Cigar Review

by Steve Rowbottom

Ashton VSG Belicoso

Dominican Republic            5.25” x 52            Medium-Full


Chewy. If I could describe the Ashton VSG blend with one word, it’s chewy. The Ecuadorian wrapper is dark, oily and thick enough to chomp down on without receiving battle scars. The smoke pulled through the cigar is hefty, sitting on the palate with noticeable weight and texture, almost as if I can chew through its wafty goodness. The flavors smack of leather and oak throughout, complemented by a somewhat dank earthiness on the finish. Midway through I pick up a red pepper influence after each puff. This cigar is rich, meaty and ultimately satisfying. 

Cohiba Black Supremo (Toro)

Dominican Republic            6.0” x 54               Medium


Cohiba is a big name with a big reputation. The Black variety lives up to this reputation through what I’ll call sophisticated richness. From the band, to the wrapper, to the flavors, everything about this cigar is dark. I find the blend to be medium in body and I notice graceful hints of unsweetened cocoa and black coffee. The bouquet is smooth and rich, with an oily, charcoal-like aroma. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper offers a nice, natural sweetness to complete an elegant, flavorful experience. 

Diamond Crown Julius Caeser Toro

Dominican Republic                                6.0” x 52                             Medium


DISCLAIMER: For some time, this has been typical go-to cigar. I’m not a huge Fuente fan, and this is made by Fuente, but there’s something about this blend that keeps me coming back for more. The cigar itself is quite mellow, but it’s loaded with flavor and complexity. Coffee, spices, cedar, sweet tobacco…it’s all in there, inside a rich yet soothing burn. It’s mellow enough for breakfast and flavorful enough to finish a meal. It’s exactly the same, cigar after cigar, and I think that’s what I love most…relentless reliability. 

Gurkha Cellar Reserve Limitada Kraken (Perfecto) 

Dominican Republic                            6.0” x 60                               Medium-Full


I am starting to notice a trend here…dark Dominicans. Let’s just roll with it, because it’s what I’ve been burning lately. This cigar features a Brazilian Aripiraca wrapper, a leaf I began loving back in, like, 2005. Reason being, it’s a rich, chewy, meaty wrapper that reminds me of the deliciously fatty, rendered part of a steak. I find it with this cigar, and it pairs perfectly with its rich, chocolatey and leathery core. I find a dash of peppery-sweetness on the aftertaste, and the cigar grows from medium in body to full throughout the burn. I highly recommend this slow-burning handmade. 

Montecristo White Label #2 (Belicoso)  

Dominican Republic                           6.1” x 52             Mellow-Medium


Another Dominican. <insert shrugging emoji> Ah well. Montecristo White is the favored child among Dominican-made Montecristos. Unlike it’s Cuban counterpart, this cigar is silky, creamy, and quite graceful. Sweet cedar, sweet tobacco and cream, with a little bit of peanut that I pick up from time to time. You won’t find many twists or turns with this cigar…and it won’t grow in strength towards the end…but you will receive an elegant, anytime handmade with a name many like to flaunt.

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