This is a review I dread, not because of the blend of the cigar or the brand but because of the sheer size. I like the classic sizes, lancero, lonsdale, corona, robusto but anything over ring 55 is 99 out of the 100 times to big for me, unless its a torpedo or perfecto, then it might just work. So this 7 by 70 is way out of my comfort zone. Actually, when we got these cigars in, I worked at the Dutch distributer at that time, and I walked into our retail location in Rotterdam, my employer was there and asked me if I wanted to try one. My initial reply was “if I want to suck a donkey dick, i’ll go to the petting zoo”. But the other day I found one in my humidor, probably left over from a sample I gave to a retailer, so I decided to smoke it. The 7 by 70 was the initial release of the Ogre line, before all the line extensions, and it was in the early days that this happened.
The cigar itself is a cigar made at NASCA in Esteli, Nicaragua for Asylum Cigars, the company of Christian Eiroa and Tom Lazuka. I do like the regular Asylum 13 robusto and I always like the way barber poles look so if this was a robusto size I’d be quick to try one, especially since its a barber pole that doesn’t use Connecticut shade as a contrast wrapper, most of the times that kills the cigar for me because I hate Connecticut shade even more than I hate big ring cigars, although they come pretty darn close to each other.
The cigar, first of all, I love the name, its big, its green, so its an ogre. And it doesn’t come wrapped in cellophane but to protect the foot the foot is wrapped in a piece of wrapping paper. The ring is big, simple, shiny black with white lettering saying Asylum 13 and little drawings of something, but I don’t know what, could be a flower, a cloud of a mental patient from an asylum mooning me. They are all connected by a red dotted line. The ring doesn’t make any sense to me, but maybe thats deliberate to match the name. The quality of the printing is fine though. Then the wrapper, the brown wrapper is nice and dark, like dark oak and mild shiny while the candela wrapper is more rustic with more veins. They make a nice contrast. The construction feels good, and the dark cap is placed razor sharp on the top of the cigar, creating a beautiful horizontal line on the parts with the candela wrapper. The cigar has a mild and fresh smell to it, a little grassy too but I guess that comes from the candela wrapper.
I cut the cigar instead of punching it because I felt punching it wouldn’t be enough. The cold draw is great and tastes a little bit of raisin and a lot of pepper. Because of the ring gauge I opted for a torch flame and it still took a minute to get the cigar properly lit. I taste coffee with grass and pepper. I also taste a little sweetness. After half an inch the cigar gets creamy like butter with a lot of pepper. After an inch and a half I taste some vanilla and with the cream I think of vanilla ice cream but with lots of pepper. Near the end I taste nuts and pepper and the flavors are still creamy.
The smoke is medium thick and medium in amount. The draw is a little too easy, but that’s expected from a 70 ring cigar. The ash is light gray and frayed but very firm. The burn is uneven, but I never had a barberpole with an even burn, the different wrappers all burn with their own speed. I actually have to work to keep the cigar lit. As expected there isn’t a bit of evolution as is always the case with big ring gauge cigars. The cigar is medium bodied at most and medium plus flavored. The amount of pepper surprised me though. The smoke time is less than I expected, only two hours but it’s long enough for me.
Would I buy this cigar again? No, but I would try the lancero or the robusto if they ever make it to The Netherlands