C.L.E. "Asylum Premium" Review: 2012 Vintage Short Cigar Rockstar



For some of us, taking the DIY approach is the only method that matters. This is especially applicable to stogie enthusiasts. For when there's a chance to take a short smoke break halfway through a project, no task seems too great.

Take the challenge of removing green tea bushes for instance. These unwanted shrubs pop up all over the place if left unchecked, and must be dug up by the roots to prevent regrowth. 

It's an arduous amount of physical labor, best punctuated by periodic moments of respite, contemplation, and a premium cigar blend of some sort.

This leads us to today's short smoke review session: The "Premium 44x4" from C.L.E.'s Asylum line. A stout little cigar, that has recently become my go-to "EDC," or "every day cigar." With a flavor profile that mirrors the shrubbery I have been removing, and plenty of Nicaraguan puro power packed inside, there's very little to dislike about this petit corona. Allow me to elaborate...

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Unlit Impressions

Asylum Premium 44x4

Get past the gothic Asylum skull cigar band, and you'll see that this 4-inch long petit corona packs a triple-seamed cap atop its 44-ring-gauged structure. The other end is an aromatic, herbal concoction that smells of spice, earth, and a tart fruitiness that reminds me of ripening persimmons. 

A little rough around the edges, and reddish in color, this Habano-wrapped Nicaraguan puro pledges a full-strength smoking experience even prior to being lit.

Dry pulls are clay-like and quite dry. But this is balanced by an earthy, herbal-tasting Cuban seed filler and binder, all Nicaragua-grown and quite full flavored.

Initial Smoke

Asylum Premium 44x4

Spicy, full flavored, tea-like, and a dash dry, the intro to the "Premium 44x4" is very much in your face. And I mean that in a most complimentary tone.

As the ash cools, you are rewarded with an outstanding pull, one that provides a medium mouthfeel and body. This is backed by a beautiful little ash, and a bit of a nutty, pecan-like crunch left behind upon the palate.  

2nd Half

Asylum Premium 44x4

Being that this smoke is so short and quite slender, the midway point approaches rather quickly. Which in my case, tends to be about 15-20 minutes on average. 

Perfect. I've got work to do, and for as much as I would love to be a lazy lout, I can't be lounging about all day smoking stogies.

It is at this point in the cigar that a shift toward a more intense black tea flavor emerges. It's pungent, delicious, and slightly bitter. Thanks to that subtly sweet earthen core, this transition is not too intense. 

What is intense is the strength and overall flavor of the cigar itself. This is one vibrant little smoke, and an extremely well-balanced one at that. 

Parting Puffs

Asylum Premium 44x4

The second half feels like it should be rolled into the parting puffs portion of the "Premium 44x4" by Asylum. Cigar flavors come at you fast and the finish burn time is equally swift.

All of those earthen flavors favor this cigar's full-frontal spiced herb tea approach, bringing balance within the eye of the smoky storm.

It's still a high-strength, full-flavored premium cigar blend. But with its medium body, and amazing oak tannin-rich aftertaste, it's really hard to put this little guy down when your fingers begin to feel the burn.

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw

Asylum Premium 44x4


Smoke session time for the "Premium 44x4" came in at just a fuzz under 45 minutes. However, I've been able to suck down one of these spicy little smokes in under half that time, without it developing any char, off-flavors, or burn issues.

For those who are working on a project, or who might be in a bit of a time crunch, keep the following short stogie smoking suggestions in mind:

  • Try and time your puffs so that they are about a minute apart to prevent overheating and off-flavors from developing.
  • Keep your draws slow and steady to counter any construction issues.
  • Embrace all that your premium cigar blend has to offer by allowing the smoke to roll around in your mouth.
  • Be sure to utilize that "retro-hale," as exhaling out of your nostrils will help detect flavors your palate may not pick up on.

In the case of Asylum's "Premium 44x4" petit corona, construction and combustion are rarely an issue. Every one of these cigars that I've fired up has produced a near-perfect ash, which holds fast all the up until the halfway point.

Smoke quantity is provided in medium increments, with a mouthfeel/body that is equally middle of the road.

Final Thoughts

Asylum Premium 44x4

C.L.E.'s Asylum "Premium 44x4" has earned a top slot in my roster as one of the best options for a short smoke session.

Affordable, flavorful, reliable, and perfectly packaged, this cigar from C.L.E. is an ideal option for fans of fuller cigars that are in search of a quick smoke break. 

So if you are in need of a stubby, spicy, somewhat herbal EDC, you should definitely consider adding this petit corona to your humidor collection. For it truly makes for a fine companion for almost any DIY project.  

Cigar Stats


C.L.E. Asylum "Premium 44x4" (2012 Vintage)


Nicaraguan Habano


Nicaraguan (Cuban Seed)


Nicaraguan (Cuban Seed)


C.L.E. Cigar Co. (Nicaragua)


44 x 4 Petit Corona



Pairing Drink

Organic Rooibos Tea w/ Lime Vinegar



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