Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Siz6
Ashton Heritage Puro Sol
This Ashton Heritage Puro Sol is a fantastic cigar. Full of flavor and the burn and draw are absolutely flawless. The price point is a little higher than what I would prefer to pay for a Belicoso, but it was still a excellent cigar. Do yourself a favor and pick one up to just see how you like it!
- Made By:Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia.
- Binder:Dominican Republic
- Filler:Dominican Republic
- Average Price:$11
- Ring Gauge:49
- Length:4 7/8"
I picked up this Ashton Heritage Puro Sol after I saw that it ranked #7 on Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 list this year. I make it a point to try and smoke all the cigars on their top 25, other than the Cubans. So when I came across this stick in my local shop I had to pick it up. To be honest, I had never smoked an Ashton banded cigar. I’ve smoked other cigars made my Ashton, including the San Cristobal, but never one that specifically spelled out Ashton on the band. I’ve always heard good things, but never pulled the trigger on them.
After reading CA’s blurb about this cigar I was intrigued even more. The wrapper is a Cameroon wrapper, and you’ll see the toothiness (is that a word?) appear later on in the pictures. Because these cigars were made at the Fuente factory in the D.R. this particular leaf was thought to be slated for use by the Fuentes in some of their upcoming releases. However, brand owner Robert Levin, wanted more of a classic treat that was more elegant than the in your face punch of the VSG they had previously released. Now armed with that knowledge let’s hop into the review and see what we’ve got!
This Ashton Heritage Puro Sol has a very worn leather look to it. The wrapper is a dull brown color, not a ton of sheen to it when it crosses the light. There is a semi large vein that runs the length of t the wrapper leaf as well. Nothing that should affect the burn, but it’s definitely noticeable. The foot on this cigar was left a little shaggy, it wasn’t a super clean cut like you usually see. I didn’t check the other cigars in the box to see if this was a style thing or if this one cigar just didn’t have a clean cut to it. The head on this Belicoso tapers down to a nice point and there is one small imperfection on the cap. Nothing that should really affect the cigar because I’m going to cut that part off anyway, but I did notice it when I took it out of the cellophane.
One thing that I’ve always noticed about Ashton cigars are the bands they use and their packaging in general. This band in particular is beautiful. It uses a great combination of color and striping to really make it pop out at you. At the top of the band there are two lion looking heads holding a crown. Right below that there is a red band with gold writing that says Ashton, and below that, Heritage in a white background… and below that, Puro Sol. So yeah they stacked the name of this cigar on the band very well. I like the inverted pyramid approach they took to it. Other than that are lots of stripes and other things going on with gold, black, and maroon colors that combine to make this an eye catching band. Enough about how it looks, how does it function?
As I said above the tapered head had a slight imperfection, but after I took a couple slices at it and removed it there was no blemish to be found! Once I removed enough of the head on this Ashton Heritage Puro Sol I was ready to test the cold draw. It was perfect, now when I say perfect, thats my own opinion, but I love when a cigar pulls in effortlessly. I mean I was obviously drawing in some air, but I didn’t have to try too hard to make it happen. Very little resistance, which is excellent to keep me from choking on the air I’m pulling in. Because lets face it, if you’re sucking air through something and it hits you too fast you’re gonna choke and nobody wants to do that! Now that I know the draw was excellent I think it’s time to light it up and see what we’re dealing with in terms of smoking capabilities!
I’ve noticed during the daytime it’s hard to see the flame on my lighter, which also means it’s hard to know if I’m toasting the foot properly or not. So I just took a guess and assumed I was getting the foot toasted, then the next thing I know the foot is nice and white and ashy. So yeah, I guess I got it pretty good. Once I hit that point I was ready to start puffing on this Ashton Heritage Puro Sol. That perfect draw came through once it was lit and I was looking like a locomotive puffing away. So effortless and so smooth. The construction on the filler of this cigar was exceptional. To me, thats what makes a cigar stand out, if it’s easy to smoke then that makes all the difference in the world!
All the way through the first third this cigar held a perfect burn line. It was nice and straight and never once derailed. The ash held well over an inch, but I knocked it off in the tray before it had the chance to land on my clothes. I had a new pair of shorts on and I didn’t want them to get dirty the first time out! The second third was exactly the same, nice smooth draw and one of the most even burns I’ve ever seen. The only issue I had with this was at the beginning of the final third. I had to resuscitate the cigar and burn out some of the bitter that had built up. Other than that, absolutely perfect!
One thing that I love about smoking Cameroon wrapped cigars is the tooth that it leaves behind on the ash. I tried to take some close shots of the ash so that you could really notice it. I think it’s really interesting how the leaf leaves this behind once it’s burned.
On the pre light draw of this Ashton Heritage Puro Sol I was picking up a nice bit of spice on the initial puff but it finished with some sweetness on the lips. There were hints of leather with the overall aroma as well before lighting it up. Once I set this cigar aflame the spice picked up a bit on the mouthfeel I could really taste it on the lips. It wasn’t over zealous, but it was there lingering adding some nice complexities to it. The sweetness followed on what felt like the back of the tongue. It’s interesting with this cigar that I picked up on the spice at the forefront and then the sweetness on the backend. For me usually it’s the opposite order.
For me the retrohale is where this cigar really shined. On the initial retro this cigar showed signs of a nice floral note that finished with spice and coffee. They basically flowed effortlessly from one note to the next. The second picked up in body slightly, but it never really built into more than a medium body cigar for me. The spice was very consistently throughout and the coffee notes picked up in the second third, but the flavors were very well balanced and blended perfectly. I’m a huge fan of this cigar thus far.
During the final third of this Ashton Heritage Puro Sol the flavors began getting slightly bitter so I had to resuscitate the cigar as I mentioned above. After I did that it began burning as clean and as clear as the first third. The notes of coffee and leather were the dominant flavors on this final leg of the stick. Nice burn, great draw, and balanced flavors, what more could you ask for in a cigar?
Would I Buy It Again?
Absolutely, even though it’s a higher priced cigar it’s definitely worth it.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Not at $11 / stick, not for me at least.
Would I Buy a Box?
I think this could definitely be box worthy. Assuming you could find them at a great price!
Overall I was very pleased with this cigar. I’m not sure I can give it a 10/10, but it’s definitely a high 9! I love the draw on this cigar, to me it reminded me of how easily the EP Carrillo cigars draw. That makes it all the better when I smoke it. The flavors were excellent, at some points I wish it had changed a little, but that’s not what they wanted in the blend. The burn line couldn’t have been better. Definitely a great cigar and I would advise everyone to try it. It’s very smooth and easily enjoyable for new smokers and veteran smokers alike.
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