Ashton Symmetry | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.625 x 46 “Prism-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.50 (Single price)


Today we take a look at the new Ashton Symmetry.

Ashton has a new line and the Symmetry is the first blend of that line. It is the first new line since the unveiling of the Ashton ESG line back in 2006. And it made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.

As seems the norm, Ashton worked with the Fuentes to design this new blend. The tobaccos come from the Fuentes’ farms in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The cigar is being produced at the Tabacalera A. Fuente y. Cia. in the DR.

The Ashton Symmetry comes in 5 sizes:
Prestige: 6.75 x 49
Robusto: 5 x 50
Belicoso: 5.25 x 52
Sublime: 6 x 52
Prism: 5.625 x 46

Prices range, by the box, from $10.40-$11.44

First of all, the cigar feels very light in the hand. Feels too airy. The wrapper is full of little wrinkles. Seams are invisible. A square soft box press is so soft that any softer and it won’t be there any longer. The triple cap is kind of sloppy. The wrapper, itself, is semi-oily with a light brown color and smooth to the touch.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cinnamon, barnyard, sweetness, fruity, and leather.
Time to light up.

The draw is good. Doesn’t smoke like a cigar short of filler.

It takes a minute and then some flavors roll in: Citrus, red pepper, wood, sweetness, cream, and leather. If I didn’t know better, Ashton used Pepin Garcia to blend this instead of Fuente. There is a giant Garcia Blast of Pepper at the start that kicks me arse.

This size (5.625 x 46) is now my favorite size…or thereabouts. It humidor matures quickly and I just like the wrapper v. filler ratio.

There is a sour cherry element that is unexpected. It replaces the citrus component. And the smallest bit of chocolate and coffee. The creaminess keeps the whole thing in balance.

A nuttiness and toastiness arrive. Both elements usually seem to work together as a perfect tandem.

I wipe the tears from my eyes so I can see. I really wish someone would produce a spice bomb that stays that way throughout most of the cigar without drowning out the rest of the flavors. I’m a spice junkie.

The char line goes seriously AWOL on me. It needs a major touch up before I take my next photo. This shouldn’t happen. Not with all that hoopla over the Fuentes and the tobaccos and blah, blah, blah. What happened to quality control?

I gently fix the char line but it is still cockeyed but acceptable. I bought two Ashton Symmetry’s. I just had a hunch. I smoked the first one a couple nights ago and had the exact same problem with the burn line. This does not bode well. A cigar that goes for $11.50, or more, should not have construction issues and be rolled by top tier torecedores. This really aggravates me.

I want to take this moment to thank Kevin Esser for his generous donation that will buy me a bunch of cigars for review. Thanks brother.

The burn line needs another touch up. This totally takes away from an enjoyable cigar experience. I should be talking about flavor and character instead.

And here they are: Creaminess, spice, wood, chocolate, coffee, sour cherry, leather, cinnamon, and a minor earthiness. I really expected a deeper, richer earthiness. Maybe with more age. I don’t know. I’m pretty good at defining flavors; despite what “Joe” said about me in his rant on the post called “Some Criticism.” In fact, the first box of cigars I bought, the day I turned 18, were Fuentes. A box of 20 for $22.00. LOL. It was only 47 years ago. But it took a big hunk out of my part time job pay check from Knott’s Berry Farm.

A lovely floral note fills the air as well as my palate.

This is a nice cigar but more in line of what you expect from a Nic puro and not a mix of Nicaraguan, Ecuadorian, and DR. Really, nothing special.
And I was right about the airiness of the tobacco filler. It is smoking too fast. I’ve invested 15 minutes to get to the second third.

And the second third begins.

At this rate, the Ashton Symmetry will be a 45 minute stick. I don’t care that it is only a Corona. I’ve smoked many a Corona that indulged me in a good 90 minute experience.

The price point. I’m glad I bought only three, not two as I stated before. I got a 3 pack online. And I paid around $11 each. Can’t remember where I got them. Old age creeps in when one least expects it. Maybe this is just an old school blend that needs several months before it blooms. But the crappy burn issues make me think twice about that.

If I blind taste tested the Ashton Symmetry, I would guess it was a $6 stick.

The Ashton Symmetry is very creamy. The spice is down 90%. I had hoped to see a bevy of interesting flavors but, actually, they were more defined in the first inch than now.

The strength is mild/medium. The Ashton Symmetry is advertised as medium/full. Tick tock, tick tock.

The Ashton Symmetry goes out. Damn!

The flavor profile remains static. No changes. No change in power, boldness, or character. So far, it is a one trick pony.

I have to give Ashton the benefit of the doubt by saying it is in fact an old school blend requiring months and months of humidor time. I just can’t believe that with what the boutique guys are putting out, that Ashton isn’t using this opportunity of a new line to shake things up a little. Old men running the cigar business. They aren’t hungry like the young guys producing spectacular blends. Same ol, same ol. Should be on the Ashton logo.
The halfway point is met. 30 minutes smoking time.

A little caramel shows itself but, again, the creaminess is running the show with everything else way behind it. The sour cherry is gone. So is the coffee. The cocoa is a little stronger as the other flavor elements fade away. And zero spiciness.
Damn I’m disappointed.

Double damn! I don’t believe this. There is way too much glue on the cigar band and instead of shredding it to get it off; I use my curved X-Acto blade to remove it. I’ve gotten good enough to use this little handy blade and not nick the wrapper. But c’mon. A cigar that has a big deficiency on tobacco, an airy draw, serious burn issues and now the lousy application of the cigar band..and the cigar goes out on me.

The Ashton Symmetry is supposed to be the gold standard for a new line of Ashton cigars and not only is the construction marginal, but the damn cigar band is welded to the cigar.

Where is the bloody quality control??!!

Every one of the cigars listed in “The Katman’s List of 120 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range” is better.

I have one Ashton Symmetry left. I will leave it alone for two months and check back with an update.

The char line is still lousy. Another major touch up required.

This is no fun at all. Some readers have accused me of always tagging cigars as flavor bombs. Clearly, they are not regular readers of my reviews. I’ve had my share of dog turds and very critical reviews. While the Ashton Symmetry is not an official dog turd, it certainly doesn’t endear itself to me.

There is a bunching of tobacco just past the halfway point that slows the burn down. Not quite a plug, just a mis-grouping of tobacco.

The strength finally makes its move. It went from mild/medium to medium/full while I wasn’t paying attention and fucking around with the construction issues.

I didn’t bother to read other reviews. I don’t care what others say about this cigar. I am reporting what I experience and it ain’t good.
I predict that the last third will finally attain its sweet spot…whatever that will be.

Luckily, I’ve only had to clip the cap once. And only a small bit. That’s one for the #3 roller.

The last third begins. 40 minutes smoke time.

Flavors perk up. My crystal ball is working.

No new flavors. But the original first third flavors return and are more definitive. There is no complexity. No balance. No long finish. Despite the negative responses to my review of the $2 Guerra Habano, it had more oomph than the Ashton Symmetry.

I should report that this stick is a déjà vu of the first one I smoked a couple days ago. I should have just allowed it to mellow some more but stupid me…I figured I just got a bad stick.

You know, I look forward to my mornings when I can sit in front of my laptop and smoke a cigar and write a review. And nothing pisses me off more than have to report a less than thrilling experience.

Even if I were only reporting the potential the cigar has, it should be better than this.
No amount of humidor time is going to resolve the issues I’ve outlined.

A fruity flavor appears. It is not the sour cherries. That one is long gone. It reminds me of dates. You constipated? Buy a big tub of dates and problem solved. I often buy Turkish dates from Amazon. Love those babies.

The last third will save the Ashton Symmetry from being a 45 minute smoke. At this rate, it will probably hit a bit over an hour.

This is a good time to mention that I’ve gotten a real kick out of your comments about my posting of “Some Criticism.” You people make me laugh. Which brings me to another thing…It seems that no other review site has the level of smart funny people that read me. Let’s face it. I’m an acquired taste. You either love me or hate me. The really funny thing is that I think I get more hits from those that hate me than those that love me. I’m like a 50 car pileup on the freeway. You just can’t look away even though it disgusts you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kyle Hoover of Ezra Zion for becoming a sponsor. Quite the honor. Kyle sent me a care package and it included some blends I haven’t reviewed yet. But EZ sticks need a full month of humidor time. So I must be patient. Can’t fool around with my lack of patience with those beauties.

I also want to thank Rene Castaneda and Elizabeth Doody of Orleans Group for sending me some samples of C & C Corojos. But not only that. They sent me a $50 bottle of 21year aged Zafra rum. I believe they will become my next sponsor.

Back to the Ashton Symmetry. I was wrong. A little oomph occurred at the start of the last third but went nowhere.

If the Ashton Symmetry were a much less expensive blend, I would recommend trying it but urging you humidor age it for 3 months.

I have 1-3/4” to go and the Ashton Symmetry comes to life.
One last time for the flavors: Cream, dates, the spice is back, caramel, toasty, nutty, leather, citrus, wood.

While I managed to get an hour of smoke time from the Ashton Symmetry, it was pure torture.
I don’t expect that I have to say whether or not I recommend this $11.50 cigar.
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