I want to thank my good buddy, Jason Harding, at BestCigarPrices.com for sending me some samples.
Christian Eiroa and Tom Lazuka are journeymen at their trade. The whole Asylum line (Schizo, The Ogre, Asylum, Asylum 13, and Asylum 13 Authentic Corojo) is a great bunch of blends. With each new release, the spectrum of character, flavor, finesse, and boldness gets stronger.
“Asylum Straight Jacket cigars are a new blend released by Christian Eiroa and Tom Lazuka at the 2013 IPCPR tradeshow in Las Vegas. The cigar blend is made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco and made in Honduras by Fabricas Unidas. This ultra full-bodied line is Asylum’s strongest blend to date with a focus on delivering lots of strength.”
The Asylum Straight Jacket marks the first line that will be limited in terms of the production run. Production numbers are not known at this time.
The cigars will come packaged in 10-count boxes, and the individual sticks are set to retail between $8.95 and $11.95.
The cigars are rolled in the El Aladino factory in Honduras.
As in all the variations of the Asylum sticks, construction is excellent. There is a perfect solid to soft give ratio. The triple cap is expertly constructed. I have two cigars and the consistency of vein count is different from cigar to cigar. The dark oily sheen on the coffee bean colored wrapper is gorgeous. There is just the slightest amount of tooth. And I love the cigar band. Simple but expressive. It is a guy in a straight jacket with red trim and folded arms. So there is something Freudian going on here because the shoulders have spikes on them. And there is rope binding the straight jacket in the front…instead of the back. And the words Straight Jacket are in red at the bottom right. It is quite a stunning and unusual band.
I clip the cap and find aromas of lemon zest, spice, bread, baking spices, and cocoa. There is also a slight bourbon aroma as I sniff the body of the cigar.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are delicious. Smoke spews from the foot. Spice is readily apparent and it’s black pepper, not red. There is a bready, yeasty flavor. A nice sweet nuttiness appears. And to be honest, I am thrown a bit by the unusual flavor profile. This is not your usual Nicaraguan flavor profile.
Creaminess shows up early. There is a fruity component that reminds me of some sort of berry jam. It’s been a while since flavors have eluded me. But they are so unique, I am befuddled slightly. An earthiness prevails that makes the stick very rich like a dirty mousse.(Bullwinkle?)
The sweetness has a candy like flavor. Nougat. That was the component I couldn’t put my finger on. Huzzah.
The burn line is pretty good.
This cigar’s flavor profile is nothing like the previous Asylums. It amazes me, really, that the blending team of Eiroa and Lazuka are basically mad scientists and when let loose in the laboratory, they come up with magical things.
I absolutely loved the Authentic Corojo blend. And I am truly digging this new blend. This blend is a bit more expensive than the earlier Asylums. They are in the $5 range while this blend jumped a few bucks. Clearly, either the tobacco or production or time is the factor. And if you go to the larger size, a single can be as much as $12. That ain’t whistling’ Dixie, my friends.
The second third is the sweet spot. Flavors are emboldened to the point it wants to make me laugh with joy. They are so damn delicious. I should have pointed out earlier that this cigar is the perfect medium body stick. It is advertised as a very strong cigar, but so far it hasn’t shown me that. This means that the last third is going to lay me out like a round house punch from Ali. And I didn’t have my bowl of cereal before starting the review. Shame on me.
The stick is quite complex now. The full spread of balance is spot on. The finish is a mile long. The cigar is quite chewy. And it has a basketful of finesse and nuance.
The lack of strong cocoa and the strength of the sweet nougat and creaminess are the drivers of this cigar. The other flavors are ancillary and hang back adding just the right touch to point the cigar in the right direction.
I take a sip of water at the halfway point and all those marvelous flavors flood my palate. And I do believe the cigar is turning the last stretch in building its strength and body. I spoke too soon asking where is that full bodied cigar they promised.
Woo Hoo. I am seeing double from the nicotine. I clamp on my Hannibal Lecter arm restraints to steady me while I type on my laptop. The white screen moves and undulates like it was Goldie Hawn on “Laugh In.”
Houston, we have a full bodied cigar. My typing slows down and I make lots of typos. It is like I have ingested THC. Man, what a buzz!
I can see it now when these cigars hit the stores. The headlines will read: “Strange Occurrences. Men are Collapsing in Cigar Stores All Over the Country- Asylum Cigars May be at Fault.”
While the last third sees the cigar on a nonstop Mr. Toad’s ride of the strength on a continual rise, it does not diminish the flavors. In fact, the flavors are even bolder than the second third.
My hand fumbles for my cup of water and I nearly knock it over. Lecter’s thingamabob ain’t working so great.
Now I know where the cost went. The boys added strong hallucinogenics to the tobacco. Just kidding. They never would do that. Although Tom Lazuka was in the Treadstone program for a few years.
I man up and sit back and just enjoy the cigar. The dancing hippos keep me entertained.
Every single flavor from the first and second third is still present and accounted for.
This is a big step in blending for the Asylum boys. If they continue to keep making the cigars stronger, we are going to need first aid kits on the coffee table just in case.
I am surprised that while the red pepper/black pepper combo is potent, the spiciness has not dominated the flavors.
I come as close as I can to nubbing this cigar but self-preservation keeps me from getting there. I will wait til later and throw it in my pipe.
I would need an EMT present should I decide to smoke the 7 x 70.
I know this cigar isn’t cheap…Even at the robusto level. But it is a helluva’ experience in cigar smoking. These cigars will be in limited online stores. You can get them at BestCigarPrices.com
Which means that when you do see them online or in your local B & M, snag them up quickly. Who knows how long they will be around? I truly hope that they will decide to make them widely available. Next payday, I plan to buy these cigars. My wife will yell at me but it’s worth it.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS