The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2013
Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Spellbound
The Ashton Virgin Sun Grown brand has established itself as a benchmark smoke among full-bodied enthusiasts. Its launch in 1999 brought a newfound interest to Ecuador Sumatra wrapper.
Everyone speaks of the wrapper with Ashton VSGs. The leaves for these smokes were grown in the cloud-covered foothills of the Andes mountains by Oliva Tobacco Co., the Tampa, Florida, company that has brokered cigar tobacco for decades. Fuente takes the leaves that grow near the top of Sumatra-seed plants and ferments them in bulks, bringing out the oils and increasing the darkness. The result is a strong, oily, flavorful leaf that leaves an impression on the palate. It’s one of the benchmark brands for Ashton Distributors Inc., a company owned by the Levin family, which has sold cigars since the 1950s.
We’ve given high rating after high rating to Ashton VSGs over the years. The Spellbound size is the longest in the vast line (there are a dozen sizes) and has hearty flavor with a robust nuttiness and a caramel sweetness for balance. This is a cigar that combines three of the cigar world’s best known families: the Olivas of Tampa, the Levins of Philadelphia and the Fuentes of the Dominican Republic.
Watch the video of David Savona and Greg Mottola smoking the Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Spellbound.