As a fat guy, I have long preached bigger is better. Sadly, that hasn’t caught on outside of my wife. What has caught on is the massive ring gauge cigar fad craze much to my dismay. I get that many people see the added value in larger ring gauges, but for me I feel as if you are giving up on the flavor. With Asylum that is different as the cigars are blended to the large ring, unlike others that see cigars created in a smaller ring and then see the ratio adjusted as the cigar goes up in size.
For Tobacconist Association of America members who meet every year to discuss issues that face the industry select manufacturers make a TAA Exclusive cigar. This year Asylum did a 7 x 70 Box Press which makes it a bit more manageable for myself.
Cigar Review: Asylum 13 TAA Exclusive Box Press
Ring Gauge: 70
Size: Box Press 7 x 70
The Look: The Asylum 13 TAA Edition comes packaged in a box that is no different then the regular monster ring gauge cigars. Its in a wooden box, when the lid lifts off much like a hat box. Inside, the cigars are packaged without cello and the foot of the cigar features white tissue paper. The band is black and white which is the same as the Asylum 13. The cigar is box pressed to perfection and the Nicaraguan wrapper has a brindle like effect to it. In the hand this might be one of the heaviest cigars I have ever smoked. So much so, it was like doing curls with each puff.
The Notes: The cold draw of the cigar has some elements of spice and earth with a very subtle tobacco sweetness. The aroma off the foot of the cigar has a chocolate like sweetness with some heart pepper that causes me to sneeze.
After toasting my cigar which felt like eternity due to the massive size, the 7 x 70 box press starts off with an abundance of pepper which seems to be the norm for a lot of Nicaraguan puros. As the pepper subsides the complexity of the cigar begins to shine through. There are notes of nutmeg and mocha with the latter especially noticeable on the retrohale. As the 1st third comes to a close the mocha notes intensify.
Into the second third of this monstrosity of cigar the cigar sees the mocha notes really begins to dominate with some hints of dark chocolate. Both notes are easily identifiable on the aroma of this tasty slow smoking cigar. As the second third comes to a close some leather notes are introduced to the medium to full bodied cigar.
In the last third of the TAA Exclusive from Asylum we see the leather notes become dominant. The sweetness moves to the background of this cigar which has a leathery long finish. It’s smooth and balance all the way through and as the cigar closes out there is a slightly floral aroma to the stick.
The Finish: The box pressed version of the Asylum 13 makes it a little more manageable to smoke. I really hate the big ring cigars and dread smoking them, but while this cigar was big, I found myself enjoying the cigar and I am confident I would smoke one again. It lasted for over 2 hours, and the definitely brings value to this cigar.
Price: $8.39 / $219.99