Review: Asylum 13 Pandemonium

The official shape of this cigar is “giant” and putting this cigar next to a regular toro is like standing next to Shaquille O’Neal.  The Pandemonium line was released in 2019, and was billed as Asylum’s boldest and strongest blend to date. Owner Tom Lazuka and his team combined an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper and a core of aged Honduran binder and filler tobaccos to create these monster cigars.  You really can’t understate the sheer size of this cigar (8.5 inches and a 70 ring gauge) compared to an average toro (6 inch and a 50 ring gauge).  Now most may consider this a ‘novelty’ cigar, and to be honest that is the main reason I bought it, but it’s not just a funny prop for a Grouch Marx costume.  The Pandemonium is well constructed, with a toothy wrapper and packed with subtle flavors that go well with the almost 2 hour smoke time.  When you’re settling in for a long burn like that, you don’t want to be overwhelmed with flavors, but just have some nice subtle hints while relaxing and enjoying your favorite beverage.   I used a straight cut (that definitely wouldn’t fit the entire ring) and then lightly toasted the cigar with my torch lighter before fully lighting.  The draw was perfect, not too tight, not too loose, and it produced a very thick smoke which is one of my personal favorites in a good cigar.

First Third: First off, I feel like I should be breaking this down into 9ths instead of 3rds, but I’ll take the normal approach anyways.  On the first draw, you get some smooth and light earth tones, with a little bit of white pepper to start off.  There are no real strong or overpowering notes, the entire first third is very smooth and light with a little butter flavor.

Second Third: The second third continues the earth and buttery notes from the first third.  I also started getting a little more of a leather flavor in the background, which again are all smooth and malleable to go with any beverage.  There were some random puffs of the white pepper again, but it had mostly faded from the initial few draws of the cigar.  The burn continues to be great and the ash is strong, but won’t last too long as the thickness of the ash will cause it to fall regularly. I would have thought with a cigar this large it would require some re-lights but I never had to spark up the lighter a second time.

Final Third: The final third continues the earth and leather tones, with some light notes of chocolate and some cedar as well.  I’m glad I planned an entire night to sit around a fire and enjoy this cigar, because if I had wanted to plan something after it, I was going to be late for those plans.  As I stated in the opening, this cigar has an almost two hour burn time, but every bit of it is enjoyable.  I smoked this cigar down near to the nub before finally tossing the rest in the fire.

The official shape of this cigar is “giant” and putting this cigar next to a regular toro is like standing next to Shaquille O’Neal. 

I paired this with a few glasses of Lagavulin Distillers Edition Double Matured Scotch.  This is a dark peaty and smoky scotch has notes of vanilla and coffee as well and was a perfect match for this cigar.  But as I said before, this cigar really goes perfect with just about any beer, scotch, bourbon, whiskey or anything else as it’s notes are so subtle that it will blend with them all. 

If you are looking for bold, strong and interesting flavors, this is not the cigar for you.  But if you’re planning a night by the fire, a day behind the grill, or 18 holes of golf and you want a cigar that is going to go the distance, then the Asylum 13 Pandemonium is perfect.  It stays lit, goes with anything, and is an enjoyable smoke that lasts hours.  You might want to make sure your humidor can fit it if you aren’t planning on smoking it right away, and you may get some strange looks from a couple people, but it’s definitely well worth the price.

Mfr: Asylum 13

Length: 8.5 in

Origin: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium

Product: Pandemonium

Gauge: 70

Filler: Nicaraguan

Sweet: No

Shape: Giant

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

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