In 2012, Iconic Leaf Cigars released the “Recluse” and was met with a pretty good fanfare of likes. I happen to do a review on the Toro a while back and it was quite interesting & tasty smoke. There was a unique mix of flavors I have never experienced before together, which made for a pretty good cigar. I have been given the chance to try out the pre-release of their new line the Recluse Draconian. This vitola will not be one that’s released, the shapes released with be called “Sidewinders”. But I am sure the flavors will be along the same lines as the pre-release. For a little more info on the Draconian check out their Draconian Press Release.
Vitola: Robusto (Released sizes and shapes will differ)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Fillers: Brazilian Hybrid, Piloto Cubano,Dominican Iconic Leaf Ligero*
(leaf developed and exclusive to Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas)*
First Looks: This is a very nice looking cigar. There is slightly oily sheen on the dark brown wrapper. There are a few smaller veins on the wrapper, but that is only cosmetic and shouldn’t interfere with the burn. Going “old school”, there is a neatly applied triple cap. The cigar has an overall firm feel to it with no hard or soft spots. The foot has an aroma of a wood note with a cinnamon aroma in the background. A straight cut reveals a very nice and smooth cold draw. The cold draw has some citrus notes with a slight tingly spice that kicks the tip of my tongue.
Construction: The draw is a tad bit lesser than a milkshake thick type of draw. It is about the thickest I really prefer. Any more thicker and I would have not cared too much for the draw. The burn was less than perfect, but as oily as the wrapper is, I can understand this. Throughout the cigar, the burn was never an issue though; no touch-ups needed. The ash was of a dirty grey shade and had a few flakes here and there. Each ash held for well over an inch.
Flavor: The Draconian’s flavors, at first, are similar to the first Recluse. But, to me, they seem a bit more smoother. There is a fair amount of a chocolate flavor as well as some pepper at first. Also with those flavors is a faint zesty citrus undertone that’s very pleasing to me. The finish is long and tasty. A little ways in the Draconian separates itself from its ancestor. The chocolate fizzles down, the pepper fades off and leaves a taste like fresh from the oven warm french bread (no butter). Throughout the first third, the slight citrus zest lingers on the tip of my tongue, but was never overpowering or distasteful.
Continuing into the middle third, the flavors take a turn of a cold coffee flavor. Being a coffee nut, this flavor is very pleasing to me. The toasted french bread, from the first portion, is still on the palate as well. The flavors as very smooth and pretty straight forward. The cold coffee flavor lingers quite a while on my tongue and makes me want a cup of coffee! The coffee flavor is not as strong as an infused (Java or Tabac Especial) cigar, but is pretty distinct. The longer I hold the smoke in my mouth, the strength of the citrus zest seems to get. The amount of drawn smoke is amazing seeing the thickness of the draw. It doesn’t seem like I am getting all that much from the draw until I exhale out and realize there is more than I imagined. The smoke is thick and plentiful considering the thicker draw. There is a slight hint of an earth flavor creeping in on the coffee, toasted bread (no butter) & chocolate flavors as I get to the halfway point.
At the halfway mark, I realize this cigar is becoming more complex as it moves along. I am really liking this cigar and am looking forward to trying this blend in the released sizes to see how the flavors differ or coincide with the new non parejo shape. Its interesting to see how the flavors of the Recluse and the Draconian start off somewhat similar, but as they progress they separate into two different flavor profiles. The retrohale has the earthy flavor, yet is a good bit more announced in the flavor. Topping off the second third, the citrus zest fades some and leaves the earth and coffee as the key flavors in the smoke.
Working into the final third, the earth is now accented by a leathery flavor. The citrus zest seems to turn into a dried fruit flavor. Almost like a dried pineapple flavor, but not overbearing in strength. The coffee and toasted bread flavors has faded off into the background as the leather takes control. This cigar has turned into a very complex cigar, yet not overly complex. Working towards a nub, I get a chalkiness to the flavors. The leather and earth are not as sharp as they were before. The chalkiness creates a fence with me on whether I like that characteristic of the flavor or not. Around 3/4″ left, the smoke got a bit hot to the taste, so that is where I laid it rest in the ashtray.
Final Thoughts: This cigar started out similar to the first Recluse, but as I progressed more and more into it, it changed a good bit away from its ancestor. I really liked the chocolate, coffee & citrus zest flavors in the smoke. The smoke is on the medium-full range as far as body and flavor strength. It was never bitter or overpowering. The complexity kept me on my toes as to look for what will pop up next in the smoke. All and all, a very good smoke!
I am really looking forward to trying this blend in the other sizes/shape that will be released soon. The never before seen Sidewinder shape will be seen and released at the 2013 IPCPR Show. That is a few months away and I will be on the lookout for them afterwards, eager to hunt them down & smoke. From the Entubao rolling method, to the new sizes and shapes, Iconic Leaf is hitting the cigar with with “OTG” ideas. OTG meaning Off The Grid. Thinking outside the box will always separate newer companies from the firm footed ones. This separation, I believe, will keep newer companies going, as there is a niche for new things in the cigar world. This way of thinking will keep people on their toes what they will come up with next. So far, their ideas have worked and worked well.
This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Iconic Leaf Cigars for this review. Many thanks to Iconic Leaf Cigars for the opportunity to review this cigar.