Bite Size Review: Asylum 13
I just realized that many of our recent reviews, quite unintentionally by the way, include super- and even ultra-premium cigars, and with prices to match. So, we step back into the world of mortal men where $30 buys a tank of gas and our cigars are more in the $7-$8 range. Many believe you can’t find great cigars in this price range, and as we’ve reminded you again and again, that myth has been busted. Repeatedly.
Additionally, not one of these luxurious, recently-reviewed gems were characterized as full-bodied. It’s been a couple of months or so since our last review of a full-bodied blend, so I think we’re due. We’ve previously reviewed several cigars hailing from the Eiroa family (CLE Corojo, JRE Aladino, Camacho Corojo) and they never disappoint. Our next installment takes us to another brand in the Eiroa stable, a project between Christian Eiroa and former Camacho sales rep, Tom Lazuka: Asylum 13.
The Asylum 13 brand was launched in the summer of 2012 and has since grown exponentially with 14 regular production lines like Insidious, the barber pole Ogre and the economical Schizo as well as numerous one-offs and limited editions. In fact, to commemorate the brand’s 7th anniversary, Tom Lazuka announced the 2-vitola limited run Seven at this year’s IPCPR show. The namesake Asylum 13 is but one of a few Nicaraguan puro’s in Eiroa’s bag of tricks, and we’re eager to dive in.
In drawing up Asylum 13, Lazuka and Eiroa wanted to focus on bigger ring gauge cigars, but for this review we’re gonna stick with the Toro. Our Habano is a dark, oily rusty nail of cigar that sports a triple seam cap, has a semi-slick feel and a uniform firmness. Aromas are pretty predictable with cocoa, chocolate and raisins dominating the air waves, but the Habano skin does impart a spiced wine essence. The draw is semi-open, but it does open more as it is smoked.
Right out of the gate our toro treats me to a wonderful medley of toasted almonds, coffee bean and caramel notes overlaying a profile of toast and espresso. There’s a semi-sweet chocolatey essence to the draw and an understated savory mesquite note on the retro followed by a baked, toasty finish. Spice is apparent throughout and it ratchets upward, as does the body, through transitions. Complexity is lacking overall, but you won’t lose interest as the blend is very satisfying. Transitions feature savory, spicy profiles of earth, wood and coffee balanced by warm, dark fruit and chocolate notes.
The combustion is superb with an occasional wavy burn and it offers solid smoke production. This toro likes to be smoked, so don’t ignore her too long or you’re going to use a lot of butane. Asylum 13 Habano is a meaty, but value-added, pleasing blend that will make a superb partner to your favorite whisky(ey). Take a pocketful to your next herf or favorite lounge and remember to “share and pair”! – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 5 Packer
Did you Know: Christian Eiroa owns/distributes four primary brands including Asylum 13, Eiroa, C.L.E. and Wynwood Hills.
- Profile: Full
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″x52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Blade: Colibri ‘V’
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $7.26
- Humidor Age: 12 mo.
- Box: 50 (MSRP $363)
- Other Vitolas: 5″x50, 6″x60, 7″x70 [BP & Regular], 6″x80, 8″x80, 11/18 Super, 7″x38 [99 Problems]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:20
Construction: Dark; oily; rusty nail appearance; hard body; triple seam cap; semi-seamless; moderately veiny; no soft spots; semi-slick feel; holds flaky 1″ ash; good smoke production.
- Wrapper – Spiced wine, chocolate
- Foot – Vanilla, cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – Chocolate and raisins
- Initial: Toasty espresso core; notes of almonds and coffee bean; light spice with toasty finish; caramel and sweet pepper notes on retro; medium bodied; semi-sweet chocolate draw; savory character with long, baked finish of sweet mesquite and coffee bean; lacks real complexity.
- Transition: Damp, earthy profile; body increasing; dominant accompaniment of dark fruit, chocolate and oak notes; rich finish of sweet cedar and espresso; anise essence to smoke aroma.
- Transition: Full bodied, savory profile dominated by charred wood and earth; savory and satisfying; layered finish of baked bread and espresso; spicy chocolate on palate.
Balance: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Recommendation: 5 Packer
- Boxworthy / Go-to
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]