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A mellow mixture designed to bridge the gap between aromatic and English style blends. Comprised of golden and dark brown Virginia with a sprinkling of black cavendish, this excellent blend bears a natural fragrance accompanied by subtle notes of caramel and apricot.

Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringApricot, Caramel
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
BnB Tobacco
Product Image
Room Note

Favorite Of 3 Users

29 reviews
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Hozer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hozer (3)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I hadn't tried an Ashton blend before but liked the description of this one, being somewhere between an English and an Aromatic. Let's be clear though, this has very little in common with an English mixture, it's simply an aromatic with more tobacco taste then most aros.

Upon opening the tin i was met with a very distinct scent of apricot, much like the description on the tin says. I can't really say it was that inviting though, as it was a rather overpowering scent which blocked any other nuances and that I feared would perhaps also dominate the taste.

Not to worry, after drying the tobacco a little (it was very damp straight out if the tin, which probably contributed to the smell) it lightened up easily enough and I set to work on it. It turned out to be a very mellow and pleasent smoke, very much dominated by the sweetness of the Virginias, with just a hint of a citrus taste to it as well, but not in any way overpowering or artificial as I initially feared. The taste was also consistent throughout the bowl.

I had no problem keeping it lit all the way through and it in no way burnt hot or gave me any tongue-bite as some reviewers have experienced.

I've since smoked about half the tin and my initial thoughts and feelings have not changed: A solid choice for aromatic fans who like to taste the tobacco and not just the casing.

Edit: I'm now well into my second tin and I've decided to upgrade to 4 stars. This one is obviously not for everyone, but I enjoy it more and more with each bowl. The focus is more on the VA's then the BC which is perhaps slightly unusual for an aromatic and that might be what's throwing people off. For me that's turning out to be a good thing though, probably as I've been trying and very much enjoying some pure VA blends lately.

8 people found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This Aston Blend does not get a lot of respect nor high ratings but for the life of me i don't know why, other than the fact that most likely previous reviewers smoked it right out of the tin and not drying it out some. It does come too moist in the tin, but with a little dry time, it becomes a very tasty smoke, mostly a citrusy VA flavor with the caramel just making an appearance andthe apricots just adding to a very nice room aroma. I find it to be quite enjoyable to smoke, it burns very well and dry, and smokes down to a fine grey ash with no gunk or moisute at the bottom of my pipe. It is an all brown tobacco cut in a rought ribbon cut and was very easy to load and pack in the pipe. But it must be dry to enjoy. Dry it will not bite at all, and while you can stove it into a fireball if you puff too fast, smoked slow and proper, it is very tame and tasteful. It is a great blend for smaller pipes. I am smoking it in a small L Peretti cherrywood and I am totally enjoying it. This belnd should get more repect than it does, and I do recommend giving it a try.

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1605)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Ashton - Winding Road.

This has an excellent aroma, I get a solid Virginia with a delicate sweet/fruity topping. The content of this blend appears to be mostly Virginia, it's about 15% Cav' to 85% Virginia. I can't find anything to moan about with the hydration level, it's not dry, not damp but right on the money!

I get this one lit with no difficulty whatsoever, I'm using my jet flame lighter today but it would be more than reasonable to use just an old school match; a jet is maybe "to much power" for Winding Road! The taste is very reminiscent of the un-lit aroma, in the fact that this too is delicate! The aromatics seem to be quite light, a slight zingy note from the apricot along with a creamy sweetness from the caramel, but I do personally find the caramel to be the more discernible of the two. The burn's good quality and the smoke's free from bite.

Nicotine: mild to medium. Room-note: lovely.

No problem awarding this four:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Altinok Lee Van Cleef

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

5 people found this review helpful.

gentleanachronism Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gentleanachronism (8)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a great blend if you're transitioning from aromatics to Virginians. The Cavendish in it provides a sweet smell which dominates the tin and room notes, but doesn't overpower the naturally sweet taste of the Virginia leaf, making the whole affair taste very much like apricots (like it says on the tin). A great beginners smoke that can also be enjoyed by long time pipers.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: October Crimson.

5 people found this review helpful.

LSU Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LSU Tiger (13)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

The sweet, fruity scent in the tin carries over when smoked. I find nothing to complain about, save the fact that I can't buy it in bulk. An excellent "social tobacco."

4 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I almost like this one. It has a very pleasant citrusy casing that tries to assert itself, but it's too subtle and gets lost in the too-bright high tones of the virginias which screech more than they coo. As it is, it doesn't seem to know what it is: it feels like a promising rough draft that would have benefited from more editing.

Plus it burns hot as hades.

If it were balanced with some darker leaves and had just a tad more of the topping come through it would have been a nice aro. I can see what others may appreciate in this one, but like so many aro virginias this one is way too high-key for me, so I'll be discarding the rest of the tin.

UPDATE 10/19/10: Well, it's more than ten months later, and my opinion of this has changed a lot; or, more precisely, my initial impression has been positively confirmed and supplanted my negative impressions.

Whether my tastes changed, or the blend mellowed as it matured, it's now a very pleasant smoke. That pleasant citrusy casing I refer to is now more present, and if smoked very slowly the promise comes through. I can even detect that apricot/caramel composite Ashton suggests is there. strongirish is probably correct -- give this one time to breathe and dry out a bit.

I'm really glad I give blends a second chance. This is one time where that second chance paid off: I've gone from 1 star to 3. Indeed Winding Road just might enter my rotation -- I think it may be the best blend I've had when there's a chill in the air, maybe the lower temperatures bringing the citrusy/sweet flavors out more.

On another note, I experimented with blending this with a darker blend (McClelland's RCS) as I suggested above, and it really worked beautifully as a blending component.

And, like renwardhoop says, it's a great name for a blend. I believe that's what compelled me to buy it originally. I'm glad I stayed on the road: there's more to this blend than meets the tastebuds at first. I knew there was something good going on in this blend even when I didn't like it at first. In fact I'd suggest this could be a relative of Grousemoor -- maybe a distant second cousin or step-aunt. Worth sticking with.

3 people found this review helpful.

The_Phantom_Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The_Phantom_Piper (11)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

Winding Road is a simply wonderful blend of VA tobaccos, topped with a nice caramel & apricot flavor. This blend packs & lights quite easily, and burns down to a fine white ash.

The room note on this is excellent and there is absolutely no tongue bite.

For a change of pace smoke, I highly recommend this to any lover of VA tobaccos.

3 people found this review helpful.

Col. Stuffinpuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Col. Stuffinpuff (14)
Very Mild Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

It smells alright, but that's where the good parts end.

Bites something fierce.

It might be good in a Scentsy. One of the few I couldn't actually finish.

Not for me, not should it be for anyone else, I figure.

2 people found this review helpful.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Winding road. The tin description says it all. Imagine you smoke a pure and solid VA blend while someone prepares a fruit salad next door. It is way too subtle to be called an aromatic and I got the impression of orange peel, more than apricot, since the flavors appeared not really above the natural sweetness of the tobaccos used.

Crossover well done, just don't ever smoke it fresh, let it breathe and sit for a couple of weeks.

Pipe Used: Various with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh to 3 months

2 people found this review helpful.

KAJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KAJ (8)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

A great Cavendish/Virgina blend giving beautiful light notes of maple syrup & fruity apricot but without being overpowering or sticky. One of my favourite aromatics well deserving of 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Comoys Grand Slam

2 people found this review helpful.

Zogg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zogg (7)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I actually really enjoyed this blend, it was a nice fruity smell without overpowering like most aromatics would

2 people found this review helpful.

Scottish Steve Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scottish Steve (14)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I bought this cos I'd seen it had 4 stars and the tobacco shop I was in seemed to have a vendettat against VaPer and tobacco-ey tobaccos. Damn! Anyway, I suppose I should've checked out how many reviews there were. First things first, there's nothing nasty about this blend. It's perfectly decent and the tin aroma,which had me worried, didn't keep its promise of gooey, sweetened nonsense. This is ok tobacco, but really very mild and there's not a lot happening. Maybe I've jaded my palate with the stronger blends, but this seems insipid. This is a lot like a better quality gold block and obviously a lot better than the supermarket brands which unsult us on a daily basis, but just not tasty enough. Addendum:- After trying Consumate Gentleman (a stupid name if you ask me) I decided I'd need to salvage my Winding Road, so I thoroughly mixed-in about the same amount of well-rubbed Peterson's Irish Flake as there is Latakia. This improved things quite a bit, without changing the character too much. It's been given backbone and a multi-layered taste, but is still not stronger than 4/10, whereas previously I'd've given it 1.5-2/10. This might be a way to save it from lying forgotten at the bottom of your tobacco cupboard, if you've had a similar reaction to myself.

2 people found this review helpful.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I think this could be my recommended blend to a new pipe smoker!

A Virginia mixture with a light toping that packs and burns well and gives a smooth relaxing smoke able to win almost anyone!

2 people found this review helpful.

UncleBob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleBob (3)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a wonderful, subtle light English-aromatic blend. Upon first light, one notices a smooth, attentuated, lemon custard with a touch of ginger spice. Out of the tin it is moist but no drying is required. As the bowl progresses more Virginia sweetness builds as the citrus zest dims but is always present. It burns clean and evenly throughout the smoke down to a white ash. I really enjoyed this subtle, smooth, light blend!

2 people found this review helpful.

chuckt808 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chuckt808 (8)
Extremely Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 10/09/2009:

I gave this blend every chance but I eventually had to dump about half the tin in the trash. I'm pretty sure that whatever they use to case this tobacco is causing the problem. Even after severely drying this blend out, it still is harsh, burns super hot and bites the tongue severely. Sorry, I can not recommend this blend at all.

Original review:

This is the first tinned tobacco that I purchased because it was one of only two tins available at a local cigar shop -- the other also Ashton. I held off on reviewing until I had several other tobaccos under my belt and I have just finished smoking my fourth bowl of this blend.

I like the concept of this blend, a fruity aromatic English. The tin aroma is wonderful and you can definitely smell the lovely mild apricot casing. The problem, however, at least for me, is that this is one of those blends that bites the crap out of my tongue. It seems that without the tongue-zap, this would be a nice mild smoke but the bite starts almost immediately. The first time I smoked this it was fresh out of the just-opened tin, and by the end of the bowl my tongue felt like I had just downed a too-hot cup of cheap coffee.

To be fair, I attempted what many others suggest when dealing with a blend that bites. I packed the bowl and let it sit for a couple of hours to dry a little. This helped a little and the bite was not as pronounced which allowed for a little more of the very mild English flavor as well as the apricot sweetness to come through, but both still fell flat. I could find no obvious caramel flavorings. From midway through the bowl to the last quarter it was actually very good but hard to discern through my fried tongue and by the last quarter of the bowl I felt like I was smoking dried wood. I feel that aging and drying should be used to make a really good blend great but never to compensate for a problem of this magnitude. I may give it one more try after drying the whole tin out for a day or two, but the fact of the matter is that, even without the bite, this may just be a mediocre smoke anyway. I didn't notice any other complaints of tongue-bite in the reviews so maybe my tin may is an anomaly, a victim of inconsistency. As a point of reference, I also experience tonuge bit in MacBaren's Virginia No. 1 but not nearly as much.

I had no trouble keeping this lit and it burns very nicely but SUPER hot. Even smoking it slowly, at one point I could barley hold the pipe, even by the thick top edges of my bent Dublin. Not much in the way of nicotine.

1 person found this review helpful.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (43)
Mild Medium Medium Pleasant

Comparing this blend to other aromatic Ashton's, this has more traditional tobacco notes. The fruit and almost sherbet tin aroma of Rainy Days is more muted here, and the smooth coconut of Smooth Sailing is reproduced with gentle and non-chemical moreish citrus top notes.

The mouth feel is a desirable aromatic fruit with tangy aftertastes on the tongue and lips. A criticism would be the heat commuted to the bowl - although the flavours are consistent throughout each bowlful, this burns very hot to the point of being unmanageable in pipes with narrow walls. Dottle is dry and complete to the heel, and requires few relights to reach that point. Nothing goopy here.

For me, this is a mid - range aromatic with little concentration needed while reading or sitting quietly, but burns far too quickly when doing other things. A simple and unassuming smoke which delivers no less than the tin note promises. I personally enjoy the retro hale, as it shows none of the sharpness that characterises Rainy Days (which has a tendency to bite if not treated with kid gloves).

Pipe Used: Several

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Turmeau, Liverpool

Similar Blends: Smooth Sailing, Rainy Days, Bentley's Virginia Honey..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Betulas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Betulas (1)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant

A Jack of All Trades, that can't quite deliver.

I was intrigued by this tobacco. It was the first that I sampled from Ashton’s. Like many others I started with aromatics and then made my way (along a pretty straight road) to english blends. I was intrigued to see what this blend could offer to help with the journey.

I certainly like the idea of this blend. I think that it does not quite deliver for either camp however. I have smoked this with those who predominantly smoke aromatics and they have said that it is too strong! I smoke mostly english and balkan blends and believe that it is so weak there isn’t much going on!

I’m certainly not against lighter blends. Indeed if that is what you’re after I have suggested two in the similar blends section of this review. I do believe however that both suggestions are better tobaccos than Winding Road. They both have playful nuances which flicker through the smoke while I find Winding Road to be a dreary trudge through uninspired woodland, petering out with no discernible conclusion.

What’s more is the promise of the tin note! Like all good aromatics it smells delectable. What’s more, is the solid bass-note of the latakia; how could it all go so wrong? It should be noted that as a rule I am no lover of the aromatic school. And true to form I believe that this blend begins to peter out almost the moment that it is lit and that the warm foundations of the latakia offer nothing by way of compensation.

In conclusion it is a blend that is sniping for two rabbits and ultimately finishes by missing them both. If you like aromatic, find a pleasing aromatic. If you like english (or like the idea of them) then find something with lots of lovely latakia and then find a match.

As a parting shot I think that this blend has taught me something; set your sights on your intended outcome and attempt to fulfil it, don’t be diverted by a seemingly easier half-way-house. Further I am beginning to dispute the idea of starting pipe smoking with aromatics and then ascending to the school of ‘proper’ tobaccos later on. If you want to smoke something then do some research and find the best approximation of your intended school.

Personally I would suggest something like ’Elizabethan Mixture’ from Dunhill as a good starting point, however that may be incidental to this review!

Pipe Used: Various Briars

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: London UK

Similar Blends: Early Morning Pipe, Squadron Leader.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Loved the caramel taste that was discreet but noticeable with every puff. The Black Cavendish in this one absorbed the flavoring yet still provide some backbone to the smoke, which I appreciated. The "English" presence was there but subdued, and the Latakia hounds who take that leaf in an IV will be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Hmmm, the description says it is a bridge between an aromatic blend and an English blend. Since this has no real characteristics of an English blend, I would have to say this is one of those bridges to nowhere, since it never even gets off the ground on the aromatic side. This is a nice aromatic, but nothing to really write home about. YMMV. I would recommend this one to at least give it a shot, you may just like it. Just not my cup of tea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

earl_of_cumberland Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
earl_of_cumberland (5)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

As a fan of most of Astons aromatic I felt obligated to try this one as well. I must say that it is a really nice tobacco. A hint of sweet caramel is present in the begining but wears of after awhile, to fast if you ask me.

The negative is that at the end of the smoke it starts to taste a little bitter.

Otherwise a really pleasant tobacco with a lovely room note. It burns even but a bit to fast I think... but that might just be me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kevmo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kevmo (4)
Mild Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I took a chance on a tin of this a month ago. Based on the description of the blend, and some expectation in regard to the brand, I hoped for a better smoking experience than what occured. The aroma upon opening was almost non-existant. The first bowl burned hot and almost bitter. Thinking that maybe it was too moist, I waited to let some dry out a little bit before smoking a second bowl. The result was no better, and it burned even hotter. There is almost no flavor or aroma to this blend. I'll finish the tin and chalk it up to the fool me once category. Too bad, it does have a nice name...but my opinion is " Road to Nowhere"...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Plunket Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plunket (39)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I think the information on this is wrong - I don't believe it's blended by McClelland - it's definetely a European blender. Sadly, Bill Ashton Taylor (RIP) is no with us, but it's good to see that those left behind are continuing with his pipemaking business and I wish them success.

Anyway, if bill was still around, I would have no compunction in telling him that this stuff is absolute crap!

I'm not sure I fully understand what the the goal was here? there is a gap between aromatics and what we consider to be traditional English blends: so what we have here is a quasi-English ribbon cut, English-looking - aromatic!! that simply doesn't work.

The citrus additive (purported to be an apricot aroma) transforms the smoke into a very bitter, tongue tingling after-taste that burns quickly and very hot. My very large, thick bowled bent Dunhill felt like the end of a 'Thermic-lance' within a minute or so of lighting-up - and I do not regard my 35 years of pipe-smoking to be entirely inexperienced.

Sadly, this one neither qualifies as a good traditional English blend or a good aromatic - avoid like the plague!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tennjd2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tennjd2000 (6)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is supposed to be a "bridge" from aromatic to English. As a lover of full English blends with a little something "extra" added, I was intrigued. Unfortunatley, this dissapointed. It is neither an English or an aromatic. It's flavor is flat and it burned hot and quick. The preservative (I don't know exactly what it is called) seemed to be the dominant flavor. Keep in mind that Aston's Artisan's Blend is one of my favorite smokes so I'm not sure what went wrong with this one. I've only smoked one bowl and I'm sure I'll try another one eventually (I'm invested in the tin you see), but I wouldn't recommend this. Perhaps my tastes will change, but I doubt it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

uc_lonepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
uc_lonepipe (6)
Medium to Strong Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

S- Pretty strong. I was taken aback by the buzz I experienced

FL- Supposedly caramel and apricot, quite a pungent tin aroma.

RN- Smells like stale cigarettes, not to be smoked indoors.

T- Tastes like shithouse tobacco

R- No don't buy this; Save the 10$ or 12$ you would burn on this and buy something else!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gmconklin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gmconklin (6)
Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I had a mixed experience with this one. Allow me to elaborate. I like Perique A LOT as well as HUGE pipes... the relevance here is that I smoked this blend in one of my HUGE pipes normally used with much stronger blends; clearly it made it's influence known. This blend was really nice with the left over Perique from my pipe... I say this because I was amazed initially at its flavor... and wallop... So much so that I became suspicious and decided to try it in another lesser smoked pipe. Ah Ha! It was actually pretty nice on it's own as well, but it could really use a dash or Perique to make it what I had the first time. So add some McClelland blending Perique and this one is a real winner, on it's own, not too bad either. I really like it's fruity smell.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (96)
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

My first try of an Ashston blend. It's not horrible.

It doesn't bite.

It doesn't taste of anything very much.

Apricot ? no.

Caramel ? no.

Pretty little tin aroma. Nice gentle smoke.

Almost as tasteless as a Peterson's aromatic.

When this tin is finished I won't be buying another one.

If other Ashton's blends have similar attributes I won't be wasting a tenner on them, either.

Great name by the way.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt. Cavendish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt. Cavendish (21)
Extremely Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Winding Road--you can say that again. Absolutely no consistency in this blend from start to finish--it'll take you all over the place. If you're the kind of smoker who wants a surprise with each draw, this is your tobacco. For those of us (more discriminating smokers) who seek a little comforting stability in this hectic world, it would behoove us to steer clear and beware of the bend in the road.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zarteus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zarteus (10)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Hmm..."So so" is the phrase that comes to mind here. I don't think the whole is more than the sum of its parts with this blend. There are no negative points, but neither are there any outstanding ones. It may well "bridge the gap" as described but perhaps the view from the bridge isn't so very interesting. I found myself wanting far more complexity and taste to come through, its fine as a standby blend, perhaps great for mixing with another, bolder blend, but if the mood strikes you for a good pipe hit I'm sorry to report that Winding Road will probably fail to deliver.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A very good European aromatic. Think of it as the European version of "Evening Stroll". Chocolatey in an odd way. Heavenly aroma and a no brainer to smoke. Great for the neophyte smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.