The Asylum is one of the new cigars released by the CLE cigar company headed up by Christian Eiora. Christian, the former president of Camacho, had quite a few new introductions at the 2012 IPCPR including the CLE branded Corojo and the Cuarenta (which was made in tribute of Christian’s 40th birthday). You can read my thoughts on the new CLE Corojo here, and the new CLE Cuarenta here. The new Asylum brand is joined by two other cigars, Asylum 13 and the Schizo (a short filler cigar packed with flavor). The new Asylum cigars will be available in a wide range of formats from 44 x 4 to 70 x 7.
Size: 6 x 50
Strength: Medium to full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The band on the Asylum is a very fitting one, it looks almost like a logo for a death metal band with a skull and wings on both sides. The top of the band says Asylum and on the back it says 2012. The wrapper of the Asylum is a very dark brown with some light veins and a nice bit of oil to it. It is topped off with a beautiful tight triple cap and has a some weight to it.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Asylum has notes of wood, caramel, and some honey. The foot has a scent which is a blend of hay, grass, wood, and caramel. To prepare for smoking the Asylum, I use a straight cut and on the cold draw there is a flavor which is a mix of honey, grass, caramel, and wood.
Smoking Characteristics: The Asylum kicks off with a rich blend of oak spice, pepper, leather, earth, wood, and some deep smokey flavors. Immediately, I am struck by just how deceptive the cold draw was, I had started to expect a much sweeter richer blend considering the notes of honey and caramel I detected on the cold draw. After the first quarter inch a nice little salty savoriness joins the blend and takes a bit of the edge off of the spices and pepper. The draw is amazing, the smoke production is fantastic, easily providing a full body of smooth, rich, but slightly dry smoke. The smoke, since it was dry, causes a decent amount of salivation.
Into the second third of the Asylum, the notes of pepper start to fade out of the blend, but the notes of oak spice, leather, wood, earth, and the deep smokey flavor remain. A nice new lightly sweet cocoa flavor and deep coffee tone also join the blend offering a nice balance to the flavor. The finish on the Asylum is a deep smokey tone with a hint of pepper and oak spice lingering long on the palate between draws. The strength is in the medium to full range with a rich retrohale which still has plenty of spice despite the fact that the pepper has faded from the smoking profile. The construction holds up fairly well with an excellent draw providing a very full body of smoke. The snow white ash is also excellent, easily holding firm past the inch mark. The burn has required a bit of a correction to keep even.
During the final third of the Asylum, the flavor remains fairly consistent with the second third. The notes of oak spice, leather, wood, earth, cocoa, coffee, and the deep smokey flavor all remain and are very consistent. Now a nice light molasses joins the blend and provides a little sweetness which rounds it out well. The strength of the cigar remains medium to full, and the burn has started to improve, and has required no further corrections. The ash still holds very well and is almost a dazzling snow white color. The draw remains excellent as The Asylum performs well to the nub without any issues.
Conclusion: I think the most intriguing thing about the Asylum was the difference between the flavors I detected on the cold draw and the flavors that appeared in the smoking profile. I cannot recall of a single cigar which I have smoked that had that significant of a difference between the cold draw and the smoking characteristics. The construction on the Asylum also held up very well with an excellent draw, ash, and a decent burn. Overall it was very enjoyable and worth trying out. In fact, within this flavor profile it was extremely well done.