Cigar Review – Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Belicoso No. 2

The only Cameroon-wrapped blend in Ashton cigar’s premium line-up, the Heritage Puro Sol has been around for a while now, but it wasn’t until this year that the Belicoso No. 2 (4 7/8 x49) landed the #7 spot on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 (although the Robusto size did make an appearance on the 2008 list). This cigar has received tons of praise over the years from various sources for its easygoing and smooth profile of cedar, sweetness, and mellow spice, so I figured it was high time that I pulled one out for review.

The cigar had the precise, high-end construction one would expect from Ashton, with a particularly well-done belicoso tip at the head. The light-brown wrapper smelled of cedar and dark roast coffee, and after snipping the cap, pre-light draws produced a light and creamy taste of slightly sweet cedar. If I were basing this review on pre-light aromas alone I would have to give it an A, this stick had the distinct scent of well-rested, high quality tobacco.

After a quick toast of the foot the cigar lit up with no problem and opened with a “polite” taste of cedar and espresso. As the profile evolved more and more into a silky sort of woodiness the smoke became dense, creamy, and plentiful while leaving my palate feeling surprisingly clean. Around the 1” mark I began to pick up slight hints of spicy tobacco flavor every now and then.

By the time I had burned into the 2nd third the smoke had progressed from thick and creamy to downright chewy, and although there wasn’t much transition flavor-wise, the clean and quiet flavors from the first couple of inches were now more pronounced, with a dark-roast coffee note leading the pack. The burn had been spot on thus far and a solid, light-grey ash was building nicely.

In the final portion of the smoke there was no “last-third flavor explosion”, instead the parade of well-balanced and mellow flavors continued: notes of espresso, graham, cedar, hints of syrupy sweetness, and just a tinge of complimentary spice on the finish. The stick remained smooth and cool-burning until the last puff.

It had been quite some time since I had fired up an Ashton, and I had forgotten just how awesome they are. It’s no accident that Ashton is regarded as one of the highest-quality cigars on the market; from appearance, to flavor and balance, and right on to technical performance, these top-shelf Dominicans leave very little to be desired. Smooth and mellow  yet extremely flavorful, the Ashton Heritage Puro Sol is a remarkably well-conceived cigar that deserves its stellar reputation, and the No. 2 vitola presents this profile perfectly. Though many might see it as a “special occasion’ smoke, the Ashton Heritage Puro Sol would make a fantastic go-to stogie, one that you can count on every time for flawless consistency and a silky smoothness that you just don’t come across very often. This one gets an easy A+. Of the many, many cigar reviews I’ve done in my time here, this classy stick definitely stands out as one of the most enjoyable.

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