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Cigar Review: Ashton Classic Prime Minister

9 Jan 2012

“The Ashton Classic is truly a smoke for anytime and anywhere and, like an old friend, never lets you down.” So reads the Ashton website.

I wasn’t thinking these exact words as I was browsing the humidor at one of my local shops, but I might as well have been. Going back to my earlier days with cigars—when I regularly tended toward the mild side of the spectrum—the Ashton Classic was my go-to if I wanted something special. And why not? The blend is reliable, tasty, and well-constructed.

These days, even though I still enjoy milder smokes and I make sure to include them in my rotation, I don’t find myself smoking many Ashton Classics. Not sure why. So, as I was scanning the shop’s humidor, I selected a couple Prime Ministers (6.9 x 48) for just under $10 apiece.

Like the 15 other vitolas in the line, the Prime Minister features aged tobaccos from the Dominican Republic wrapped in a golden Connecticut shade leaf. The cap is applied well and there are no soft spots from head to foot. The pre-light aroma smells of honey and hay.

Using a V-cutter to clip the cap, I find the draw is a bit stiff. This makes establishing an even light a bit more time-consuming than you’d normally expect from such a slender smoke. Once the light is set, traditional Connecticut flavors shine through. These include honey, hay, nuts, and some creaminess.

In the final third, a grassy taste becomes dominant. Then the stiff draw starts to get more difficult. As a result, I take more frequent puffs, and this probably contributes to the traces of stale flavors that emerge toward the end. Next time I’ll probably elect a guillotine cut rather than a V-cut to see if this improves the draw experience. Otherwise, the physical properties are very good, including a solid white ash and a very straight burn line.

Aside from the draw, my recent experience with the Prime Minister format was a good reminder of why I used to rely on the Ashton Classic fairly regularly. Sure, there are plenty of other Connecticut-wrapped smokes on the market, and many of them can be purchased for less. But this blend, when at its best, has a wonderfully balanced profile of traditional Connecticut flavors that’s more unique than you might expect. Keeping all of this in mind, I award the Prime Minister four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: Ashton Classic Prime Minister”

  1. Ashburn Dave Monday, January 9, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Definitely one of my favorite brands. The classics are great morning coffee smokes, though I like the "magnum" best. I just wish they weren't so expensive. There's a lot of competition at the $8-10 price point.

  2. The Nino Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Had one of these at a cigar event with a friend. We accidentally cut a bit too far with the guillotine so the draw was incredibly loose. Still smoked well, though, although I probably wouldn't buy them that often for the price.