When i was contacted the other month by Famous Smoke Shop, to see if I was up to reviewing some more cigars, I asked them what they had to offer. One of the cigars on the list was the Lobotomy By Asylum. Of course this is a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive, but it is still a Tom Lazuka creation so I decided I wanted a Lobotomy. That’s right – Lobotomy! Lobotomy!
I’m sorry, I couldn’t contain myself, I am huge Ramones fan and yes I have seen them numerous times in clubs from NYC to Virginia Beach. Wow those were the days, crammed into hot sweaty venues like CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City down in the Bowery of NY. As much as I liked their debut album “Ramones” it was their 3rd studio album, “Rocket to Russia”, that put them on mainstream radio. I decided to break that album out of my collection, which I have played 1000’s of times over the years. It is kind of sad that the original members of the Ramones all passed away as they commercialized the punk rock movement and many have agreed they were one of the most influential bands in Rock and Roll history. Hell, even Spin magazine once said there were only behind the Beatles as far as influence.
Now, I don’t know if Tom Lazuka and Famous Smoke Shop had all this in mind when they crafted the Lobotomy, but it certainly offered me the opportunity to recall my young adult days as I smoked though it listening to 14 hard-core, punk songs each only about 2 minutes long.The Lobotomy lasted for more than those songs so I played it over again.
So what do we know about the Lobotomy?
Well, we know it is a shop exclusive and is avaiable in 4 vitolas:
- 770 – 7 x 70 – Maduro Large Cigar
- Corona – 4 x 44 – Maduro Corona
- Double Toro – 6 x 60 – Maduro Double Toro
- Toro – 6 x 50 – Maduro Toro
I am sampling the Toro for this review.
We also know that the country of origin is Nicarauga and the blend is:
- Wrapper: Habano Maduro
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
They retail between $4.00 for the Corona up to $7.00 for the 770 and can be purchased on the Famous Smoke Shop site.
So let’s do a little examination on the Lobotomy by Asylum:
The first observations of the Lobotomy is the Band. It is black and white with an image of a skeleton head but with the frontal lobes of the brain. Under the skull are a crisscrossed spike and hammer. The Words “LOBOTOMY BY ASYLUM” is underneath the art. There are black circles on both sides that contain a white fly in them along with some interesting imagery as you move around the band. I will leave it up to you to further look at the band but I think it is a pretty cool look.
The Lobotomy has a dark maduro gritty wrapper that is light on veins with tight seams. The cigar has a decent weight to it and is well packed with no soft spots.
Running it across the nose I pick some hay and earth on foot. Slicing the cap the cold draw has a barnyard flavor with an acceptable draw.
I cued up Rocket to Russia, and fired up the Lobotomy with my single torch lighter. The foot heats up perfectly as the lounge is filled with the opening lyric to Teenage Lobotomy, “LOBOTOMY, LOBOTOMY…”. 1,2,3,4 – I am hit with a toasty and pepper set of notes that are blended well with the pepper not overpowering. Shortly later I start to pick up a slight mineral taste that lasts through the first third.
The ash is dark grey and the burn line is spot on. Gabba Gabba Hey! This is a $4.00 cigar! Think about this when the FDA wanted to put a $10.00 price point to define a premium cigar. Go ahead, tell Tom Lazuka this is not a premium cigar, I dare you.
The mineral gives way to a coffee note after first third along with spicy nut aroma. The aroma become more pronounced as it burns through the second third. The flavors start to dance about like they are bopping to the music. Fruit enters, then a sweetness with a touch of cocoa, and finally cedar before getting to the final third. The wrapper has oiled up quite well by this point. The toasted nut aroma is just delicious reminding of the scent of beer nuts when you first open the can.
Smoke production is at full volume as is the sounds of the Ramones in the lounge. My neighbors may be wondering what’s going on but I am enjoying this smoke and the memories of years past. the strength is solid medium as we get to the final third and the second playing of the album. The last third brings back spice and pepper down to the finish.
Overall the Lobotomy by Asylum is a no brainer. At the price-point it is worth buying at least a 5 pack. The complexity, burn, and flavor profile was everything you would expect from an Asylum creation. I would like to thank Famous Smoke Shop for the samples and Tom for giving me moments to recall my youth. I do have to say that the first sample I smoked was not ready, there was a touch of bitterness and graphite taste to start. I aged them for about a month and they settled in nicely.
Here’s a little bit of trivia for you.
On the inside sleeve of the Rocket to Russia album, next to the lyrics is a cartoon of a teenager getting a lobotomy. He is wearing a shirt that states “EAT AT CHEF WONG’S” . If you want proof of the influence the Ramones had on Rock and Roll you only have to look at the Greenday Dookie CD sleeve where you will see a blimp that is flying a banner behind it that says EAT AT CHEF WONG’S.