A new project from the CLE Cigar Co. recently began shipping to stores, and it may lead you to involuntarily think about how box pressing affects a cigar's blend.
Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata, named after the neuronal mass that handles autonomic functions such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, may be named after a complex part of the brain, but the concept is simple.
The new cigar comes in 50-count boxes, each filled with 25 cigars that are round and 25 cigars that are box-pressed. The round cigars are called Medulla while the box-pressed version is called Oblongata. The cigars may be shaped differently, but the blend is the same.
"The overall smoke of the cigar is different as pressing the cigar changes the rate at which it burns," says Bianca Melone, of CLE Cigar Co. "Whether or not it changes the flavor is up to the person smoking the cigar, as each person experiences flavors differently."
Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata is an homage of sorts to Honduras, from the blend to the packaging. The blend is 100 percent Honduran tobacco, as both the round and box-pressed versions are covered with fourth- and fifth-priming Corojo wrapper that was grown on brand owner Christian Eiroa's Corojo Farm, while the binder and filler are both Honduran. Additionally, all the boxes and packaging (save for the cigar rings) were manufactured in Jamastran.
Medulla Oblongata comes in four, larger ring gauge sizes, each named after their dimensions: 50x5, 52x6, 60x6, and 80x6. The cigars will sell for a suggested retail price from $7 to $11. The cigars were rolled at Eiroa's El Aladino factory in Danlí, Honduras.