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Cigar Review: Asylum Sensorium Asen 18

December 19, 2023 By Kevin Acuff
Hand Holding Asylum Sensorium Asen 18 Cigar in open box

Asylum cigars have become a very popular choice for flavorful, large-ring gauge cigars at an affordable price. All in all, that is a great position to be in the marketplace with the ability to market a wide array of cigars to a very large customer base. That being said, a segment of the market that has been seeing a major uptick in popularity is the opposite end of the spectrum, the Ultra-Premium segment. With cigars retailing in the $40 plus range, it is no surprise manufacturers want to be able to participate in this realm as well.

In May of 2023, Asylum Cigars introduced their Ultra-Premium offering, the Sensorium. Offered in two vitolas, the Asen 18, presented in the well-known and unique 11/18 perfecto, and the Asen 60, a 6 x 60 gordo, both offered in 20 count boxes of cigars in individual coffins. To make these Honduran Puro cigars stand alone and be even more unique, they chose Piñareno Cuban seed tobacco. Apparently, this tobacco is very susceptible to disease, with attempts to grow it in Honduras met with high percentage loss rates. The Eiroa family last grew this tobacco in 1979, so the checkbox for uniqueness wholeheartedly checked for this blend.

Under the Lid

As soon as the coffin is in hand, its satin dark blue color with gold lettering lets us know it is something special. I was not fortunate to acquire a full box, but the images on the website show a box with the same satin blue finish with vibrant gold graphics.

  • Wrapper: Honduras
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Honduras
  • Vitola Reviewed: 6 ¼ x 52/60
  • Factory: The CLE Factory
  • Release Date: May 2023
  • Number of cigars released: 10,000.
  • MSRP: $50.00 ($1,000 for a box of 20)

The cigars have a dark brown lightly oiled wrapper, minimal tooth, and a smooth texture. There are a few visible veins, yet the overall seamless appearance of the cigar shows great care in the rolling process. The cigar is very firm to the touch, with no detectible soft spots from foot to cap. Personally, I really adore the 11/18 perfect, which starts as a 52 ring, expands to 60 ring in the middle, then tapers back to 52 at the cap. It makes for a very attractive cigar. The band follows with the color scheme of the coffin and the box, with a dark blue satin background with gold graphics.

As soon as the coffin is cracked open, bread dough and baker’s spice aromas hit the nose. The aromas from the foot of the cigar have more of the same, along with black cherry, damp earth, and natural tobacco. The body of the cigar has hints of cinnamon and cedar. The pre-light draw is slightly tight and gives notes of tart cherry, cabinet spice, and damp cedar, with a salty, mineral note on the finish.

Performance Notes:

First third: Espresso, cocoa bean, and damp earth get things started off. There is a small amount of white pepper present on the finish. Heavy cinnamon notes are also present that give a little tingle on the tongue. The retrohale has heavy notes of clove and cinnamon, with faint mineral notes and a lemony zest to the finish. Strength is medium, as is body and complexity. The cigar is burning well early on, with heavy smoke output, with an almost perfect draw. This is a great start for a cigar in this category.

Second third: The mid-section of the cigar begins with an increase in intensity of the previous flavor notes and the introduction of sourdough bread, which actually elevates the other flavor notes. The retrohale gains a black pepper spice, with the clove and cinnamon there giving way to bitter dark chocolate and a fresh bread dough note adding a little sweetness to the finish, and is quite unique. Burn and draw continue to perform, and there is no change in strength, body or complexity.  

Final third: The final portion of the cigar is heavy with cinnamon and coffee, while dry earth, roast peanuts, and a little oak make for a drier profile. This is quite a change from the previous two-thirds, retrohale steps up the level of black pepper and introduces raisin and buttered popcorn, with faint floral notes on the finish. Strength starts to touch on medium-full, while body and complexity remain in the medium range. Burn and draw remain flawless until the very end.

Core flavors: Espresso, cocoa bean, cabinet spice, bread notes

Strength: Medium-full

Body: Medium

Complexity: Medium

Smokin Experience: Ultra-premium cigars are typically smoked to celebrate a special occasion, and this cigar fits well in that wheelhouse. If you are dropping $50 plus on a cigar, you want it to be a memorable experience, and this was. The fact there is tobacco in it that hasn’t been produced in decades adds to the uniqueness that Honduran puros typically offer. The 11/18 vitola adds another dimension that other ultra-premiums do not offer, making this cigar a winner if you want to try something to smoke for a celebratory occasion. The flawless construction and well-mannered strength allow smokers of all experience levels can enjoy it, though the price and flavor profile make it best suited to experienced smokers who can appreciate what it is offering.  

Purchase Recommendation: These are box-worthy if your finances allow. They are well worth the investment.

Smokin Facts:

  • The 11/18 vitola was named in honor of Christian Eiroa’s mother’s birthday
  • Asylum’s website states Sensorium is defined as: “The parts of the brain or the mind concerned with the reception and interpretation of sensory stimuli.” 
  • Asylum is known for extremely large ring gauge cigars such as 7 X 70, 8 x 80, and even a 9 X 90

Smokin Wrap

Cigars smoked for the review: One

Average smoking time: 135 minutes

Score 90

Kevin Acuff – Senior Reviewer & Editor

Kevin Acuff was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. Growing up in a rural area, he was able to indulge in some very exciting life experiences at a young age. He acquired his private pilot license before he had a driver’s license, spent several years on the competitive bass fishing tournament trail, and even spent a couple of seasons racing motorcycles. In 2001, he relocated to Las Vegas, spending the better part of the past 20 years working in the sign industry. It was one of those industry trips, back in 2014 that changed his life for good. His boss handed him a Siglo V and an instantaneous bond was formed.

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