Cigar:  Ashton Benchmade Robusto                                        Origin:  Nicaragua



Wrapper:  Nicaraguan                                                                    Strength:  Medium



Filler:  Nicaraguan Mixed                                                             Binder:  Nicaraguan



Ashton Benchmade CigarThe Ashton Benchmade cigar was created in 1985 by Don “Pepin” Garcia.  Ashton Benchmade was created to set the benchmark for inexpensive cigars which, at the time of their release, rivaled the Flor de Oliva bundles. This alliance between Pepin and Ashton has gotten rave reviews from the Internet and major publications, which is no surprise to those familiar with Pepin’s high quality master blends.  Like all Pepin blends, this one uses premium dark-brown Nicaraguan tobacco for its  wrapper, and high grade Nicaraguan puros for its binder and filler while featuring that famous Pepin spice.   



The flavor profile of Ashton Benchmade has been compared to Don Pepin’s Cubao in their smoothness due to the fact that they both have a Sumatra seed wrapper.  The Sumatra seed creates a very smooth smoke, and this particular one has the earthy richness and spicy complexity of flavors that are straight- up Pepin.  It is rumored that the fillers used are scraps of Pepin San Cristobal, Pepin JJ, and also a little bit of his Black label, so be sure to look for hints of these flavor profiles throughout the smoke.   



Upon first examination of the Robusto, you will notice it has fairly fine veins.  The construction looks good, and it is finished with a pigtail cap.  The wrapper smells of rich, sweet compost, and the stick looks nicely packed.  The cold draw yields a creamy, savory flavor and has been described as tasting of buttery prune.  Upon lighting, the cap is extremely spicy!  After the pepper fades out, the taste of a buttery woodiness comes in with a little bit of earth and notes of caramel.  Some occasional pockets of sweetness appear here and there— but it is a predominately savory smoke at this point.   



Ashton Benchmade is made with mixed long and short filler, so the ash construction is not extremely solid and needs to be ashed at the end of the 1st third to prevent pesky landings on your shirt.  During the 2nd third, more complex flavors come to play of earth and wood.  There is a lot of cedar and woodiness hitting the pallet and the sweetness seems to disappear.  In the final stretch the creamy complex flavors start to become fuller.  Very strong grass flavors appear, with leather and notes of cocoa.  The draw seems to be great throughout the smoke and the burn stays perfect and cool creating plenty of smoke.  The ash is nice and white and has a reasonably straight burn line through the stick. 



Ashton Benchmade is a good quality inexpensive cigar.  Like all Pepin creations they are of course handcrafted and with their hearty taste profile of pepper and spice, they are easily recognizable as a Pepin smoke.  All the flavors and construction of a premium cigar can be found in this stick, with the reasonable price-tag of a value bundle.  They come in a good looking cedar box of 25.   For less than $3.00, you just can’t beat it.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017

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