For those who care for the word of Cigar Aficionado, it bears mentioning that the Ashton ESG 22 Year Salute is part of a line that was rated their 8th best cigar of 2014. This is no mean feat, and no matter what the name is on the band, such a response merits investigation by any who would claim to be an aficionado of cigars and a bon vivant in general.
This is one of the rarest cigars that Ashton puts out. The first year, they produced in only one size, the ESG 20 Year Salute, and each year they add another size, in numerical sequence. The 22 Year Salute was added in the third run, and at this point there are salutes from years 20 through 24.
The ESG 22 Year Salute is the torpedo-sized ESG cigar, 6 inches long and with a 52-ring gauge. It is made in the Arturo Fuente factory in the Dominican Republic, as the majority of Ashton cigars are, and the Fuente family makes the cigars with the same care and attention to detail that they put into their own cigars. The filler tobaccos are well-aged long-leaf tobaccos, most commonly from the Dominican Republic, but sometimes from elsewhere when appropriate. However, the real key to the ESG, the thing that sets it apart is the Dominican Sun Grown leaf that they utilize as a wrapper. Grown exclusively on the Chateau de la Fuente, the Ashton ESG is the only cigar in the world that uses it.
Of course, all that exclusivity doesn’t mean much if the cigar doesn’t taste good. The Ashton ESG 22 Year Salute is a full-bodied cigar with notes of leather, earth, and some spice to it, which finishes with a toasty and nutty flavor on your palate. There are fewer cigars that you will be happier to have smoked, even if you only ever manage to find one.