Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Background: The Straight Jacket is a really interesting addition to the Asylum line – it’s bold, strong, and a little bit of madness all mixed into one. But that’s what you might expect from a concoction made by Christian Eiroa and Tom Lazuka. With a more limited production than other lines on the Asylum board, it’s already one that has the potential to be sought after. Add to that that it’s a Nicaraguan puro – and there’s a good chance this one will become hard to find. The question as always is… will it be worth the price?
Appearance (0-20): Asylum gets the first look right, there is no doubt about that. The first thing you are going to see is the unique band - a straight jacket being “pulled” around the cigar. The ruby red highlights draw in the eye as a focal point against the white jacket. It’s really an inventive idea to use the cigar as a canvas to hang your artwork on like the folks at Asylum did. The cigar beneath is nothing to scoff at either. A nice looking Nicaraguan wrapper flanks this out well with a rich color, with very few veins, and what appears to be a triple cap. No blemishes or inconsistencies to note other than a small notch in the top.
Construction (0-20): So let’s begin with what you can see – very little to complain about when it comes to impurities, veins, etc. The whole cigar feels firm and well packed with no gaps to mention. The cut was clean and the draw, pre-light, was spot on. As the pictures show – it held together masterfully.
Strength (0-20): Full. And yes, it’s exactly as you might have expected out of a Nicaraguan puro. It reaches that in spades.
Flavor (0-20): Before lighting this up, I was a bit worried about it coming off like a pepper bomb that would simply be one note throughout. Thankfully that wasn’t the case as the prelit draw showed signs of cocoa. That same bit of flavoring served as a basis post lighting up, to go along with the peppery spice that I had expected. There are notes of wood and earth to make it slightly complex, and small touches of things like nuts or a natural sweetness that will pop up from time to time. But predominantly this stick is a strong peppery kick in the teeth with other flavors mingled in to make it a pleasurable smoke.
Value (0-20): At just under $9.00 for a stick, this is a solid smoke. However, like most that fall around the $10 price range, there are a bevy of other smokes that might instead tickle your particular fancy. Still, not a bad price for the stick you are getting.
Additional Notes: Paired with water.
Overall (0-100): People that are looking for a very straightforward and power packed smoking experience – this one is absolutely for you. The Straight Jacket has some wonderful heft to it and has the capacity to knock even experienced cigar smokers on their butt. The complexity, however, is lacking. There are some nice complimentary flavors that help to bring things together (earthiness, sweetness, wood notes) but really it’s a one stop pepper shop. It’s good, mind you, but I would have liked just a bit more out of it.
From the outer look and overall construction, this one can’t really be beat. It has the right stuff to be able to draw in your attention with a unique band, but keeps you there with a good feel to it. When smoking, the draw was absolutely perfect and the ash held on for almost the entirety of it. The cost is just a slight hair high for my liking (since it inches close to that $10.00 area) but I think anyone who picks this up will be happy with what they get. Especially those who snag the 5 pack from Famous to help drop the price under $8.50 per stick.