I'll admit it, I have been sleepin' on Recluse cigars. It was nothing intentional. I have seen them around on Facebook and Twitter. Hell, I'm even friends with Scott Weeks on Facebook. For one reason or another, this is the first Recluse cigar that I ever have smoked. It won't be the last.
The Draconian (Dracula is my favorite book of all time, by the way) was the second release from Iconic Cigar Company (at ICPRP 2013) and I received this sample in my ICPRP 2014 welcome bag. You'll notice the rather large secondary band in the photo below. That band was specifically for ICPRP 2014. It has their booth number on it and on the backside there is a map of the show floor. I thought this was a very cool idea.
The Draconian was made a Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas and blended by J.R. Dominguez.
Recluse Draconian by Iconic Leaf Cigar Company
Size: 6.25 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: MBC (proprietary leaf)
Filler: Piloto Cubano, Braziago hybrid, Iconic Ligero (proprietary), Dominican Ligero (Top prime)
Factory: Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas
Samples for review received at IPCPR 2014
Quick Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system.
You can view it in detail here.
Pre-Light: The Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper on the Draconian had a marbled leather look to it and smelled faintly of cedar and baking spice. The foot offered up notes of milk chocolate and rich tobacco. The cold draw was a bit tight and tasted of dark cherry, rich tobacco with a little oak in there for good measure. The draw was just a bit tight and never proved to be an issue. The construction on this cigar was top notch and required no touch-ups or relights.
Beginning: I love it when a cigar gets off to a pleasant start. When that first puff is smooth and full of rich flavors, you know you're in for something good. The Recluse Draconian did just that. The first puff was full of classic maduro flavors along with some mild fruit, leather and oak notes. After a few minutes the sweetness form the wrapper morphed into a rich milk chocolate.
The body of the Draconian picked up after an inch or so. The flavors, while rich and tasty, were relatively mild at the start. At the one inch mark, everything took a step forward and the flavors seemed to thicken.
Middle: A mild black pepper spice began to show up at the two inch mark. At the midpoint the flavor profile consisted of milk chocolate, dark cherry, leather and black pepper. The spice was not a major component, nor did it ever become one, but it added a nice dimension of depth to the profile. The retrohale was smooth from the start and was unfazed by the addition of the black pepper spice.
As I reached the midpoint, the strength was on the lower side of medium. Some folks may consider this to be in the medium-plus range, but I'd be surprised if anyone called this a full strength cigar. Medium strength with a rich flavor profile and nice balance of sweet and spice? Yes, please!
End: There was not a lot of change as the Draconian came to a close. The black pepper became a bit more prominent, but the change was minimal. The profile was still dominated by milk chocolate and dark cherries. The notes of oak, leather and black pepper basically held their ranks.
Final Thoughts: Scrumptious! The Recluse Draconian offers up a twist on the classic maduro profile. The sweetness of the milk chocolate combined perfectly with the notes of black cherry, oak and leather. The black pepper joined the show and added a perfect depth and balance to the experience. I even noted that the aroma was spectacular. There were not a lot of transitions, but I'm not even mad about that. The profile started out great and simply gained steam as it went. My only point of contention is that I did not smoke this cigar last year. If I had, it would have had a prominent place in my Top 10 New Release list. It may have even been my cigar of the year.
If you enjoy maduro cigars, then you simply have to smoke the Recluse Draconian. On second thought, buy a five-pack. I you don't like it, I'll buy the remaining cigars from you. I call that the "Double R Guarantee."
Speaking of buying the Draconian, did you notice the price point? With an MSRP under $8, this is an absolute no brainer. I will gladly pay $8 for 100 minutes of brilliant smoking experience.
Rating: 94 AKA "Box Purchase"
Yes, it's THAT good. The only question is where to buy the box. I officially have my eye on J.R. Dominguez.