasts who have friends that like to ask for cigars, yet don't really know anything about them.  You know the friends...  They don't know the difference between a Swisher Sweet and a Cohiba Behike.  There's nothing worse than feeling obligated to give a stick to a friend who wants to see what all the fuss is about, yet knowing full well that after 2 or 3 puffs, that $12 cigar will be snuffed out or left to roll off a table.

I start with a punch-cut for my Mooch, followed by a toasting of the foot. 

1/3: First tastes are predominantly of cedar - pleasant.  The ash held on to about an inch, then fell on its own.  It's off to a mild start, yet it is certainly tasty.  I wonder if the quality here is good enough such that this stick could turn into a multiple-mooch scenario....as in, "Hey, that was good!  Can I have another?"  The wrapper on mine did crack a little bit, however it did not affect the smoking experience at all really.

2/3: In this third, my taste buds pick up some pepper and a little bite.

3/3:  The pepper lingers, and the strength has increased slightly. 

Bottom line:  This cigar is better than the name (and it's story) might suggest.  For a mild smoke, it's pretty decent.  Any friend who mooches this Mooch should consider him (or her) self lucky. 

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
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