Cigar Review: Asylum PCA Exclusive 11/18
Attendees of the 2021 PCA Trade Show, an annual convention held by the Premium Cigar Association, retailers, were able to purchase cigars that were only available to those in attendance. One of the companies that offered such a product was Tom Lazuka’s Asylum Cigars. The cigar also features a hybrid Habano wrapper grown by Julio R. Eiroa in Honduras that has never been used before.
Cigar Review: Asylum PCA Exclusive
Wrapper: Honduras Hybrid Habano
Ring Gauge: 48/54/48
The Look: The packaging of the Asylum PCA Exclusive serves as a keepsake as the lid flips over and serves as an ashtray. Inside sits 20 cigars that are sans cello but features a black paper sheath that denotes Asylum PCA Exclusive 2021. The band is black and black and features the Asylum skull logo. The Habano wrapper has a fair amount of oils and in the hand the cigar is firm to the touch with no voids of tobacco.
The Notes: The cold draw serves up notes of cedar, saltines and a subtle cocoa which is mimicked on the aroma of the foot. It’s quite tasty and classic on the pre-light experience. Once the cigar is toasted and lit notes of tree bark are very well defined.
As the we move into the first third, the tree bark note pulls back considerably as elements of black pepper, mocha and honey become the focal point of the first third. The black pepper is worth noting as it isn’t over the top, even on the retrohale where is serves as a nice seasoning component.
The second half of the cigar sees notes of honey become dominant until the half-way point where notes of birch take control. Also present is elements of nutmeg, cinnamon, coffee beans and black pepper which is a touch more intense than the first half of the cigar on the palate but almost non existent on the creamy retrohale.
As we move into the final third the sweetness of the center portion have disappeared and the focal point is black pepper, oak and cedar. The smoke is warm, but not hot, though there is an abundance of cinnamon that makes the cigar reminiscent of a red hot creating an incredibly spicy finish.
The Finish: While big ring gauge cigars have become more normal over the last decade, I’m glad to see the Asylum PCA 2021 Exclusive in a more approachable 11/18 size. From the first light this is very different than the cigars in the Asylum portfolio and it is outstanding. The sweetness of the second half is crushed by the spicy hotness of the final third that I would love to pair with a high proof bourbon such as a Old Forrester 1920, or Elijah Crain Barrel Proof. The thought process for me is the two would cancel each other out creating a new expression of perceived notes in both.
Price: $17.19 / $305.99