Asylum 13 Ogre Cigar
CLE cigars is on a roll with two cigars that beg to be noticed. The Asylum 13 6x80 cigar I most recently reviewed draws comments from everyone who sees it, and the new 7x70 Ogre, with its barberpole wrapper intertwining a green candela wrapper with the traditional Habano maduro wrapper is a standout as well.
The Ogre combines two emerging trends in the industry, the barberpole wrapper, and the use of candela wrapper leaf. The candela wrapper, which until the mid 20th century was the dominant wrapper leaf in the US, has seen a comeback with the introduction of the Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan, La Flor Dominicana's claro line, and releases from Illusione and Arturo Fuente. Despite the lighter wrapper color, the blends of most of these candela wrappers have been on the strong side, with blends tailored to enhance the grassy, slightly sharp flavor of the distinctive wrapper.
The coloring of the Ogre brings to mind camouflage, but you can also be forgiven for the name conjures images of the Shrek movies as well. The 70 ring gauge size is substantial, though after dealing with an 80 ring gauge last week, it seemed more manageable than I expected. The cut was easy, and the draw was incredibly smooth. The prelight draw was much more mild than i was expecting, with neither the spiciness of the blend or grassiness of the candela coming through.
The initial puffs revealed an exceptionally smooth and balanced cigar. The blend of the candela and maduro wrappers created a richness that was cut at times by the more pointed grass and wood notes of the candela. Subtlety is not something you expect from a cigar that looks like this, but that is exactly what the blend of flavors provides, with the smoke rounding out to a pleasant medium body.
The construction of the cigar is exceptional. After a few touch ups of the wrapper, the burn was incredibly even throughout, and the ash held together with minimal flaking for almost a quarter of the cigar. An impressive feat for a cigar of this size, and a testiment to the quality of rollers that Christian Eiroia has brought to CLE cigars.
As the cigar smokes through (it takes a while, as you would expect) more spiciness emerges, but it still retains a mostly soft medium-bodied character. The maduro flavor is slightly more pronounced as the final third is reached, but this richness never turns to harshness.
On the whole, this was a surprisingly subtle and well-balanced cigar. While I still will not be smoking 70 ring gauge cigars regularly, I would not hesitate recommending this cigar to someone looking for a long-lasting, relaxing, interesting, and impeccably constructed smoke. If you're interested in a barberpole wrapper (with natural and maduro wrappers intertwined) in a more traditional size, look for the Hobson's Choice double wrap, available at all Davidus locations.
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