The latest addition to the VSG line-up, the 6×52 parejo tubo, the Eclipse hit most Brick & Mortar shelves across the country in early ’10, boasting the quintessential Ecuadorian Cloud/Sun Grown Sumatra (courtesy of the Oliva family) and a cedar sleeve which is much akin with any reputable tubo. I see myself preparing this cigar for reviewing purposes with a 9mm punch, and toasting and lighting by means of a Dupont Ligne 2. And I can only hope this release isn’t green, but a prime specimen of the VSG lineage. I acquired this stick from www.ElFumador.com for 12.00 plus shipping along with a cigar piercer for around 25$ w/ shipping.

This parejo captures the appearance of it’s earlier predecessors, the ’99 Rounds, as it two is presented in a circular press as opposed to it’s boxed pressed brothers and sisters; not exactly the pinnacle of wrappers for this particular stick, as it appears o be both mottled and with lots of veins. A 9mm punch to the dead center of the head opens to a pleasant aroma of Cheyenne peppers, roasted and salted cashews, leather and earth; this going to be a marvelous cigar. A touch of pepper and coffee beans on the tongue, toasting of the foot gives way to fresh out of the toaster toast, ouzo, and lit cedar, hickory, and Tabasco sauce.

The Eclipse starts out unfortunately with rich ammonia and sulfate taste, upon which shortly after gives way to a combination of roasted nuts and espresso beans, cracked peppercorns, black licorice, and hazelnut. Approximately half an inch of salt & pepper inch, relatively absent of any distinctive ring formation The smoke wafting in the air smells of cedar and a well caramelized portion of flan.

An inch in, at the fifth inch mark, the ash is remaining rather solid, and the flavor shifts towards dark chocolate, a nice cup of French roast, earth, and leather.

Another inch down, to four inches, and the Eclipse opens up to hints of cream, cedar, a variety of spices (paprika, clove, peppercorns, and thyme), and milk chocolate. Three inches left on this vitola, and the flavor has shifted yet again, this time towards chocolate truffles, spiced cider, cedar, and vinaigrette.

The ash hasn’t been particularly solid, more akin to a pliable yielding ash, practically semi-solid. It’s been canoeing and leveling out ad nauseaum. There’s a noticeable presence of sharp pepper on the tongue following every draw on the cigar and cedar floating on the palette from the smoke.

Overall this is a noteworthy cigar, and given ample age say four to six months in a humidor, and it will a remarkable vitola well worth savoring; not that it’s green or a bad crop production, just that with this particular vitola in the line-up of the VSG front mark.

Two inches to an inch and a half left, and another shift in the flavor paradigm to caramel, sea salt, more cedar, 85% cacao, ground pepper, and espresso beans.

Thanks to Robert Levin of Ashton Cigars for expanding the VSG line, with the Eclipse.

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