Thursday, December 15, 2011

My 12 Days of Christmas: Unwrapping the Humidor.

...Three French Hens

I come to you, my readers, bearing gifts. Twelve days of gifts to be exact. From now until Christmas, I'll be giving 12 reviews of cigars that have been in my humidor for various amounts of time. Nothing beats the gift of one's own humidor and the treasures that lay within. So, here we go.

Previous post(s):
A Partridge in a Pear Tree - 1961 Frank Llaneza
Two Turtle Doves - Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial

On the third day of Christmas, my humidor gave to me...

An Ashton VSG Wizard
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatran
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Time in my humidor: 1 year 3 months

In 1985, Philadelphia native, Robert Levin launched a brand that many consider second to only Davidoff when it comes to non-Cubans.  The Virgin Sun Grown line (VSG) debuted in 1999 as Levin called upon his friend, Carlos Fuente, Jr. of Arturo Fuente to help develop what would become one the highest award winning cigar lines in the industry.

In 2006, the Wizard was created.  It is the only puro in the VSG line that is not box pressed and the Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper hails specifically from the Oliva family factory.  

The pre-light smell and draw are not as rich as other VSG vitolas, but with the time spent in my humidor, there is a much more pronounced sheen and oiliness to the exterior.  Mild cedar, earth, and nutmeg dominate the dry flavor.

Upon lighting the cigar, I botched the job slightly as I was driving down the road away from my day job.  But the welcomed smoke was a comfort to my palate.  The first third of the cigar is heavy in earth, cedar and oak flavors.  The bouquet is sweet with dark fruit & roasted nuts. 

The middle of the cigar takes a notable and complex turn.  Pronounced cocoa and nutmeg flavors comes through against the heavy wood taste. 

The finish is very smooth, with a dominate earthiness that lingers on the palate for just the right amount of time.  If I wasn't driving at the time, I would have loved to enjoy this cigar with a nice cognac or port.    The sweeter liquors offer a nice contrast from the robust earth and wood dominated smoke.

My Ratings:
Appearance - 9
Pre-light taste- 9
Construction - 10
Draw - 9
Burn - 9
Aroma - 10
Flavor - 10
Balance - 9
Finish- 9

Total Rating: 9.3

As a second generation tobacconist, Levin has pursued perfection with every turn his company has taken.  The VSG and , in particular, the Wizard are no different are a prize that every humidor should don. 
Levin, Fuente and I know it, as should you: There is nothing wrong with knowing you are the best.

No comments:

Post a Comment