Cigar Buying Guides

2019 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to Asylum Cigars

Reading Time: 22 minutes


Editors/Reviewers: Jared Gulick, Gary Korb, John Pullo

The Asylum Cigars Back Story

Like many smokers today, Asylum co-founder, Tom Lazuka, found his love of the leaf during the 90s cigar boom.

Back then, he was a young entrepreneur in the restaurant business. When it came time to sell, his friends convinced him to jump to the cigar industry, landing at the cigar accessory outfitter, Colibri. It was during his tenure there that he met Christian Eiroa, then the head of Camacho Cigars. Little did he know, he’d met a business partner that would span the remainder of his career to date.

In 2004, Christian brought Tom on as a territory manager, and they worked together until Camacho was sold to Davidoff in 2008. Christian left the industry; Tom stayed until 2012, departing to form Asylum Cigars with Kevin Baxter. That move neatly coincided with Eiroa’s return to the cigar game: he partnered with Tom and Kevin on their new Asylum line, which would become a spiritual extension of Christian’s then-new company, C.L.E. Cigars.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Cigar Reviews - Tom Lazuka
Tom Lazuka of Asylum Cigars. (via Asylum Cigars Instagram)

Noting their difference in upbringing, Tom still admits of Christian in an interview, “I couldn’t have found a better partner.”

Out of the gate, Asylum Cigars picked up the stone that many had left unturned. They crafted larger-than-life ring gauges, some that went well beyond the 6” x 60 norm. Many manufacturers love to take credit for the introduction of big-ring smokes, but when it comes to super-ring sizes (like 7” x 70 and 8” x 80), Asylum was the trailblazer. When they debuted with the Asylum, Asylum 13, and Schizo blends, they were immediately met with success – including an incredible 94 rating from Cigar Aficionado and a top 25 spot on their Cigar of the Year list in 2013.

The company has grown considerably since then, earning more high ratings and the affinity of countless fans – all in under a decade. Their cigars are manufactured primarily out of their Esteli, Nicaragua NACSA factory, with few exceptions. The rest are made in Christian’s Aladino factory in Danli, Honduras.

Asylum, along with its sister company, C.L.E., is Bayer Cropscience Certified. Put simply, it means every acre of land and every nook and cranny of their factory floors are kept at a strict 99.9% level of hygiene. There’s no toxic chemicals – everything is food-grade. It’s a painstaking, and lengthy process to undergo, but for Tom Lazuka, it’s worth the effort. “It’s more expensive to do that, but that is our commitment to our products. Every step of the way is to eliminate our impact on the environment,” he noted.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Cigar Review CLE tobacco field - Bayer Cropscience certified
The El Corojo Farm in Honduras. (via Asylum Cigars)

For this guide, we’ve sampled every Asylum cigar (15 in total) available at Famous Smoke Shop. As their portfolio grows, we’ll add any new additions they release here, too. These reviews are meant to give a basic set of expectations you might experience with each cigar; but keep in mind that our experiences are subjective, so it’s possible they might not line up exactly with yours. If you’ve smoked any of the Asylum cigars we’ve listed, leave us a comment below and tell us what you thought.


Asylum 13 Connecticut Cigar Review 

Country of Origin: Honduras
Double Toro (6″ x 60 Gordo)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder& Filler: Honduran Corojo and Habano

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Connecticut Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: First rate and well-built. The wrapper on this beefy cigar was a little on the delicate side, but very silky, and fashioned with a well-made triple seam cap.
Draw: Very good.
Pre-light flavor: Nutmeg and cashew with a sweet and slightly salty taste.
Toasting & Light: The cigar toasted-up nicely and lit evenly, revealing initial puffs that were mellow, creamy, and salty with a hint of pepper in the mix.
Base flavors: Sweet cream, nutmeg, espresso, earth, peppery spice.
Retrohale: Smooth, yet peppery.
Aroma: Sharp.
Burn & Ash Quality: No problems, touch-ups or relights required. Ash was firm, mostly grey, and shaped nicely.
Balance of flavors: Very good.


If there was a next step-up blend from the Asylum Insidious (further down in this Guide), it would be the Asylum 13 Connecticut. Would it be the Double Toro? That’s up to the smoker; but for those who enjoy the big guns, this 660 puts out plenty of rich, medium-bodied smoke. The first act was sweet, creamy, and well-balanced, with some pepper naturally working its way into my sinus. Early in Act II I didn’t notice much difference from the preceding segment. Yet, as it worked its way through, an appealing note of espresso bean entered the mix.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Connecticut Cigar Review by Gary Korb

By ACT III the mix transitioned to more earthy and peppery spice notes. With 1¾ inches left, I noticed some bitterness creeping-in. Since this cigar is a 660, when I reached that point, I decided to drop it and let the most enjoyable moments of the cigar linger in my mind.

Suffice it to say. . . I don’t smoke a lot of 660s, and those I do I’m rather picky about. That said, I like Honduran tobacco, and this Asylum 13 Connecticut offered a mostly enjoyable ride with a pleasant, medium body. This cigar should be right in the mix for smokers who gravitate to this format, and at the current price, you’re getting a good value. It may also interest you to know that a box comes with 50 cigars. – Gary Korb


Asylum 13 Corojo Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Honduras
880 (8″ x 80 Gigante)
Strength: Medium – Plus
Wrapper/ Binder/Filler: Honduran Jamastran Corojo  

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Corojo Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction:  Excellent. This missile is solidly built throughout – and don’t think it’s any easier rolling an 80 ringer than a 50 ring cigar; it’s probably more challenging in many ways, so kudos to the rollers on this one. The triple seam cap was also well-applied. Pretty impressive for being a lot to handle. The wrapper also seemed to be very delicate; more like a U.S. Connecticut or a Cameroon.
Draw: My Xikar XO (made for up to 60 ring cigars), just barely scraped the surface of the cap, but it was enough to get a pretty decent draw out of it. Maybe I should’ve punched a 4-leaf clover. But I skinned it just enough to get a decent draw, which tasted . . .
Pre-light flavor:  . . . salty and leathery.
Toasting & Light: After about 10 minutes – just kidding. Let’s say, in under a minute, I had this big waddie going, and the initial flavors were toasty and woody.
Base flavors: Toastiness, cedar, nuts, sweet spice, light pepper.
Retrohale: Light pepper.
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Straight as an arrow, and no issues. The ash was also very firm and when ashed, revealed a nice cone shape.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.


I thought this super giant was gonna go nova on me, but such was not the case. I could barely get this cigar between my teeth without some straining, so I was impressed that even that modest tear I made in the cap had a good draw. For the most part, the cigar revealed plenty of satisfying, well-rounded flavor; mostly woody and sweet with a medium to medium-plus in body. A note of nutmeg worked its way in near the end of the first act.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Corojo Cigar Review by Gary Korb cutting a big ring cigar

The cigar was also consistent in the second and third acts: smooth, creamy, woody, nutty, and sweet, while some light pepper lingered at the top of the palate on the finish. All that filler apparently keeps everything well balanced. After all, there’s little room for escape.

Suffice it to say. . . If it wasn’t for its cumbersome size, I would have enjoyed the Asylum 13 Corojo 880 cigar a lot more. Secondly, I love Honduran Corojo, especially the Jamastran Corojo grown on Christian Eiroa’s farm, which made the journey worthwhile.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Corojo Cigar Review by Gary Korb

There’s one thing also worth mentioning from my experience: Although the wrapper is delicious, it’s also a bit fragile. Since this is a very large and long smoking cigar, try to keep it from breaking up. Picking it up and putting it down frequently, as you’re likely to do with this cigar, may cause cracking issues. One alternative is to hold it at the band and move the band up the neck as needed, rather than removing it. – Gary


Asylum 13 The Ogre Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 880 (8” x 80 Gigante)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano/Candela
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 The Ogre Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: Beautifully crafted barber pole with a sturdy cap and smooth seams.
Draw: Good draw, but difficult to draw from with its size.
Pre-light flavor: Almost honey-like with a tea type of sweetness.
Toasting & Light: Grassy notes, a bit of butter, and spice.
Base flavors: Earth, spice, leather, grass, and butter.
Retrohale: Pepper without the burn and baking spices
Aroma: Melted butter.
Burn & Ash Quality: Mostly straight with a solid ash.
Balance of flavors: A nice mix of flavors.


Asylum 13 The Ogre is probably the most fitting name a cigar has ever been given, especially for the 880 size. Other names that would have fit it would have been massive, gargantuan, baseball bat…you get the point. It’s big.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 The Ogre Cigar Review by Jared Gulick
For reference to scale, this 6″ x 60 cigar (on the right) is dwarfed next to Jared’s massive Ogre 880…

Since The Ogre is a barber pole, it offers a healthy amount of complexity from the constant simultaneous burn of both the Habano and Candela wrappers. In that respect, the blend keeps you on your toes. The emphasis here is earthy, but there’s a good deal of nuance like spice, leather, butter, and even some tea-like qualities, too. It mellows as you progress, but keep in mind, that the amount of tobacco in this cigar will still make you feel it – notably in the retrohale near the halfway mark. You’ll be smoking it for 3+ hours, after all.

The only con I can muster is that it’s difficult to get a good draw, not because of the construction, but because there’s a lot of cigar to pull air through. There are smaller options, though – so if you like what you hear about the taste, you can still experience it without unhinging your jaw. If you make it to the nub, send me a postcard for proof! – Jared Gulick


Asylum 13 Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Robusto (5” x 50)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: A rugged, dark and super-oily Habano wrapper shows a good amount of tooth; the leaf is well stretched, the cigar is firm in the hand.
Draw: Tight – I gave it a poke to open it up a bit.
Pre-light flavor: Very leathery, buttery oil, sweet tobacco, cocoa.
Toasting & Light: Pepper, earth, salt – quite rich.
Base flavors: All dark – wet earth, molasses, oak.
Retrohale: Spice and earth.
Aroma: Cocoa-sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Mostly white ash behind a not-so-straight burn.
Balance of flavors: Strength outpaces flavor here.


The original Asylum cigar is another Nicaraguan puro recipe with a very dark wrapper that, any other time, would be described as Maduro – especially with all those oils.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Cigar Review by John Pullo

We start out in medium-strength territory; the fat-and-sweet flavors in the prelight are gone, showing up as rich earth and pepper. The smoke is a little on the thin side, but what’s there has a mix of creamy and herbal sensations. There was a point that this was considered the strongest of the Asylum cigars…and no doubt, the Asylum 13 has plenty of feistiness lurking beneath the surface. We just haven’t gotten to it yet.

About halfway in, that big earth taste gets a touch of dark oak – there’s also a salty taste that could be described as metallic. Everything is punctuated with a dash of pepper. Intensity-wise, here is where the Asylum 13 hits its stride – so my recommendation here is that the occasional smoker shouldn’t make this his or her first cigar of the day.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 13 Cigar Review by John Pullo Asylum cigars fidget spinner cutter

Asylum 13 is an interesting smoke with a split-personality: full of rich and dark flavors, they’re all tinged with a light floral note. I’ve found few Nicaraguan cigars that taste like this one, so be prepared for an out-of-the-ordinary flavor experience. – John Pullo


Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 770 (7” x 70 Gigante)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Medulla Oblongata Cigar Review Medulla Corojo 770 at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: It’s just…large. Satiny, toffee brown Corojo wrapper is stretched smooth, and has a sweet, earthy smell. The cigar is light in the hand, but firm.
Draw: Very clear, even with half of a guillotine cut.
Pre-light flavor: Salty-sweet on the lips, plus wood, earth and citrus sweetness. There’s a little spicy tingle on the tongue.
Toasting & Light: Spice, hay, wood, roasted coffee beans.
Base flavors: Pepper, bread, citrus, salt, cedar.
Retrohale: Mild citrus zest, pepper, wood.
Aroma: Dried flowers, cedar.
Burn & Ash Quality: Off-kilter burn evens out quickly; light grey ash forms into stacks.
Balance of flavors: Very flavorful, nicely complex.


The Asylum Medulla Oblongata series is 100% Honduran tobacco – a rare puro – rolled at El Aladino in Danli; the wrapper is a higher priming, for more body, strength and flavor.

One quick thing about this pair of Asylum cigars: the blends and sizes are the same. What’s different is the shape – the Parejo (round) format is the Medulla, which I’m reviewing here; the Oblongata is the same all-Honduran tobacco recipe, but it’s box pressed. (And when you buy a box, you get both.)

All that Corojo, and somehow this Medulla 770 starts so mellow…there’s a bit of pepper up front, but that’s quickly erased by a long, sweet finish laced with salty-sweet lime zest. IT’S DELICIOUS. Well-constructed, too – that ash held on for the better part of 2” before I tapped it off, for fear of losing it in my lap.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Medulla Oblongata Cigar Review Medulla Corojo 770 by John Pullo

The smoke is thick and chewy, and by the one-third mark I’m getting tastes of earth, and toasted bread – think of a doughy, soft pretzel. This Gordo is still pretty sweet on the tail end, too – though it’s more of a berry sweetness. There’s plenty of coffee and dark chocolate to go around, too. Oh, and let’s not forget about the pepper…as the smoke progresses, the bite is amplified in the finish.

By the 2/3 mark, it’s dark chocolate, toasted cedar and salt – strength is peaking as well, near full (but not make-you-sweat full).

The Medulla Oblongata, even in this big 770 size, is nicely complex, with some noticeably different tastes along the way. And the emphasis really is on flavor over strength – which it does not lack, by the way. A big cigar with big body, pepper and flavor…this one’s my pick of the litter. – John


Asylum 13 Medulla Oblongata Maduro Cigar Review

Country of Origin:Honduras
Toro (6″ x 52 Parejo)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder& Filler: Honduran Corojo

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Medulla Oblongata Maduro Cigar Review Medulla Toro Maduro at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: First rate. Wrapper was a little veiny in spots with some darker slashes but the cigar is well-packed through-and-through.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor: Sweet and leathery with a pleasant herbal note.
Toasting & Light: No problems. Smoke drew easily through the head. The first few puffs were sweet, sweet, and sweet with a splash of earth in the mix.
Base flavors: Caramel, sweet spice, earth, espresso, currant.  
Retrohale: Somewhat peppery, but smooth.
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Perfect. No issues. Ash was grey and black and very firm.
Balance of flavors: Excellent. Very consistent in balance with some interesting cameos.


Full disclosure here: I was singing the praises of these cigars when they first arrived. Until now, I’d only had the box-pressed Oblongata Toro, but I’m now crooning over the Medulla. Like its rectangular kin, the cigar was smooth and creamy offering a caramel-like sweetness to start, followed by plenty of spice notes in the first act. At this stage, the cigar was smooth, creamy, and medium-plus in body and strength.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Medulla Oblongata Medulla Maduro Cigar Review by Gary Korb

It was during the mid and later stages when the big change-up came over the plate. A thick ribbon of sweet spice was augmented by notes of earth, espresso beans, and tangy currants; everything in perfect balance. It was in the final stage when the creamy smoke turned full-throttle; but even then it was far from overpowering.

Suffice it to say . . . The Asylum 13 Medulla Toro parejo was every bit as lovely to my senses as the Oblongata box-press. It’s simply a matter of preference. I would highly recommend this cigar to those with at least one year of smoking experience, especially those who enjoy Honduran blends, San Andrés maduro wrappers, sweet n’ spicy cigars, or all of the above. – Gary 


Asylum Premium Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Toro (6” x 50)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Premium Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: Slightly rustic and wavy in its veiny appearance with a soft spot in the middle.
Draw: Open and easy.
Pre-light flavor: Almonds and a splash of raisin.
Toasting & Light: Salty, and peppery.
Base flavors: Black pepper, salt, nuts, sweet coffee, and hops, and a metallic finish.
Retrohale: Very spicy.
Aroma: Butter and pepper.
Burn & Ash Quality: Burns well with a firm, white ash.
Balance of flavors: A pleasant mix.


The intent of creating Asylum Premium was to offer smokers “refuge from reality” according to the duo behind the blend, Kevin Baxter and Tom Lazuka. They enlisted help from C.L.E.’s Christian Eiroa to make it a reality. Let’s see if this Nicaraguan puro delivers.

I’ll go out on a limb, here. Asylum Premium was a weird cigar, but don’t mistake weird for bad. It was actually one of the most noteworthy smokes I’ve had in a long time. Here’s why: The flavors were somewhat hard to detect at first – all I got initially was salt – but I started to notice some snippets of black pepper, nuts, and sweet coffee. The finish, though, that was a different story. Remember when you put your tongue on a 9-volt battery as a kid? That metallic alkaline taste you got…it was kind of like that, but obviously much less intense. You’d almost think it would be a bad flavor, but it grows on you.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Premium Cigar Review by Jared Gulick

As the cigar progressed through the second stage, there was a hoppy bitterness that sprang up intermittently. The initial notes of salt started to build there, too, and some of the butter from the aroma made its way into the flavor. A great closing for such a unique smoke. If you like your cigars typical and familiar, steer clear. This one’s made for those who love something different. – Jared


Asylum Lobotomy Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Double Toro (6” x 60 Gordo)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Maduro)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Lobotomy Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: A chocolatey Maduro with ample veins, smooth to the touch and a satiny sheen; firmly rolled.
Draw: Firm.
Pre-light flavor: Buttery-sweet tobacco, coffee, salt.
Toasting & Light: First few draws take on an oaky, earthy quality; the salt from the prelight remains.
Base flavors: Leather, toast, pepper, dark chocolate.
Retrohale: The smoke feels thick going through the nose; there’s a dash of pepper matched with a crisp floral sensation.
Aroma: Wood, plus slightly floral.
Burn & Ash Quality: Burn line is thick, leaving behind a mostly white ash. Burns very well.
Balance of flavors: An even-keeled smoke, where body matches strength at medium.


A Famous house smoke, Lobotomy is a Nicaraguan puro and a close relative of the Asylum Premium. Sounds like a monster, right?

Once we burn past the intro, a velvety smoke teems with leather, barnyard and hay; you’re now thinking, “That seems pretty mellow.” But the peppery finish is what grabs you, immediately shaking the taste buds to life.

However – to call Asylum Lobotomy a pepper bomb would be overselling it. Yes, there’s some bite on the finish, and a bit up in the nose…but it doesn’t hide or detract from the toasty-tangy flavors that come up while I smoke it.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Lobotomy Cigar Review by John Pullo

In very little time, this Asylum adds some spice on the lips – then decides it wants to be simultaneously dark and sweet: cycling through tastes of graham cracker, citrus zest, dark chocolate, black coffee and caramelized sugar; the last two have a bit of a drying effect on the palate.

I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again: Lobotomy is Asylum’s dark horse. Rather than give a full Nicaraguan flex, this big ring Maduro burns medium in body and strength with plenty of smoke – and is actually quite approachable, despite the name. I think you’ll be surprised. – John


Asylum Nyctophilia Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 770 (7” x 70 Gigante)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres (Maduro)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Nyctophilia Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: Wrapper shares its very dark brown color with coffee beans; minimal oils, but loaded with tooth. Smooth, firm and actually heavy in the hand.
Draw: Very good draw.
Pre-light flavor: Sweet tobacco, barnyard, damp earth.
Toasting & Light: Earth, hay, spice.
Base flavors: Pepper, earth, dark chocolate, nuts.
Retrohale: Sweet, with a touch of black pepper.
Aroma: Also somewhat sweet, and a bit leathery.
Burn & Ash Quality: Near-white ash drops a bit of flake; a slight wave to the burn, bit that evens out pretty nicely.
Balance of flavors: Full in everything, from flavor to body to strength.


Asylum Nyctophilia (“love for darkness or night” – so Maduro, of course) originally came to be as a TAA exclusive a few years back. The TAA, by the way, is the Tobacconist Association of America.

I was barely able to get a cut on it with a Xikar Xi1. And toasting and lighting a big ring smoke like this takes a ton of torch – so make sure you use a triple flame (or more) lighter. More jets = more lighting power. And you’ll need it.

Get past the spicy opening and this Asylum Nyctophilia is a nicely layered smoke: oats and wheat, earth and bittersweet chocolate. A bit salty, too. There is some pepper in there – and the finish is sweet.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Nyctophilia Cigar Review by John Pullo

Then, more pepper…it starts to show up all over the place: in the retrohale, underneath everything, even as the dominant flavor, at one point. It touches everything – but never in such a vast quantity that it torches the senses.

The Nyctophilia is a very cool burn (as big rings are wont to do), and there’s plenty of thick smoke to fill the room. Though its size makes it tough to hold and type this all out at the same time. I’d call it more full bodied than strong, but it does bloom into a bit of a power smoke before you put it down for good. Which will be three hours after you start it. So next time someone asks what you’re doing this afternoon, and you tell them you’re smoking a cigar…yes, it really will take the whole afternoon. – John


Asylum Straight Jacket Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Honduras
50×5 (5″ x 50 Robusto)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder& Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Straight Jacket Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: The wrapper was dark and attractive with a glint of oil, and some minor veinage. The cigar was also well-packed and rolled with a somewhat wobbly triple cap. (Intentional? Maybe.) Plus, you gotta love the band on this cigar. Even the 10-ct. boxes’ packaging offers an inkling of incarceration with its peek-a-boo window.
Draw: Very good throughout.
Pre-light flavor: Mostly leathery.
Toasting & Light: No problems. Foot took easily to flame offering initial notes of sweet tobacco with a hint of salt.
Base flavors: Sweet spice, leather, cedar, earth, pepper.
Retrohale: N/A.
Aroma: Sharp.
Burn & Ash Quality:  Very good. No issues or relights. The ash was mostly grey and pretty firm, dropping no more than three nuggets. 
Balance of flavors: Excellent, and fairly complex, too.


Although the Asylum Straight Jacket 50×5 started off fairly sweet with just a modicum of pepper on the finish, I sensed an underlying strength beneath that sweetness which told me this could transition to a very full-bodied and peppery smoke. Yet, surprisingly, Act II was pretty much the same as Act I. There was no additional spice or pepper, or even more strength, putting it at medium-plus. Sweet spice and pepper laid the foundation, while other flavors, including leather and cedar, entered the scene for some nice change-ups. The final act did present a rise in earthiness and pepper, but didn’t detract too much from the base notes.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Straight Jacket Cigar Review by Gary Korb

Suffice it to say. . . The Asylum Straight Jacket 50×5 was very consistent, and well-balanced. I ended-up smoking it down to the final inch. Being my first, I look forward to my next Straight Jacket (the 54×6 looks interesting). Although it could be a little on the bold side for n00bs, it’s a keeper for just about every other experienced cigar smoker. – Gary


Asylum 33 Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Robusto (4 1/2” x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Proprietary Honduras
Binder: Proprietary Honduras
Filler: Proprietary Honduras

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 33 Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: Chocolate brown in color, well rolled, and topped with a Cuban-style cap.
Draw: Fantastic.
Pre-light flavor: Lightly fruity.
Toasting & Light: Toast and dark wood.
Base flavors: Savory: earth, leather, wood, toast, and nuts with a sweet, flowery finish.
Retrohale: Smooth with a spicy, savory finish.
Aroma: Meaty and warm.
Burn & Ash Quality: Great burn line with a steady ash.
Balance of flavors: Hits all the taste buds. Superb.


Asylum 33 is a short run-style project forged from the minds of Asylum’s Tom Lazuka and Christian Eiroa of C.L.E. Cigars. Eagle-eyed smokers might pick up on the band being littered with Masonic references. The all-seeing eye for one, but more importantly, 33 (which is listed on it three times). It’s a symbolic degree of the Masonic Scottish Rite. The lore of Freemasons has always been shrouded in secrecy, even conspiracy…a proper parallel to a cigar with mysterious tobaccos that are difficult to source.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum 33 Cigar Review by Jared Gulick

The cigar starts heartily with a curtain of toast and dark wood. Shortly after, it opens to unveil a nutty character that’s laced with leather, earth, and a flavor that reminds me of the smell of fresh flowers on the finish. In the second half, Asylum 33 mellows for a while before ramping back up to a solid medium-bodied smoke. On top of the flavor, I really liked the aroma. It was meaty – you could almost say juicy – and warm, like coming home to a hot meal fresh off the stove. As with all small batch cigars, they can be harder to find. But if you’re in the market for a great smoke with a lot of character, 33 will find a place in your stash. – Jared


Insidious by Asylum Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Honduras
Toro (6″ x 52)
Strength: Mellow
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut (lightly sweetened)
Binder& Filler: Honduras

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Insidious Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction:  Excellent. This cigar was neatly rolled with no soft spots. The wrapper had an attractive blond hue and was silky to the touch. The cap was well done, clipped easily, and had a lightly sweet taste that was more like sugar cane. Nothing artificial here.
Draw: Effortless.
Pre-light flavor: Toasty.
Toasting & Light: The cigar lit fairly quickly and evenly. The initial puffs were sweet and mellow with a graham cracker-like flavor.
Base flavors: Cashews, graham cracker, sweet spice.
Retrohale: Light pepper.
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: No retouch or relight issues. Burn was even throughout, revealing a firm grey ash.
Balance of flavors: Perfect.


It had been a while since I had my last Insidious, and after completing this Toro I regretted not having smoked more of these during the hiatus. This cigar is ideal for new cigar smokers, or anyone who just wants a pleasantly sweet and mellow smoke with a few tasty surprises along the way.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Insidious Cigar Review by Gary Korb

The smoke is well-balanced throughout, and mostly sweet, nutty, and toasty with a layer graham cracker that sticks on the finish. In the final third the flavors take on more of an earthy-spicy character with a smack of light pepper on the finish.

Suffice it to say. . . The Asylum Insidious makes a mellow, picture-perfect morning smoke, especially with coffee, and the price is irresistible for the quality. New cigar smokers take note! I also recommend it highly as an alternative for Baccarat smokers. Compare and decide for yourself. – Gary Korb


Insidious Maduro by Asylum Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Toro (6” x 52)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Insidious Maduro Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: A little veiny, oily, and slightly toothy in appearance. Well rolled.
Draw: Great.
Pre-light flavor: Heavy raisin note likely amplified by the sweetened cap.
Toasting & Light: Toast and grains.
Base flavors: Toast, wood, coffee, and caramel.
Retrohale: Smooth and vegetal.
Aroma: Cookie-like and sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Like powder-coated metal. Bumpy, consistently white, and solid.
Balance of flavors: Excellent, especially at its price.


Insidious by Asylum is purpose-built for onboarding new smokers with a gentler attitude, and price, than you typically see from the brand. Additionally, they placed a sweetened cap on the cigar to increase the enticement.

It’s a true first-timers Maduro. Asylum was smart to make the cap lightly sweet and not the lollipop that some cigars with them become. Because of this, I found a big raisin note that wasn’t too sweet nor fleeting right off the pre-light. Another attribute I like is how much it smells like cookies or animal crackers once I lit it.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Insidious Maduro Cigar Review by Jared Gulick

Moving on to how Insidious Maduro tasted, the first half was earthier and reminded me of toast, and wood, and some remnants of vegetal on the retrohale. The second half was sweeter; the smoke added some flavors of caramel and coffee. The entire cigar smoked smooth through its entirety, and to my palate, there’s a lot to appreciate for greenhorn smokers and the experienced alike. I found a new morning Maduro and I think you might, too. – Jared


Asylum Schizo Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Robusto (5” x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Schizo Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction: Wrapper is a muted brown-grey color, slightly oily with lots of tooth. There’s a little bit of give on the barrel.
Draw: Clear.
Pre-light flavor: Slightly sweet tobacco.
Toasting & Light: Pepper and earth, with some sweetness.
Base flavors: Salt, wood, pepper, nuts.
Retrohale: Woody spice.
Aroma: Charred wood, but smells somewhat sweet.
Burn & Ash Quality: Mostly straight burn with a grey ash.
Balance of flavors: Very straightforward.


This is Asylum’s mixed filler entry…Tom Lazuka calls this budget bundle, “Highly enjoyable, Schizo is a Nicaraguan puro you can puff on all day long. And at my paltry asking price you can stock up until your heart’s content.” This was one of the original choices when Asylum debuted back in 2012.

Upon first glance, the Asylum Schizo is pretty dark for a not-maduro. Pre-light is straight tobacco taste, and it’s mellow-medium at the start; but once it’s burning, there’s quite a bit of zing on the taste buds. Lazuka says it’s medium, but this one really stretches his description in terms of strength. Peppery but smooth, and actually very meaty.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Schizo Cigar Review by John Pullo

This Schizo smokes a little fast… you’ll get some good, thick rips of smoke out of it, and none of the aesthetic issues are a deal-breaker. On the upside, this Asylum cigar is easy to love, because it’s consistent in its small value menu of flavors. It also doesn’t shed as much ash as you might expect (Cuban sandwiches sometimes give off a lot of flake).

Probably one of the better cheapies out there – and given Tom’s own price-conscious assessment of the Schizo, I feel like I can say that without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Plenty to enjoy here, if you like sweet tobacco…and saving money. – John


Asylum Schizo Maduro Cigar Review

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: Sixty (6” x 60 Gordo)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Schizo Maduro Cigar Review at Famous Smoke Shop

Construction:  Well-crafted and smooth aside from a few veins; oily, and a bit toothy.
Draw: Slightly tight, but adequate.
Pre-light flavor: Berry.
Toasting & Light: Toast, nuts, and grains.
Base flavors: Coffee, wood, earth, and a hint of cocoa on the finish.
Retrohale: Pepper and spices.
Aroma: Dry nuts.
Burn & Ash Quality: Burns mostly straight to a coin-stacked, marble ash that gets flaky at times. Required one touch-up.
Balance of flavors: Good balance, but a tad light on sweetness.


Schizo is Asylum’s ultra-affordable line, and this Maduro-wrapped version offers some unexpected surprises…proving that cheap cigars can still give you a run for your money.

Asylum cigars guide Asylum Schizo Maduro Cigar Review by Jared Gulick

My session began with toast, grains, and nuts all prevalent in its smoke. After transitioning about an inch or two inward, flavors turned earthier and there was a hint of baking chocolate on the finish. Schizo’s smoke turned fiery through the nose in the last third of its length – edging the body into the medium-full territory at times. For the prestige, the cigar turned a smidge salty. It never got as sweet as I’d have liked, but all things considered, I was pretty impressed for a 6” x 60 that barely breaks the $4 mark (as of the time of this review).

I know this may not be your favorite cigar, but it certainly ranks among the best of the bargain buys I’ve reviewed. It’s smooth and gentle enough for beginners, so if those large cigars have been calling your name, you’d do well to answer this call. – Jared

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Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff


The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 60 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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