Asylum 13 Ogre Barber Pole | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Candela & Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Full
Price: $6.30 MSRP


Asylum Cigars is Christian Eiroa, Tom Lazuka, and Kevin Baxter. The original Asylum made its debut at the 2012 IPCPR trade show.

The Ogre Barber Pole is under the aegis of the Asylum 13 blends. And is the fourth blend of the series. Plus, the whole Asylum 13 comes in some ridiculous sizes such as 7 x 70 and 6 x 80. Too much of a good thing? For some, this is heaven.

Candela wrappers are tricky. They are delicate and fragile. And often give off a very grassy flavor. So let’s see how this works out.

First, I am very glad they decided to make a simple robusto. I cannot imagine how much humidor time is required for an 80 ring gauged cigar. That’s 1-1/4” in diameter.

Here is the most accurate circle I could find that shows how big that cigar is in diameter:

Construction is very solid. Jam packed with tobacco. The candela band is not the bright grassy green we see in most candela wrappers. It is muted and has a matte finish; while the Nic Habano band is medium brown with a bit of oil…not much. The stick is smooth to the touch. The cap is a work of art. A beautifully applied triple cap that it is totally invisible. The cigar band is still the standard Asylum 13 style. Nothing special for the Ogre.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cocoa, raisins, sweetness, espresso and a rich earthiness.
Time to light up.

Great flavors to start with: A Garcia Blast of Pepper, rich earthiness, cocoa, espresso, leather, sweetness, and creaminess. I do believe my nose hairs have evaporated from the spiciness. Whoa. Howdy Doody!

The draw is perfect and smoke fills the dining room where I sit and type. I need a Kleenex for my eyes. My nasal passages are totally clear. Turn this power into a pill and Claritin D goes out of business. Yikes! I turn the fan on so I can see the laptop screen.

I get that dreaded little V burn on one side indicating that if left to its own discretion, will canoe on me so I fix it.
With all this spice power I can’t even taste the candela. The cigar needs to calm down some. I like a spicy cigar but I expect the boys in the back room wanted me to taste the candela, not just marvel at the design.

I can definitely taste the Maduro qualities. And then at the ¾” mark, I get some grassy notes. Along with stronger values of cocoa, creaminess, sweetness, and espresso.

At the 1”, we have some magic going on as the cigar becomes an official flavor bomb.

The strength started out at classic medium but has already moved to medium full bodied. And yes, Marco Lebron, this cigar is perfect for you.

The flavors have shifted as it gained flavor bomb status: Creaminess, spice, very strong cocoa, espresso, grassiness, earthiness, dried fruit, and leather.

The Candela quality is that it brings airiness to the flavor profile. The grassy flavor is very minimal. I’ve reviewed three candela cigars lately and the wrapper greatly influenced the cigar. Here, it is more an affectation for that barber pole effect. Which is OK. It adds to the flavor but not much.

Part of the maduro wrapper breaks free at a seam and it is then that I realize that it is not the Candela leaf that is the added barber pole leaf, but rather, it is the maduro. The entire cigar is wrapped first in Candela and then a strip of maduro is added later. I thought it was the other way around. Had the seam not broken, I would not have known this.

The three reviews are the Illusione 88 Candela, La Flor Dominicana Double Claro, and Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan. Of the three, the Filthy Hooligan was my least favorite.

The second third began while I was meandering. The spice has tamped down quite a bit.

As the spice tucks tail and runs for the hills, the flavor bomb status is reignited and takes on a second form. Flavors, somewhat buried by the pepper, are now up front and center.

The cigar hits its complexity factor. And the balance is perfect. It is very chewy with a very long finish. I am loving this cigar. Are you listening Marco?

The several main flavors do not change as the cigar progresses. They just intensify.

There are a couple new flavors as I hit the halfway mark.

The dried fruit reminds me of the date milk shakes we used to get at Hadley’s Fruit Orchard just outside of Palm Springs. I take a swig of water and smack my lips in the hunt for the elusive new flavor. It is either cotton candy or vanilla toffee. Vanilla is definitely a part of whatever is showing up for the first time. It is sweet and sublime.

As a kid, I hated cotton candy but my parents would buy it for me when we went to the Pike in downtown Long Beach or Disneyland. A couple bites were plenty and even as a young boy, the mess was overwhelming.

The flavor push just doesn’t stop. I’ve smoked, and reviewed, the entire Asylum line: Asylum Straight Jacket, Asylum 13 Authentic Corojo, Asylum 13, and the Asylum 2012. I believe that the Ogre is my fave of the bunch. And the others were pretty damn good.

The last third begins. It is just unbelievable how good this cigar is. And the inexpensive price point is just one more example of how a great cigar need not cost $9. Take a gander at “The Katman’s List of 70 Excellent Cigars in the $5.00-$6.00 Range.” This stick will definitely make the cut.

This stick is very popular and I believe a limited batch run. So, one has to be quick on your feet. I got mine from Atlantic Cigars and I should thank them for the sticks. The thing I don’t understand is that the cigars are boxed in quantities of 30 and 50 making a box purchase a major investment of over $260. But they have a lot of 5 packs and singles. I would make a move before they are gone.

I like that Atlantic doesn’t hike the single or 5 pack prices. The single is just about the same price as in a 5 pack. And the price is only 30¢ more than the box price. Most online stores would pile on another buck or so for the smaller quantities.

The stick is a very slow smoke. I am still hovering around the beginning of the last third and it has taken an hour to get here. So a 90 minute robusto is a good deal for the dough.

With less than a couple inches to go, the cigar moves up to full bodied. And I begin to feel the effect of the nicotine kick.
The cigar finishes out beautifully. No harshness or heat. But high in nicotine. But the delicious flavor profile is going to ruin me for the rest of the day’s smokes.

I can’t recommend this cigar highly enough. It is pure blending art. And the best part? It has only been in my possession for a week. A real New Breed Tattooed One blend.

I checked around the big online stores and either they are out of stock or don’t carry them. You may want to check around but I know that Atlantic has plenty.

And now for something completely different:

Manny, a friend from the forum on Cigar Federation, admired my fro in some of the Curved Air photos.
This was an interesting story.

It was 1973. My evil step mother didn’t like my long hair. She insisted I get a new style and sent me to Vidal Sassoon’s salon in Beverly Hills. She offered to pay so I went.

Now this was a process.
First thing they did was sit me down in front of a very long mirror with about five or six barber style stools in front of it.

They sat me down and told me to wait.

Meanwhile, Hugh O’Brien shows up and sits down next to me. For you youngsters, O’Brien played Wyatt Earp in the 1950’s TV show for a lot of years. This was a classically good looking guy. 6’-6 tall. Square jaw like Superman. And very charismatic.
In the blink of an eye, a gaggle of really good looking model types started hanging all over him. One had her ass against my head.

And of course, O’Brien had a script in his hand that he was supposedly studying. Now it had been a good 10-12 years since his show ended. From that point forward, all he did was Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, etc. Washed up. But still handsome.
A really, really gay stylist came over to me and hissed, “Ssssssso, what is it you want us do with this?”

The whole time he had his hands in my hair making it stand straight up like he was going to snip it all off.

Then he said my hair needed to be washed by one of the girls.

So I sat there with my hair standing 9” above my head, wearing my Hippie clothes, and right next to me was gorgeous man totally covered in hot chicks. And then there was me.

The girl led me by the hand over to the sink basin and I sat down with my head in the sink and my arms on the chair arms.
As she leans over to wash my hair she plops her crotch right on top of my forearm. And she began to grind a little on it. I was getting a boner.

Everyone got tips in that place. Everyone. My evil step mother gave me a bunch of $5 bills.

The chick finished having sex on my arm just as she finished washing my hair.

I was then led to another booth where my hair was to be cut.

And there he was: Vidal Sassoon.

Now this guy was not gay. So he didn’t grind his balls on my forearm.

But he was very nice to me even though I was a young nobody.

He gave me the fro. I loved it. Finally, I flew my Hippie Flag high.
Then he left.

Another girl came over to blow dry my hair. Did I have enough $5 bills?

Honest to God…she did the exact same thing..on the other arm.
When she finished, I got up with a pup tent in my pants. I was so embarrassed.

And the bill for a hair cut by the world famous Vidal Sassoon? $25.00

Anyway, that’s how I got the fro. And I wore it until 1980 when I joined the New Wave movement of music which sported short hair.
I went to a regular barber for that cut.



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1 reply

  1. Well you made my day dude! I’m sitting by the computer with a real bad case of the flu and you gave me a good laugh. I needed that. I’m currently nursing some Asylum Straight Jackets, so I’m calling Atlantic and adding some of these to my order. The Jackets should be ready in another week or so, as usual I’ll drop you a line and tell you what I think. Much love to you man.