We enjoy sharing “The Story Behind” various aspects of the cigar industry. Today, let’s look at Robert Levin and Ashton Cigars. In the arena of wealth, there is old money and new money. Old money was made generations ago, and if the succeeding generations are smart with the wealth handed down to them, they enjoy continued success. New money is the result of more recent entrepreneurial smarts and risk-taking. There is a parallel in the world of premium cigars. Many of the top brands have been around for generations. Think names like Fuente, Perdomo, and Partagas. They are the patriarchs of the industry and represent old money if you will. These older families often own their own fields and factories, overseeing every step of the process from seed to cellophane wrapper. There is a new generation of recently successful cigar manufacturers. Jonathan Drew and Marvin Samel and their company Drew Estate might be the best example. Rocky Patel is right there too. These men pulled elements of great cigars together from other producers. As they gained a reputation, partnerships were developed, and their companies attracted the type of talent to gain traction. Rocky Patel still owns no fields or factories, yet his lines are some of the best in the industry. Robert Levin did not grow up in the cigar manufacturing industry. His roots are in the cigar selling business. He’s a second-generation Philadelphia tobacconist. He both imported and sold premium sticks. Over the years, as you might expect, he developed a keen understanding of the types of cigars he likes. He’s a true connoisseur. In 1985, Levin approached the Fuente Family with his idea to launch a cigar brand of his own. A partnership was worked out by which the Fuentes would produce cigars to Levin’s specifications. Ashton Cigars was born, and the brand was getting good traction when the cigar boom of the early 1990s occurred. Ashton Cigars are made from premium Dominican tobaccos which are blended to create intriguing and complex stogies. Six different blends are used, each precisely calculated to produce a distinct flavor profile. For example, the Heritage Puro Sol cigars are produced from tobaccos that are sun-grown to produce a full-flavored, beefy stick often described as woodsy or spicy. Most Ashton wrappers are Connecticut Shade; the famous VSG, a 91-rated smoke, uses an Ecuadorian wrapper. Today, Ashtons are among the best-loved, highest-rated sticks available. Check out our full complement of Ashton Cigars on Cigars Direct.