Tonight’s Tasting — Ashton VSG and Calico Amber Ale

The warm Santa Ana winds have returned to Southern California, so I grabbed a strong torch lighter, cigar and beer and headed for the veranda.

Ashton VSG Robusto (5.5 x 50)

Stealing liberally from the Ashton website, the Ashton VSG (Virgin Sun Grown) was rolled for the first time in the late 1990s, and was one of the first cigars to feature a square press. A rich Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper is balanced with filler and binder tobaccos at Chateau de la Fuente. “Extra aging and fermentation allows for a rich and full flavor with a strong body, while maintaining an incredibly smooth character. Ashton VSG is consistently rated very high by industry publications and continues to be among the 10 most rare, sought-after cigars in the world.”

A little hyped in my opinion, and I found it on the mild side, but it was a very good smoke in its own right. It burned a little strange in the middle due to a loose outer wrapper, but it still gets an 8.4 on the Morris Scale.

Calico Amber Ale – Ballast Point Brewing Company

The beer poured a nice dark amber with an off-white head. Aroma of the expected molasses plus a hint of grapefruit. The beer comes from a San Diego brewery, so I wasn’t expecting much. Which is not to dis San Diego breweries, but I’m just not aware of a long brewing legacy out of that town. I was pleasantly surprised. This was a good amber with nice mouth feel and the proper hint of a bitter aftertaste. Good drinkability. An 8.8 on the Morris Scale.

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