The Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro is Asylum Cigars’ contribution to the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Exclusive Series for 2015. Asylum Cigars is a part of the CLE Cigar Company portfolio and it marks CLE’s first contribution to the TAA. The name Nyctophilia means “preference for the night or darkness” and that is exactly what Nyctophilia is – namely a dark San Andres wrapped maduro blend. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro in the 60 x 6 (Gordo) size. Overall, this was a solid release by Asylum Cigars – and definitely one of the better TAA cigars for 2015.
The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers listed is 82. As per their web-site, the TAA is defined as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
The TAA Exclusive Series has grown over the past few years and 2015 represents the most ambitious series to date as ten new blends were released. When adding these blends to five on-going TAA releases it brings the total cigars for 2015 available to TAA members to fifteen.
This year, the following new cigars have been released for the 2015 TAA Exclusive Series.
- Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro (*)
- Casa Magna D. Magnus II TAA Exclusive Hadrian
- Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil 2015
- La Antiguedad TAA Exclusive 2015 Toro by My Father Cigars
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 47
- Nat Sherman Panamericana (*)
- Padron Serie 1926 No. 47 (Two blends – Maduro and Natural)
- Por Larranaga TAA En Cedro by Altadis U.S.A.
- Tatuaje TAA 2015
* – Denotes cigar being released in multiple vitolas
The ongoing TAA releases are:
- Ashton VSG Robusto Especial TAA Exclusive
- Drew Estate Acid Big Bang TAA Exclusive
- Padron 1964 Anniversary Toro TAA Exclusive (Natural and Maduro)
- Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary TAA Exclusive Robusto Grande
In terms of the Nyctophilia, Asylum co-founder Tom Lazuka commented on Episode 157 of Stogie Geeks that this was originally intended to be a nationally launched cigar, but it was held back because the brand a lot in the marketplace. After the TAA approached Asylum, this cigar was offered to them and it was selected to be a part of the 2015 TAA Exclusive. Lazuka also told Stogie Geeks, this cigar will continue to be offered the TAA as an on-going release if they want it.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the San Andres Maduro wrapper, the cigar also features Nicaraguan tobacco for the filer and binder.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
The Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro is available in three sizes. Each size is packaged in 25 count boxes.
50 x 5
60 x 6
70 x 7
Living up to its billing, the San Andres wrapper of the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 has a dark espresso color to it. Despite the dark color, upon closer examination, I could also detect some darker marbling on the surface. The wrapper itself has a light coat of oil on it. There are some thin visible veins, but the dark color of the wrapper does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. The cigar itself has a tight pack and when held in the hand has some nice weight to it.
There are two bands to the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro. The primary band is a black, light gray, and silver version of the Asylum Skull wing logo. On the far right is the text “2012” in small black font – representing the year Asylum Cigars was formed.
There is a secondary band on the footer that has a metallic silver background. The TAA Indian Head logo sits on that band in black font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw had a rich mocha note as well as a slight cedar note. Overall I considered the pre-light experience of the Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 to be excellent. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
Right out of the gate, the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 delivered notes of mocha, black pepper, and cedar. The mocha notes were a nice combination of espresso and chocolate. Early on, the mocha had a slight syrupy quality that is often associated with San Andres. At the same time, I liked how it didn’t overwhelm me with sweetness. The mocha became a primary note early on with the black pepper and cedar secondary. The black pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale.
During the first third of the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6, the mocha notes took on different forms. It had mostly a chocolate quality, but there was also a dark coffee component. To a lesser extent, the thicker sweet espresso syrup component was present. The black pepper was secondary and the cedar was much more distant.
On the second third of the Nyctophilia 60 x 6, the multi-dimensional qualities of the mocha flavors remained. There now was a slight salty component to the mocha which added a unique dimension to the flavor profile. During the second half, I found the pepper notes increased, and cedar nearly dissipate.
By the last third, the mocha notes had more of a straight espresso flavor with a touch of sweetness. The salt component still remained in the forefront. I also found the pepper spices to be a lot more prominent. This is the way the flavor profile came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it came to the burn, I found the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 performed well in the early and late stages. However in the middle stage, it was a little more of a fight – and this happened on each sample I smoked. I found some unevenness in these middle stages that required more touch-ups than I preferred. Combustion-wise, the Nyctophilia 60 x 6 performed well as it had an ideal burn rate and ideal burn-temperature. The resulting ash had a charcoal gray color, and was on the looser side.
The draw to the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 had a touch of resistance to it – something that I consider a positive. Overall I found this a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
When it came to strength, I didn’t find the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6 to be a power-bomb. This is a cigar that started out medium strength. While there was an increase in strength, I found it still remained in the medium range. The flavors started out medium to full-bodied, and followed a similar pattern to the strength – namely, the body increased slightly along the way, but in the medium to full-bodied range. In terms of strength versus body, the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
I’ve been very critical the TAA Exclusive releases over the past couple of years. Overall I have seen a too many releases with most falling short on expectations. With the Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro 60 x 6, I found this to be a nice cigar. It was a blend that seemed tailor-made to the large ring gauge size. While the burn wasn’t perfect, I really enjoyed the flavors of this cigar. I liked the fact that neither the sweetness nor spice overpowered this blend. The salty component that emerged was a nice surprise.
The Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro delivers a nice smoke at a fair price – and smokes much better than some of the more limited and higher profiler TAA releases. The fact that this could be an on-going release is a good thing. This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but it’s also a nice cigar for the movie to graduate to something medium to full. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would smoke again – and it’s worthy of a box split.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split