Asylum "Nyctophilia" Review: Finding Delight in the Darkness of 100% Maduro Leaf

It's not often that you find yourself smoking a cigar that has been named after an exceedingly rare personality disorder. Rarer yet is a cigar that bases its ingredients around said namesake, before slapping a sinister-looking skull on the band.

Yet here we are... 

Apparently, if you have an insatiable love for the darkness, or find joy in being in the dark, then you more than likely are what is referred to as a "nyctophile" by the scientific community. That or you are a vampire... Which according to Bram Stoker, also comes with its own insatiable urges. 

This explains why the cigar blend known as "Nyctophilia" by Asylum is a maduro in every sense of the word.

This cigar has maduro leaf in every section, from wrapper and binder, all the way down to its multi-layered Nicaraguan core. This has earned the blend an online following for being one of the most full-flavored and full-bodied cigars in the Asylum portfolio, and everyone seems to love it. 

So with Halloween but a week away, and this stick playing a key role in Klaro's 2023 Halloween Bundle, I set to smoking this premium cigar blend for the first time. Just to see if it truly is as deep and dark as everyone claims...

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Unlit Impressions 

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

Save for a scrap of stray tobacco on the cap, and a flat spot in the center of the barrel, the look and feel of this stick is on point. The Asylum skull band is more than appropriate for Hallows' Eve, and the darkness of the San Andrés maduro wrapper strikes a nice contrast to the silver accents as well.

In the sunlight, it's not nearly as dark as one might expect, but then again this isn't a blend that's intended for smoking in the sunshine either. Veiny but neatly seamed together, this is a very appealing-looking maduro.

A quick sniff gives you cedar at first, followed by cocoa, even darker cacao nibs, some really dark coffee bitterness, and a medicinal black licorice sweetness that is also undeniably... dark.

There's also lots of earthy, fermented funk in the trunk, with some stray barn animal aromatics roaming around. This is all backed by a shovelful of damp soil, which reminds me of a freshly exhumed grave. Unlit tastes support these assessments but are far less sweet than expected. 

Initial Smoke   

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

Black pepper may strike first, but it's fleeting. This is more of a milk chocolate start, with a little bit of chalky clay-like soil and maybe a sprinkle of allspice. A surprisingly smooth start to such a sinister-looking cigar.

1st Half   

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

As the cigar body builds, flavors of licorice, cocoa, cedar, and dark coffee come at you in waves. The smoke itself is sweeter toward the tail-end of each exhale, and there is plenty of it. There's also a faint booziness to the aftertaste that makes me pine for a splash of Godiva liqueur in my iced mocha Italiano. Intriguing...

But this all sits atop a mound of dark mulch and dampness. Those who enjoy a rich, earthy start to a cigar, will surely delight in the start to this cigar. Even if it does feel a little bit bridled when compared to other heavy-handed maduro cigars on the market, there is no denying the depth of the first half of this stick. 

2nd Half    

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

Sadly, there's not much in regard to evolution as the cigar combusts past the center section. Bitterness increases slightly, and so too does strength and spice via retrohale, but it's all done in controlled amounts. 

Funky forest floor flavors, chewy maduro cocoa, and sweet cedar play their roles nicely, but they also leave little room for other notes to develop. It's all quite tasty and rich upon the palate, but a bit underwhelming from a complexity or transition standpoint.

Parting Puffs      

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

Creamy cashew nuts and chocolate milkiness stop in to say hello during the nub section of the stick. But sadly they arrive at the very end of the party when everyone else is ready to head home because the sun is starting to come up.

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw   

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

Winning points in this category are brought to you by lush layers of smoke and a draw that keeps on giving. Although the primarily white ash did not require much force to discard, it built in size nicely and was not very flakey the entire time.

Burn lines wavered at times, but not one touch-up was needed along the way, even during that flat point in the center of the stick.

Final Thoughts 

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

I really wanted to like this cigar, and for the most part, it was able to provide me with a satisfying smoking session.

This premium cigar blend's badass banding, clever branding, impressive smoke production, and trouble-free construction are all made for praise-worthy assessments.

Flavors were also deep and delectable, but neither were they mind-blowing. Simply put, I have had far more impressive maduro cigars in my day and was left a little feeling underwhelmed toward the end. 

This is more of a smooth, subdued maduro experience than an all-out nocturnal adventure. Transitions were oddly timed, lacking in complexity, or just missing entirely.

I still think that Asylum's "Nyctophilia" warrants a puff if dark maduro earthiness is your jam. Just don't expect it to be the one maduro to rule them all. 

Perhaps I should have waited for the solace of Hallow's Eve and paired this blend with some spiked hot cocoa and a coven of witches.  

Asylum Cigars Nyctophilia

Cigar Stats


Asylum "Nyctophilia"


San Andrés Maduro (Mexico)








5" x 50 "Robusto"



Pairing Drink

Spiked Mocha Italiano Iced Coffee



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