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Whenever I’m given an expensive stogie to review, my expectations are set sky high—I figure if I’m going to pay as much for a cigar as I would for a good six pack or a ribeye from the supermarket, I’d better be just as satisfied by the end. Luckily for the Ashton VSG Corona Gorda, I was pretty damn satisfied.
As the name would suggest, the Corona Gorda is a little fatter than your standard Corona, measuring 5 ½ inches by 46 ring gauge. Rarely do I see a roll this perfect, even on a super high-end cigar. I had to squint to see the lines from where the wrapper was applied, and the filler was even throughout the cigar; no soft spots, no lumps, and a perfect triple cap. The wrapper was a deep shade of brown with a little bit of red scattered throughout, which let me know right away that no sketchy techniques were used to color the leaf. The slim stogie had good weight to it, and the pre-light draw was light and toasty, though a bit tight for my taste.
When I lit the cigar, the flavor hit with full force. The tighter draw was probably a good thing—had the cigar really opened up, it would’ve punched me in the mouth. In the first two or three draws I got some pepper, roasted nuts, and a bit of coffee, but mostly a very robust, traditional tobacco flavor. Here and there I got a little bit of maple syrupy sweetness, but the taste stayed relatively consistent. The ash was firm and white, and the burn line started razor straight and stayed that way throughout the smoke.
The flavor profile stayed pretty consistent the whole time, though there were a few notes that stood out at different points. For one, about halfway through, I got a very distinct cinnamon and nutmeg spice note. I think the purpose of the VSG, though, is to highlight the quality of the tobaccos used in the cigars, rather than any exaggerated foody flavors.
One recommendation I have for anyone smoking Ashton cigar’s VSG is to devote your undivided attention to the cigar. Because of the overall strength of the smoke, the little hidden notes won’t jump out at you—you have to really search for them in the smoke. At this point I can say I really enjoyed this Corona Gorda, but I don’t think it really sunk in completely. I think I’ll have to smoke a few more of these before I can say I really know what a VSG tastes like.
In short, I absolutely do think they’re worth the money, but it’d be a good idea to get a few of them so you can take a little time to get to know the cigar. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up review after I’ve smoked a handful.