Ashton Distributors has a new Aroma de Cuba. The new smoke not only has a wrapper that Ashton has never used before, but one of the cigars in the line scored 93 points this week in a blind tasting in Cigar Insider, Cigar Aficionado's twice-monthly cigar newsletter.
La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor, the third version of this brand, features an extremely dark wrapper leaf grown in Mexico from Cuban seeds. It's a first for Ashton Distributors, which has always used Connecticut broadleaf on its maduro cigars.
La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor, which has been in the works for two years, according to Ashton vice president Sathya Levin, comes in five sizes: The Belicoso measures 5 1/2 inches by 54 ring gauge and has a suggested retail price of $7.75; Churchill is 7 by 50 at $7.85; Magnifico is 6 by 52 and sells for $7.50; the Robusto is 5 by 50, selling for $6.75, and Valentino is 5 3/4 inches by 58, with an $8.00 price tag. All the cigars in the line, save for the Valentino, are box pressed—another first for Ashton, as these are the company's first Nicaraguan smokes to be pressed.
The Magnifico was the star of a Cigar Insider taste test published on Tuesday. The toothy, pressed cigar, which had a fine draw and burn, was noted for its rich flavors of coffee and hints of vanilla and citrus, with an intensity that built as the cigar was smoked. The cigar was described as medium bodied.
The 93-point score was the highest score awarded in the issue, which also included scores on the other four sizes of Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor.
The La Aroma de Cuba brand originated in Cuba, and was reinvented by Ashton. The company debuted the brand in 2002 as a Honduran smoke, made at the time by Altadis U.S.A. Inc. in northern Honduras at its La Flor de Copan factory. Ashton later enlisted Jose "Pepin" Garcia to make a new version of La Aroma, which it dubbed Edición Especial, and in 2009 Ashton moved the original La Aroma to Garcia as well, and the line was reblended. Today, Garcia makes all of the Aroma de Cuba cigars at his My Father Cigars Inc. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
For complete results on the Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor vertical brand tasting, see the September 21 Cigar Insider.