The Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 is exactly as described – a cigar with a 90-ring gauge and 9 inches long. In 2021, Asylum Cigars was preparing to release its Asylum Nine limited edition series to commemorate the brand’s ninth anniversary. At the time, Asylum put an April Fools’ joke on social media saying it was releasing a 90 x 9 cigar. Thinking it was real, this led to many retailers requesting the cigar. As a result, C.L.E. Cigar Company, the parent company of Asylum, decided to turn the April’s Fool joke into reality. The 90 x 9 version of the Asylum Nine was released along with two sizes common to Asylum’s anniversary cigars – 11/18 and 70 x 7. The difference is while the Asylum anniversary cigars have been one-and-done, the 90 x 9 was brought back for several other runs. In 2023, the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 was rebranded, and it’s the cigar we look at today.
The rebranding gave the 90 x 9 offering an identity separate from the Asylum Nine. The 2023 edition was dubbed Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9. The packaging was changed from Asylum Nine’s black and copper packaging to red and black packaging. The other thing is that the packaging now features the Chinese Zodiac symbol. For 2023, it was the Year of the Rabbit. C.L.E. says future versions of the April Fools’ Day cigar will also carry Chinese Zodiac symbols.
Let’s break down the Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table. For this assessment, a single cigar was smoked.
Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 Cigar Review
Blend and Origin
The Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 is a Honduran puro. Production comes from Christian Eiroa’s C.L.E. Cigar Factory in Honduras.
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: C.L.E. Cigar Factory
The Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 is the current offering in this blend. Each cigar comes packaged in an individual coffin, and the coffins are available in five-count trays.
As we mentioned, this blend stems from the Asylum Nine release. There were also 11/18 and 70 x 7 offerings released in 2021.
When it comes to a 90 x 9 offering, there is a lot of tobacco. The Honduran wrapper had a dark cinnamon color. There wasn’t much in the way of oils on the surface, but upon closer examination, there was some toothiness. The wrapper also had some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
Each cigar was wrapped in tissue paper – a Christian Eiroa of C.L.E. Cigars Company staple.
Cutting the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 was going to be a challenge. I could have gone with multiple punch cutsor a razor blade. Instead, I opted to use an 80-ring gauge cutter. I will say upfront that while some people say a 60-ring gauge is too big to smoke, I still find it to be a smokeable size. A 90-ring gauge is a different story. It simply is too big to be put in one’s mouth.
Once the cap was clipped, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. Performing a dry draw was a little challenging, but I got some notes of dusty earth, wood, and cinnamon. Overall, it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw experience. Since the pre-light draw was not scored, there was no loss of points on the overall score or assessment rating.
A quad-jet lighter was used to ignite the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 – and that is what was used here. There is a lot of surface area on a 90-ring gauge cigar, so the quad-jet came in quite handy. Once toasted, it was time to begin the smoking experience.
The Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 opened up with notes of earth, cedar, citrus, and baker’s spice. Early on, the earth and baker’s spice moved to the forefront, with the cedar and citrus settling in the background. The citrus occasionally popped into the forefront as the cigar progressed through the first third. Meanwhile, on the retro-hale was an additional layer of cedar as well as some mixed pepper.
The second third of the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 saw bread and natural tobacco notes emerge. These notes displaced the earth and baker’s spice shortly before midway. Just past the midway point, the natural tobacco took hold as the primary note. Meanwhile, some black pepper entered the equation in the background, joining the earth, cedar, citrus, bread, and baker’s spice. There was an increase in the black pepper during the second half. As for the retro-hale, the pepper also took control here.
Later, in the second third, the natural tobacco took on some bitter qualities. This continued into the final third of the cigar. There still were notes of earth, cedar, citrus, bread, and baker’s spice, but now the natural tobacco was the dominant note. Surprisingly, as the smoking experience of the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 came to a close, the cigar finished with a cool and firm nub.
For those curious, the smoke time was 4 hours and 22 minutes.
The burn of the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 performed quite well. It needed frequent touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line, but it never got out of control. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color complexion. There was some minor flaking and flowering along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The 4 hour 22 minute smoking time was reasonable for a cigar this cigar.
The draw of the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 required a lot of effort. Yes, there was some resistance, but working a draw on a 90 x 9 was quite a challenge because there was a lot of tobacco. This probably wouldn’t have been an issue on a 60 x 6 or 70 x 7, but as I said – a 90 x 9 is a different story.
Still, the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 draw wasn’t too loose or plugged. On a side note, there were no issues with the combustion of this cigar.
Strength and Body
For strength and body, the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 started out on the lower end of medium. The strength and body increased linearly throughout the whole smoking experience. By the 3/5 point, the Asylum April Fools’ 90 x 9 had moved into medium to full territory for strength and body, where it remained but continued to increase in intensity.
In terms of strength versus body, both the strength and body balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Regarding the bands, I’ve always liked the design of the Asylum anniversary cigars. The change to red and black for the Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 is one that I thought came off nicely. At the same time, the coffin is simply massive. This is definitely one you would want to keep as a keepsake. My only advice here is if this will also serve as Asylum’s annual Chinese Zodiac cigar, maybe something more prominent should be added to the banding.
Looking at flavor, the first half of the Asylum April Fools’ 4.1.2023 90 x 9 was quite enjoyable, but then things changed in the second half as it got harsher. There was a nice amount of complexity to this cigar, but as the cigar became harsh, the flavor notes became quite muddled. Part of me almost feels like this cigar would have been better served in a 90 x 6 offering.
This is not the worst assessment, but ultimately, at a $41.40 price point and as a cigar that was a long chore (for me, 4 hours, 22 minutes) to smoke, I can’t see myself coming back to this cigar anytime soon. Still, kudos to C.L.E. for pulling off a 90 x 9 offering.
Key Flavors Natural Tobacco, Earth, Bread, Citrus, Cedar, Bakers Spice, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium to High
Strength: Medium (1st 3/5), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium (1st 3/5), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Value: Not Recommended
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop