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Staff Reviews

Ashton Small Cigars Connecticut Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m reviewing one of my favorite cigarillos today – Ashton Small Cigars Connecticut. Cigarillos, or small cigars, are an alternative to traditional handmade cigars. They’re made by machine from short-filler tobaccos and are typically sold in boxes of ten or twenty cigars. When most people think of cigarillos, they picture Clint Eastwood puffing on a cheroot (an inexpensive, rustic-looking small cigar like a De Nobili Toscani), in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. There are hundreds of brands of cigarillos. Most are sold in Europe where small cigars have been popular since the 1800s.

You’ll find a wide variety of cheap machine-made cigars manufactured with flavored tobaccos, filters, and homogenized wrapper leaves in gas stations and convenience stores, but they’re not made from high-quality tobaccos. Machine-made cigars can still be considered premium, but they are made by companies that also manufacture traditional handmade cigars, like Ashton, and they’re sold in premium cigar retailers, not the corner convenience store. 

Ashton cigarillos come in two blends. I’ve already critiqued the original Ashton Small Cigars, which are crafted with a Cameroon wrapper leaf. As the name implies, the Connecticut version is made with a Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf. Beneath it is a blend of short-filler of Dominican tobaccos.

I’m smoking the Connecticut blend in the largest size, the Half Corona (4.125 x 37), because it’s the closest approximation to a traditional handmade format. The blend is available in three smaller shapes, too: Mini Cigarillos (3.25 x 20), Senoritas (3.5 x 30), and Cigarillos (3.75 x 26).

Ashton Small Cigars Connecticut are packaged in an elegant light-blue box. Half Coronas are just under $12 for a 5-pack, but they’re also sold in boxes of 10 or 50 cigars. When the box is unsealed, the cigars display a uniform golden-tan color. They have a textured appearance by comparison to hand-rolled cigars, but they’re not rough or veiny like old-school cheroots. Ashton Small Cigars are opened on both ends, so you don’t have to cut them. The slightly tapered end is the one that goes in your mouth.

The Connecticut wrapper from Ashton is creamy and less intense than the Cameroon blend. Short-filler cigars ignite effortlessly. A graceful profile of coffee with cream, nougat, and light cocoa exudes a pleasing room note. The overall taste is nutty and easygoing. Half Coronas burn for ten to fifteen minutes. The short, mild shape doesn’t leave an aftertaste, and the finish is naturally light and silky.

If you only smoke very occasionally, Ashton’s Connecticut-wrapped small cigars deliver delightful flavor and aroma without overwhelming your palate. They’re excellent cigars to pass out when you’re hosting a poker night if you’ve got a few pals who normally won’t smoke an entire handmade cigar.

As an aficionado who prefers larger sizes like Churchills, I find the enchanting taste of Ashton Small Cigars in the Connecticut blend easy to appreciate. They’re ideal when I step out onto the porch to smoke in chilly weather. I often smoke two or three in a row. I bet you’ll you do the same once you give them a try.

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