Ashton VSG Robusto vs. Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

Ashton VSG Robusto vs. Diamond Crown Maximus Toro

This past holiday weekend I really cut loose and and smoked two good cigars. I had my eye on the Ashton VSG Robusto that had been sitting in my humidor for a week or two, and just couldn’t wait any longer. The Diamond Crown Maximus was an unplanned follow up base on the recommendation of the local respected tobacconist.

Since I did enjoy both, I thought it might make for an interesting review to compare my experience with the two. I’ve never written a cigar review before, and I’m still learning the appropriate terminology to describe the flavors I enjoy. But I have been reading reviews for a while, and I’ve really been enjoying the video reviews on the Stogie Review website. (At first I didn’t know how video would add anything, but I’m impressed at how much more comprehensive a video review actually is.)

Without further ado, here’s my notes:

Ashton VSG Diamond Crown Maximus
The Burn
Good burn, a bit faster than I would have liked, but it burned evenly. I had a heck of a time keeping this cigar burning evenly. I was continually touching it up.
The Flavor
A good rich, nutty flavor. The first 3rd of it was enjoyably earthy. The flavor diminished afterward.
The Draw
A great, satisfying volumne of smoke, very little effort required. This always appeared visually to have a good quanitity of smoke, but I had to really work on it to get a comparable amount of smoke. I resorted to recutting and pinching the end to try to loosen the draw, but it didn’t work.
The Environment
A warmer, but drafty location indoors. (May increased the burn rate.) A colder location outdoors. (May have led to the perception of less smoke.)
The Winner
Clearly Superior I think this cigar may had some structural trouble that essentially ruined 2/3 of the smoke. I actually may get another one of these to give it a chance to improve its ranking.
Favorite Part
I love the first half of this cigar. After about the first half, it got a bit stronger, and my head got a bit lighter. UPDATE: I tried the Torpedo size during my week off with a young tawny port wine. This really helped with both the light-headedness, and some of the roughness on the back of the throat. The first 3rd of this cigar was really enjoyable, before the burn and draw trouble. My reason for wanting to try this cigar again is based on this experience.

I encourage you to leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Did you like this cigar vs. cigar approach to reviewing? I’ve never seen it done before, but it seemed like it might be fun to do as well as read.

Oh yeah, and don’t take it personally if I don’t respond to your comments right away. I’ll be on vacation for about a week. But rest assured, I will read them, and I’ll try to check in a couple of times during my trip.

UPDATE: I’ve noticed that one of the Cigar related blogs I’ve been reading put up a 2007 Battle of Cigars based on reader votes. I’d like to think I inspired the cigar vs. cigar battle (it did come 4 days after I put this post up). 🙂 Regardless of the source, I like the idea, and encourage you to try the cigar pairings listed and vote.

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  1. May 4, 2007 at 12:41 am

    […] gotten at least 4 search hits for this cigar, which invariably lead the searcher to my earlier post Ashton VSG Robusto vs. Diamond Crown Maximus Toro. Unfortunately, that post, while honest, isn’t probably as informative as the searchers would […]

  2. lucky7 said,

    May 12, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Side by side review is an interesting concept. Think you picked and apple and orange though. I find it really interesting that you picked two of my favorites.

    Thanks for the 2007 Battle of Cigars update. Just voted. Think the VSG is gonna win it!

    … lucky7

  3. Brian said,

    May 13, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I really hope so too, I voted for the Ashton VSG, It never fails to be an enjoyable smoke.

    I agree with you, my selection of cigars was probably poor. The head-to-head match up was motivated by 2 things: Both cigars were in a similar price range, and I had done a poor job of recording my thoughts on them. It was easier to compare the two than write 2 posts about them. And I liked the cigar vs. cigar idea when it came to me.

    I like to think this head-to-head post was the inspiration for Cigar Jack’s massive cigar battle. (This post did come out only a few days before he started the battle.) Of course, if it was, he took a pretty good idea and made it awesome.

    I hope you continue to check in, I plan to write a lot more reviews in the future!

  4. Mike said,

    June 15, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Enjoyed the approach, as I’ve done the same comparison. I agree with your findings. While I enjoy the Maximus, I’ve never had a bad Ashton VSG….my preference is the Torpedo.

  5. Brian said,

    June 15, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Thanks Mike!

    Yeah, I’ve only every seen one complaint about the VSG, and it wasn’t that big a complaint. It was accused of being a “one trick pony”. That may be so, but it’s a trick I really enjoy! I’m looking forward to smoking a few more sometime soon, just as soon as I can get a good deal on ’em! 🙂

  6. MonkeyDan said,

    September 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Ashton VSG wins hands down for several reasons. Namely, quality, consistency, variety and price. Diamond Crown’s are over priced and the Maximus lacks the consistency to demand a high price.

    Need to try the New San Cristobal by Ashston to prove my point of high quality and consistency.

  7. Brian said,

    September 21, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    I gotta agree with you there, MonkeyDan. I’ve never had the issues with the VSG that I’ve had with the Diamond Crown Maximus. And it’s so disappointing. I had one Maximus that smoked like a dream. I not only nubbed it, I kept smoking through the pain of burning fingers! I nearly lit my goatee on fire! Heck, my wife even came back four times for a couple puffs each.

    I have a couple of the San Cristobals in a humidor, and I’m definitely going to be reviewing those sometime soon. Either here, or on for The Stogie Review.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. MonkeyDan said,

    September 22, 2007 at 11:57 am

    San Cristabol beats the VSG!!! Just my opinion.

  9. lucky7 said,

    September 28, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Wow. That’s quite a claim there MonkeyDan! I do agree the San Cristobal is a great cigar but it hasn’t nudged the VSG out of 1st place yet. Can’t wait till they get a little age on them.

    You ought to try El Centurion by Don Pepin Garcia. Another wonderful cigar just added to the DPG line.

  10. Brian said,

    September 28, 2007 at 10:09 am

    The verdict is still out on this for me. I have the San Cristobal and the El Centurion sitting in my humidor, but I’ve been to busy to give either a proper review. Keep an eye out for the San Cristobal review soon!

  11. Uncle Dave said,

    May 4, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Can’t say I have ever had a problem with a Maximus like you guys are describing. They’ve been consistent and flavorful to the nub!

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