Cigar Czars


Review of Asylum 13 Eighty Cigar

By: Gary Manelski

This is not one of my typical cigar reviews, since the Asylum 13 Eighty is not a typical cigar. This just happens to be the fattest cigar having the largest ring gauge that I have ever smoked (and most probably ever will smoke). The ring gauge of a cigar is the cigar's diameter expressed in 64ths of an inch. The Asylum 13 Eighty measures six inches in length and has a ring gauge of 80, which is much larger than my previous record of 66. Therefore, this review is more about the size of this cigar than its flavor.

I usually prefer cigars with a ring gauge falling between 50 and 60. Although fat cigars typically smoke cooler than thin cigars, there is a limit to how big a cigar can get and still be comfortable to hold and stick in your mouth. There are also other considerations, such as difficulties in cutting and lighting the cigar, as well as how well the cigar burns and draws. And don't forget about how long it will take to smoke such a large cigar make sure to allow plenty of time.

Let's begin with the best way to cut a large ring cigar. None of my guillotine cutters were large enough to cut the Asylum 13 Eighty cigar, nor was my Shuriken cutter. The easiest cut to make on a cigar of that size without damaging it would be a hole punch. However, this type of cut can limit the draw of a such a large cigar, so I opted to make a straight cut using cigar scissors, instead. I had to be careful not to damage the head of the cigar while making the cut, as more pressure than usual was applied to slice through the cap of this 80 ring cigar.

Next up, the light. I used a double jet flame lighter to fire up the cigar as quickly and efficiently as possible. Although it did take longer than usual to light the cigar, it was not as time consuming as a few other cigars that were not close to being as thick. The cigar did not always burn evenly, and required several touch-up lights to keep the burn relatively even. However, the cigar never went out and did not require any relights.

The cigar had a decent draw, and delivered an adequate volume of smoke, but not as much as anticipated for such a large cigar. The cigar was somewhat awkward to hold, and was not comfortable in my mouth. It took me one hour and 45 minutes to smoke the cigar down to about 2 inches remaining. That's a long time to smoke one cigar, but not as long as I anticipated for a cigar that size.

Although I enjoyed the flavor of this cigar more than the Asylum 13 Robusto size that I smoked previously, I would not buy any cigar having a similar vitola as the Asylum 13 Eighty. The one that I smoked for this review was given to me by a fellow cigar connoisseur. I rated the Robusto size with 3.25 points on a 5-point scale, and now give the Eighty the same overall rating, although I enjoyed its flavor enough to rate it 3.75 points. This proves that size really does matter!

Asylum 13 cigars are Nicaraguan puros from Christian Eiroa that are medium-to-full bodied. The price for a 5-pack of Asylum 13 Eighty cigars is about $42, but the price for a single cigar is closer to $10 per stick. I would not recommend buying any more than one of these cigars, and only to experience a cigar of this size for yourself, if you must.

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Asylum 13 Eighty Cigar
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