Cigar Review: Ashton Aged Maduro

Size: 6×50, Toro (#40)

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Mild/Medium

Price: Box of 25, $185.99

Grade: 8.9

Handcrafted by the Arturo Fuente family at the Chateau de la Fuente, the Ashton Aged Maduro uses Dominican tobacco and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Some time ago, when the Aged Maduro was released, it was one of the more hard to find Maduros around, but they seem to be readily available now.

Ashton Cigars came about in 1985, when Robert Levin sought out the expertise of the Fuente Family. Together, they have created one of the most highly sought after premium cigars. The Ashton line has grown over the years but they have still maintained a very small variety, focusing on a few done well, rather than a plethora done decently.

The Maduro is available in 9 sizes and is sold in boxes of 25, and before being released is aged in Sherry finished French oak barrels. The available sizes are 5×50 (#10), 4.375×44 (#15), 5.5×44 (#20), 6.75×44 (#30), 6×50 (#40), 7×48 (#50), 6×52 (Pyramid), 6×56 (#56), and 7.5×52 (#60). You view an illustrated size chart here.

Some time ago we reviewed the Ashton Classic, which you can view here. And so, here we go.

Pre-light, 1.7:
The Toro is very firm with a nice weight and there are no dips or soft spots anywhere. The dark wrapper is slightly oily though the texture is actually rough, which creates an ironic appearance. The triple cap is very sloppy, though it popped off perfectly on the cut, and the foot is well packed (though the binder extends beyond it). The Maduro wrapper does have some dark spotting and the veins are minimal – overall the appearance is rustic.

Burn, 1.9:
The burn on the #40 is excellent – the smoke is thick and aromatic, the burn is slow and precise, and the ash is a very clean white that stacks and holds very well. In between puffs there is no need to be concerned over a re-light. This is exactly what you would expect from a premium, Fuente made cigar.

Flavor, 2.7:
Up front, the Aged Maduro gives a big creamy burst of chocolate that is very smooth without the slightest bit of harshness. This smoke is very gentle with hints of spice that reminds me most of cinnamon – definitely not pepper. Along the outer edges of the flavor profile are some muted nutty notes, but overall this is a one-dimensional smoke. On the plus side, the profile that the #40 locks into is very pleasing and engaging.

Overall, 2.6:
When I do a personal evaluation of a cigar, I always compare the flavor and the price, and this helps me determine whether I’d buy more. Based on this easy formula, I’d pass on the Ashton Aged Maduro if given other options – at $8 a single, the flavor profile is just not enough to lure me in. Though the construction is nearly flawless, you can find the Fuente 858 Maduro for nearly half the price, and find a flavor profile that is just as entertaining (and of course from the same family).

(Total: 8.9)