When the Ashton Symmetry was released in Fall 2014, it was the first new Ashton line in almost 10 years. It, like most other cigars to carry the Ashton marque, is a Fuente produced product, and features a “cloud-grown” Ecuadoran habano wrapper. Internally, it has some Dominican leaf from Villa Gonzalez and the Fuentes’ Un Buen Vecino farm in Estelí, Nicaragua. It comes in 5 vitolas, including this corona gorda called the Prism, and retails for $11-12.50 depending on size.
Tune in with Kip and special guest Bob McDuffee to chat up what he’s been up to lately and a few rabbit trails just begging to be followed….
I’m a big fan of Fratello – one of the newer lines out there, owned by Omar de Frias. The corona in his first lineup is a phenomenal cigar…and now he is coming out with a maduro. It will have a soft launch with a handful of retailers in the next few weeks, and full availability at IPCPR. The Bianco will come with a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Dominican binder and a filler blend containing Peruvian, Nicaraguan, and Pennsylvania broadleaf. It’s coming out of Esteli, but there’s no mention of the factory. It will be available in 20-ct boxes, in 3 vitolas – 6.25×44, 6×50, and 5×56. A fourth, event exclusive 5×44 will also be produced. The line isn’t a spinoff from their first line, which launched in 2013. It’s an entirely new blend according to Omar. Subsequent picture
After going thus far with a single vitola (although two were planned since IPCPR 2014), Drew Estate is releasing an extension to the Nica Rustica line. It’s a 7.5”x54 belicoso called the “Belly.” It will have a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over Mexican San Andres binder and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. It’s scheduled to begin shipping nationally in September, but will have a soft launch at an event July 30th in Louisville, KY. Pricing is expected to be around $8/stick.
Fresh off our recent discussions about cigar companies making cigars specifically to be paired with or flavored by beverages (Drew Estate’s PVW, C&C’s Dram, Asylum’s Dragon’s Milk, etc.), Perdomo is throwing their hat in the ring. They will be releasing the Craft Series, intended to be cigars for beer enthusiasts. This line is very much akin to C&C’s Dram series – with the Dram intended to be paired with whiskey, and the Craft Series with beer. It will include a CT-wrapped (Pilsner), Sungrown (Amber) and Maduro (Stout). While I understand the idea behind these pairing series, I guess I’m a bit of a skeptic. Most of my experience has shown good pairings to be more experimentation and happy accident than hard science…and it seems most folks’ ideas about what goes well together are different enough to make it inconsistent at best. In any event, the line will come in 3 vitolas (5.5”x54 robusto, 6.5”x54 epicure, and 6”x60 gordo), and retail for $7-8.50 depending on vitola.
Pinar del Rio is releasing a whole new line, composed of surplus tobaccos from other blends. They’ve emphasized that this is not the typical “Cuban sandwich” cigar, though. It will be all long filler, but be rolled using this leftover tobacco. The line will be an inexpensive bundle stick, retailing for about $2.75 to $3 per cigar, and will use the surplus from large purchases of leaf for other lines. It will, however, consistently have an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, Dominican binder and Nicaraguan fillers, and feature about 80% leftover leaf. It’s called the “A Crop” and will come in 3 vitolas: 5”x50 robusto, 6”x52 toro, and 6”x58 gordo.
What Else We’ve Been Smoking
Had some really bad smoking Maduro’s from a well known Miami Cigar Company
Lighters – it’s hard to find a good lighter that will last, prices are too high for most lighters and yet the cheap ones are just that, cheap.
For the most part I am finding the quality of today’s cigars to be excellent to acceptable
Asylum’s new Nyctophilia robusto
Tatuaje Verocu Havana VI #5 4”x40
Don Arturo Destino al Siglo Familiar 6.5”x46
In the next episode (116), Craig will return to his duties and we’ll be smoking one of his selections – the San Cristobal Mercaderes 2007. So come by Friday night and hang out with us in the chatroom during the show. If you would like to contact us in the meantime, you can reach us via the Contact Page or the following emails: [email protected] or [email protected] Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions you’d like answered, comments to make…or even compliments and complaints. We love to get your emails! Also, remember you can always go back and listen to previous episodes, which can be found in the Half Ashed Archive. You can download this week’s audio directly below (right-click “Download” and save), find us on iTunes, or subscribe with any podcast app at our RSS Feed. Video, as always, will be available at the Half Ashed YouTube Channel.
P.S. – If you have unbanded suggestions or contributions, you can get those to us by sending an email to [email protected] This email address goes directly to my wife, so you can simply suggest an unbanded cigar for her to source, [email protected] if you have something you’d like to send in. I will provide an address to send them. Thanks!