Today we review C.L.E. Cigar Company’s Asylum Sensorium. Announced earlier this year, this is a super premium offering highlighted by a tobacco grown by Julio R. Eiroa known as Piñareno. Piñareno is a low-yield tobacco that is difficult to grow, but one that C.L.E. Cigar Company founder Christian Eiroa has said has excellent flavor. With Asylum Sensorium, Eiroa decided to include it in a super-premium release. Eiroa chose to incorporate the Piñareno into the Asylum brand because this brand is known to push its boundaries – and not just with big ring gauges.
Regarding how premium this cigar is, it is priced in the $50.00 to $60.00 range. Not only has this been Asylum’s most premium cigar, but it is the most premium one in the C.L.E. portfolio. Today, we dive deeper into the Asylum Sensorium in the Asen 60 (a 6 x 60 offering). This is a cigar branded as MMXXIII – implying it is a 2023 release.
When Asylum Sensorium was announced, Christian Eiroa explained a bit more about the project, including why the Piñareno:
“The Asylum brand of cigars allows us to keep pushing [the] boundaries. This is what the consumer expects from us. Such was the case this time, with the Asylum Sensorium. We used some first-generation Piñareno seed from Cuba, my father grew in Jamastran. He has had this seed for decades, but had not grown it since 1979, when blue mold swept through Honduras in 1977. Any attempts to grow it in Honduras have yielded continuous losses of 25 – 40% on the field, due to its susceptibility to everything. Piñareno is truly the tastiest tobacco I have ever tasted, and I feel it is worth the sacrifice.”
In terms of the name, Sensorium is defined as: “The parts of the brain or the mind concerned with the reception and interpretation of sensory stimuli.” According to C.L.E., “The Asylum Sensorium cigar is a complex flavor bomb to stimulate the entire palate of the smoker.” Christian Eiroa was so passionate about this cigar that the cigar was only initially offered to retailers with whom he and Asylum Cigars co-founder Tom Lazuka could sit down and explain the cigar.
Now, let’s turn our attention to the Asylum Sensorium Asen 60 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Asylum Sensorium Asen 60 Cigar Review
Blend and Origin
The blend for the Asylum Sensorium consists of 100% Honduran-grown tobacco. The Piñareno is incorporated into the filler. The blend also incorporates the Eiroa family’s signature Authentic Corojo tobacco. Production comes from C.L.E.’s factory in Honduras.
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: The C.L.E. Cigar Factory
The Asylum Sensorium is offered in two sizes. Each cigar is packaged in an individual coffin, and the coffins are available in 20-count boxes. The two sizes are two signature sizes C.L.E. is known for. The Asen 18 is C.L.E.’s iconic 11/18 size, and the Asen 60 pays homage to Asylum’s large ring gauge cigars.
The Honduran wrapper of the Sensorium Asen 60 has a darker brown color, almost like dark wood. There was a slight amount of mottling on the surface and a slight sheen of oil. There were some visible veins. The wrapper color was dark enough to make any wrapper seams unnoticeable.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Sensorium Asen 60. I used a cutter designed to cut a 60-ring cigar. Once the cap was detached, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa, earth, and a slight amount of chive and floral notes. Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to toast the Sensorium Asen 60 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Asylum Sensorium Asen 60 opened up with notes of cocoa, wood, and earth. The emergence of a cinnamon note followed this. The cocoa notes moved into the forefront, with the wood, earth, and cinnamon settling into the background. The retro-hale also started with an additional layer of cocoa. Some black pepper surfaced on the tongue. The black pepper also joined the cocoa on the retro-hale.
The cocoa notes remained primary at the start of the second third of the Sensorium Asen 6. In the background, some natural tobacco notes emerged. At the same time, the wood notes dissipated, and vegetal notes replaced them. The natural tobacco notes increased in intensity, and past the midway point, these notes joined the cocoa in the forefront. Meanwhile, the cinnamon notes were still present in the background.
By the final third, the natural tobacco was the primary note. The cocoa receded into the background, joining the earth, pepper, cinnamon, and vegetal notes. This is the way the Sensorium Asen 60 came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
It’s nice to get an ultra-premium cigar when you don’t have to worry about the burn. With the Sensorium Asen 60, that is precisely what I got. This cigar required minimal touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and relatively straight burn line. The resulting ash was firm. This was an ash that was light gray. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the Sensorium Asen 60 was on the open side but was neither loose nor flaky. I usually like a little more resistance on the draw, but there were no adverse effects in this case.
Strength and Body
The Sensorium Asen 60 is not a powerhouse smoke. This cigar is mild to medium in both strength and body. By the final third, the cigar progressed to medium strength and medium-bodied flavors. The strength and body balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
I like the job C.L.E. did with the packaging of the Asylum Sensorium. The coffins produced were quite nice looking. While the banding might seem a little edgy for an ultra-premium cigar, but I still liked it and it stayed true to Asylum’s roots.
The Asylum Sensorium Asen 60 is an ultra-premium cigar that delivers excellent flavor. I believe Christian Eiroa’s statement that Piñareno tobacco is some of the tastiest tobacco he has ever smoked. In addition, I liked the fact that this Honduran puro was not a powerhouse in terms of strength and body. Instead, it allowed the nuances of the flavors to shine. Innovation is alive and well in C.L.E. Cigar Company, and I hope we see more of this cigar. Coming in at 92 points, the Sensorium Asen 60 is one of our highest scores in the past few months. It also far exceeds our threshold for the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence. The $60.00 price point is steep, but I wouldn’t hesitate to offer this to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is easily worth a cigar purchase.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Natural Tobacco, Wood, Earth, Pepper, Cinnamon, Vegetal Notes
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st 2/3), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st 2/3), Medium (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: C.L.E Cigar Company Announces Super-Premium Asylum Sensorium
Brand Reference: Asylum Cigars
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted