Christian Eiroa has introduced his CLE Cigar lines for Fall 2012 release. Brands include CLE (Cuarenta, Connecticut and Corojo), Wynwood, and The Asylum Series. We reviewed the Asylum here and are reviewing the Asylum 13 today.
The Asylum Brand, manufactured in Esteli, Nicaragua looks to be poised for a major position in the marketplace. The factory, Nicaragua American Cigars, S.A. (NACSA), is a factory that previously produced over 10 million cigars per year for the Newman Family including their Quorum Brand. NACSA, the largest factory in Nicaragua, also produces many JR brands as well as a healthy portfolio of Altadis brands. Production for NACSA was formerly headed by the late Frank Llaneza, and with the absence of the Quorum production, the Asylum fits perfectly into a growth plan. With shared interest with the Oliva Tobacco Family, Christian Eiroa, and others, access to consistently available tobaccos and solid financial backing gives this brand both credibility and an assurance of commitment to future extensions of the brand.
The Asylum concept is that of a little craziness and thinking outside of the box. The Asylum line showcases some bold flavors, much in the tradition of Christian’s Camacho brand and the Asylum 13 brings even more strength. The Asylum’s cigar bands and packaging have a unique look and feel, invoking the fragile state of mind of an Asylum ward. The artwork, originally conceived by Kevin Baxter (formerly of Outlaw Cigar Co., Kansas City) and Mikael Barnheart (also from K.C.), really pulls this concept together.
Lets see what the Asylum 13 has to offer.
Size: 6 x 50
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The Asylum 13 features a black band with white writing and some red tracing in patterns on it. The band says Asylum and 13 in the middle with white skulls patterned on the rest of the band. The wrapper of the Asylum 13 is a very dark brown, almost dark chocolate in color, with moderate veins, but a beautiful oil shine to it. It feels solid and hand and is topped off with a very tight cap.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Asylum 13 has notes of sweet cocoa, hay, and wood. The foot has a scent which is a blend of coffee, cocoa, wood, and a slight spice which tingles the nose a bit. To prepare smoking the Asylum 13 I go with a punch cut and on the cold draw there is a flavor of spice, cocoa, coffee, and a nice bit of oak spice.
Smoking Characteristics: The Asylum 13 kicks off with an assortment of rich flavors which delight the palate. There is plenty of spice, pepper, and oak spice. The first few draws are bit overpowering, but the flavors settle down quickly. The spice warms and lingers on the palate. Rich dark chocolate and coffee flavors begin to dominate the profile with oak spice and a rich spice lingering just slightly underneath it. The strength is quite apparent, pleasantly full with a very powerful retrohale. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of rich, cool, smooth, and surprisingly sweet smoke.
Into the second third of the Asylum 13, it still keeps kicking out the same powerful but subtle spice and the strength remains full. It is now that I’m really starting to feel it. I could tell it was full before, now I can feel it is full. The notes of bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee still dominate the flavor profile, but the undertones of spice and oak spice are still quite present. Each draw leaves a little coffee and oak spice lingering on the palate, providing a nice finish. The draw is still excellent, easily providing a full body of smooth, cool, rich, sweet, and now slightly creamy smoke. The ash holds firm, well past the inch point, and the burn line remains very sharp.
During the final third of the Asylum 13, there is a nice evolution which takes place. A new rich caramel note joins the blend along with a deep roasted nutty flavor. These new notes pair with, but do not overpower, the notes of dark chocolate and coffee. The oak spice and rich spice still remain as undertones, and provide a bit of a savory feel to the Asylum 13. The strength remains full to the end, becoming a bit overpowering towards the nub, giving me quite the buzz. The construction performs very well to the finish, the ash still holding firm, and the burn line remaining sharp.
Conclusion: The Asylum 13 was a bit bolder than the regular Asylum, and in my opinion, the better flavor profile. The strength was quite full, with a nice kick to it. The flavors on the Asylum 13 were very well blended, smooth, and delicious. Overall I found the Asylum 13 to be more than satisfactory, with outstanding construction, and an fine experience. I would recommend trying out the Asylum 13 if you are a fan of powerhouse sticks!