Our legacy as a premium cigar brand began in the early 1980s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here is a look back at significant milestones in our 35-year history.
1985 marks the birth of Ashton cigars. The original Ashton is released in six sizes: 8-9-8, Churchill, Corona, Panatela, Prime Minister, and Sovereign. The six classic shapes remain an essential cornerstone to the Ashton portfolio. Today, Ashton is a perennial “Top 3” cigar brand in the U.S. and is sold in over 60 countries around the world.
In 1988, Ashton launches two of its finest and most beloved cigars: Ashton Aged Maduro and Ashton Cabinet Selection. The new blends diversify the brand’s portfolio. Ashton Aged Maduro is drafted with a succulent Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Ashton Cabinet is matured for five to seven years for optimal taste.
1993 marks the beginning of the era known as the Cigar Boom. During this time, cigars enjoy unprecedented popularity. Cigar Aficionado magazine publishes its premiere issue in which Ashton took out a half-page advertisement. Ashton's inaugural advertising campaign features the timeless slogan, "Uncompromising Quality."
Ashton introduces an intriguing advertising campaign featuring a colorful illustration of a couple smoking cigars. The woman depicted bears a likeness to Hollywood actress Demi Moore and reflects the inclusivity of female cigar lovers who began to flaunt their appreciation for premium cigars as much as men.
In 1999, Ashton launches the legendary Ashton Virgin Sun Grown (VSG). One of the first full-bodied cigars to emerge in the wake of the Cigar Boom, Ashton VSG is greeted with immediate and overwhelming demand. The 94-rated blend has appeared in Cigar Aficionado’s “Top 10 Cigars of the Year” five times and has scored ratings of 90 points or higher on more than forty-five occasions. Ashton VSG continues its twenty-year reign as one of the most sought-after cigars in the world.
Originally, La Aroma de Cuba was handcrafted in the late 1800s in Cuba where the brand became an early favorite of Winston Churchill. The brand was abandoned and off the market for more than 100 years. In 2002, La Aroma de Cuba is reborn into the modern era of cigars. The original artwork was recovered and revitalized to preserve the brand's vintage Cuban motif and reflect its rich history. The 93-rated blend is among the most popular Nicaraguan cigars today.
In 2005, Ashton celebrates its 20th anniversary with the release of Ashton Estate Sun Grown (ESG). The blend is drawn from an ultra-rare Dominican Sun Grown wrapper and select binder and filler tobaccos cultivated on the Fuente family’s legendary Dominican estate, Chateau de la Fuente. Ashton ESG is a 94-rated classic and has ranked in Cigar Aficionado’s “Top 10” numerous times.
In 2007, the original San Cristobal debuts. Celebrated cigar-maker Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia blends a resounding, full-bodied cigar in a collection of classic shapes. A robust profile of espresso bean, dark chocolate, walnut, black cherry, and spice entices with vintage Nicaraguan tobaccos and a shimmering Cuban-seed Oscuro wrapper leaf grown in Ecuador. Cigar Aficionado rates San Cristobal 93 points.
In 2008, Cigar Aficionado names Ashton one of the “Top 5 Cigar Brands” in the U.S. market. The brand’s prestigious reputation cultivates an audience of sophisticated and new cigar lovers in premium cigar retailers around the world.
In 2011, Cigar Aficionado awards the top-selling La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor an epic 95-point rating and crowns it the “#2 Cigar of the Year.” The accolades reflect the cigar’s versatile appeal, well-aged profile, and the Garcia family’s talents for making cigars of exceptional taste and quality. Immense demand for the blend ensues.
San Cristobal launches its bestselling blend with Revelation. A glistening Ecuador Sumatra wrapper leaf covers a stunning core of vintage Nicaraguan long-fillers. A medium-bodied profile of cocoa, cinnamon, cedar, smoked almond, and black pepper captivates cigar lovers and scores a 92-point rating. San Cristobal Revelation is an immediate hit and becomes a cornerstone in the San Cristobal franchise.
In 2013, Ashton proudly unveils an opulent setting for cigar and whiskey enthusiasts to indulge their favorite desires with the opening of Ashton Cigar Bar in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. The brand’s signature bar is a sanctuary for lovers of fine cigars and spirits. Ashton Cigar Bar is home to a selection of more than 200 premium cigars, 450 rare and vintage whiskeys, 500 spirits, and a popular cocktail menu. Cigar lovers from around the world are invited to experience an unrivaled oasis at Ashton Cigar Bar.
In 2014, the much anticipated Ashton Symmetry debuts to immeasurable applause. The first new Ashton cigar in a decade is drawn from a premium recipe of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos assembled beneath a shimmering Cuban-seed wrapper leaf. The intricate, complex, and savory profile of Ashton Symmetry scores a series of sky-high ratings, including 94 points with multiple appearances in Cigar Aficionado’s “Top 10 Cigars of the Year.”
Ashton is named one of the “Top 3 Cigar Brands” in the U.S. market by Cigar Aficionado in 2017. The brand’s portfolio continues to score top ratings with iconic cigars like Ashton VSG, Ashton ESG, Ashton Symmetry, and more. Cigar lovers around the world remain enamored with the evolution of taste the top-shelf brand delivers.
The San Cristobal portfolio expands with the debut of Quintessence in 2017. By 2021, this remarkable cigar earns an impressive 95-point rating when it’s ranked as the ‘#3 Cigar of the Year’ in Cigar Aficionado. An oily Cuban-seed wrapper, grown in Ecuador, harbors a complex blend of premium Nicaraguan tobaccos assembled by legendary cigar-maker José ‘Pepin’ Garcia. Six classic sizes reveal a medium to full-bodied profile of cedar, coffee bean, cocoa, molasses, and spice.