Asylum 13 6x80
Those of you who have read my other reviews (thanks for reading, by the way) know that I'm not a fan of large ring gauge cigars. I will rarely smoke even a 60 ring gauge, even though they continue to be one of the most popular sizes on the market right now. When we started seeing 70 ring gauge cigars appear a few months ago, I couldn't bring myself to even try one. But when CLE cigars released the Asylum 13 in an 80 ring gauge, it was too intriguing not to try.
The Asylum 13 has been...
one of our best sellers, and is one of my favorite full bodied cigars right now. Usually I smoke the 50 ring gauge, though I even enjoyed the 60 ring on occasion. The line overall delivers consistent construction, with a rich, full bodied smoke with an understated but unmistakable spiciness.
I had no idea what to expect from an 80 ring gauge cigar. I also had no idea how to cut it. Most cutters max out at just over 60 ring gauge, so I opted to punch the center of the cap. And then punch four more times around the center punch. The draw was smooth and spicy and immediately recognizable as an Asylum 13. Getting the foot lit wasn't as challenging as I thought it would be, with the help of a quad-flame torch lighter.
The flavor was much less full than the other sizes in the line. This isn't surprising because filler tends to dilute the distinctive wrapper flavor of a cigar, and an 80 ring gauge requires a lot of filler. While the balance and the blend of the cigar is appealing, it doesn't deliver quite the kick of flavor that makes the Asylum 13 a distinctive cigar. The size does deliver more than enough tobacco to make up for about 3 cigars, so you will definitely be feeling it after an hour and half of smoking.
It's difficult to make a consistently burning cigar in this size, and it did require some touching up and relighting, and the ash tended to flake more than usual. I was surprised that the volume of the smoke produced wasn't that much different than any of the other Asylum cigars, and the huge size did make smoking somewhat awkward.
Overall, this is a great cigar if you want to get noticed. Everyone who saw me smoking it commented on it (best comment of the day "That's bigger than my dog"). If you're looking for the consistency and flavor you expect in the Asylum 13s, I'd suggest one of the smaller ring gauges in the line, but if curiosity gets the best of you, and you have an hour and half to kill, give it a try. It will, at the very least, give you a story to tell.
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