Asylum Cigars, a company known for its larger ring gauges, has recently launched two new sizes that push the boundaries of the giant cigar trend: a massive 8 inch by 80 ring gauge parejo and an 8 by 70 figurado called the Super 11/18.
Both new sizes, the 80x8 and the Super 11/18, are available across three lines: Asylum 13, Asylum 13 Authentic Corojo, and Asylum 13 Ogre, which is a two-toned, barber-pole style cigar wrapped with candela and dark Nicaraguan Habano leaf.
"The big ring gauge market for Asylum is our best segment," Tom Lazuka, co-founder of Asylum Cigars told Cigar Insider. "The 70x7 Asylum 13 is the number one selling cigar in our company. The 70x7 Asylum Ogre is the number two. We were not the first 70 in the market but we were the first to supply it, which in turn made it take off very quickly with the price point. The industry followed us very quickly with at least a dozen new 70 [ring gauge cigars] in the market place. We were the first with the 80x6 and now we're making the three Asylum 13 cigars (Nicaraguan, Corojo Honduran and the Ogre) in the 80x8."
The other new offering, the Super 11/18, is a variation on Asylum co-founder Christian Eiroa's signature 11/18 vitola, seen throughout his CLE Cigar Company brand portfolios (The 11/18 size also exists in the Camacho range, a brand the Eiroa previously owned).
The 11/18 (pictured above) has a unique look, swelling in the middle and tapering at both ends. In a similar format, the Super 11/18 starts with a measurement of 58 ring gauge, then fattens in the middle to 70 ring gauge before swooping back down to 60 ring at the foot. Interestingly enough, the Super 11/18 is blended to be cut and smoked at either end. Lazuka comments: "The Super 11/18 size is capped at both ends so you can smoke it from either end."
In terms of pricing, the Asylum 13 80x8 and Asylum 13 Authentic Corojo 80x8 will both retail for $10.00 each. The two-toned Asylum 13 Ogre 80x8 will retail for $11.00.
For the Super 11/18 format, Asylum 13 and Authentic Corojo will retail for $9.00. The Asylum 13 Ogre 11/18 is priced at $10.00. The new sizes are on store shelves now.
"We will not go any bigger than the 80x8," Eiroa said. "I do think the 70x7 is here to stay and that the 80 ring gauges will be popular in the warmer months, but I don't anticipate the industry going any larger than that."
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2015 issue of Cigar Insider.