Ashton Type-1 is pure and simple a light English blend that is not really a bell ringer with me. I want more flavor and strength in my English. Quality leaf, just lightly offered and not my cup of tea.
As far as I know, the brand name “Ashton” is now owned by STG (Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Assens/Denmark) and the pipe tobacco “Ashton” is produced by Orlik (STG). I am not familiar with the history of the former British brand of “Ashton”. It seems that the brand name “Ashton” is gradually sliding from a pipe tobacco to a cigar brand. The rising selection of “Ashton” cigars supports my theory. Right now there are only four “Ashton” pipe tobaccos on the market: “Gentlemen”, “Gold Rush”, “Rainy Day” and “Smooth Sailing”. All others have gone.
On a recent Pipe Club meeting in Dijon, Burgundy, France, I had the opportunity to smoke a ten year old ASHTON TYPE 1. Ageing rounded-off the blend and made it soft and gentle without downgrading the aroma palette. Thanks to ageing, the Orientals now had this kind of vintage flavour that we know from old, real English vintage blends. I love this! Otherwise it remains a light English Blend with addition of Burley and Maryland, which is rather unusual. Latakia plays a minor role. I miss pronounced Virginia flavours. I had some difficulties to keep it alight and it did not burn well and evenly. Overall a very good and tasty blend, just too weak for me.
Mmm, this stuff is good. My tin was from 1982, so I do not know how the newer tins behave. This is a classic English, a bit milder than Black Mallory but very reminiscent and just as well-balanced in every way.
There is a slight note of liquorice during the smoke and it goes very well with this little beauty. If I could get hold of some more, I would be a regular customer. I could not detect the Maryland, but then again: who can, since it is a very anonymous leaf. It packs easy and burns well. Does not hurt your tongue no matter how hard you puff. The mildness and the satisfactory amount of nicotine makes this a good morning smoke for me.
Quite wet in the tin (but dries quickly), this is a bland and anonymous tobacco. I expected a fuller English blend, while it actually is rather mild. Being now made by Kohlhase & Kopp, this bears some similarities to the Rattray range of bland and dull latakia mixtures: yes, these German/Danish guys are ruining some classic tobaccos (including the legendary Fox Bankers' Mixture), probably using low quality leaf. I can't explain otherwise why blends which were considered great have turned into boring and tasteless ones. Slow smoking can find some interesting traits from the virginias and some latakia smokiness, but overall the experience is so muted and drowned in the dull "burning cardboard" taste typical of many K&K offerings. Type 2 is slightly better and more interesting thanks to the cavendish and delicate orange topping, unless of course K&K managed to screw it too since the last time I tried it. It takes great benefit from drastic drying: after that, it can be decent in a big bowl.
A wonderful tobacco. Perfect moisture level when opened, it does dry quickly. It's a round English/Scotish mixture that I enjoy often (I always have an open tin). I don't give it four stars because it tends to run thin towards the bottom of the bowl, but it's definitely a must try.
Yet opened the 50 gr tin. A very nice blend, smells great. Burley Virginia Latakia Turkish. Ribbon cut, nice cut. Tobacco was moist enough opening the tin, Ashton type 1 gives a full cool smoke, not overwhelmed by taste, though spices from the latakia and some sweetness are hanging around. It will be my favourite morning smoke being mild with a nice nicotine kick.
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