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Cigar Review: Iconic Leaf Recluse Draconian Robusto (Pre-Release)

25 Mar 2013

Since the company was established last year, Iconic Leaf has erred on the side of secrecy. At its inception, the identities of its principals were left a mystery, and we were only told the operation was founded by  two “well-respected legends in the cigar industry” who have “chosen to keep their identities private in a pursuit to make the very best premium boutique cigars that can be found anywhere in the world without the influence of their names.”

Recluse Draconian ParejoIconic Leaf’s tradition of secrecy continues with its recent announcement of Recluse Draconian, a new blend that will debut at this summer’s industry trade show in Las Vegas. It follows last year’s release, Recluse. While we know the Draconian wrapper is Ecuadorian maduro and the filler will be a mix of four tobaccos—Brazilian hybrid, Piloto Cubano, Dominican, and an exclusive ligero—the binder is not being revealed.

The sizes/formats will also remain undisclosed until July. This creates intrigue because three will be in a “Sidewinder” shape “that has never been done before in the cigar industry.” Iconic Leaf fans will recall Recluse was likewise rolled out in an inventive format called “Kanu,” which has a head-turning kayak-like shape.

For now, Draconian is being offered to five retailers in three pre-release parejo formats: Robusto, Toro, and 6 x 60. I received two Robustos from Iconic Leaf for this review. The size has an oily exterior that’s textured with tooth and mapped with thin veins. Pre-light, notes of caramel, leather, and red pepper are apparent off the foot. The draw is clear, as one would expect since Draconian is handmade in the entubado fashion by Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas.

Now I always approach pre-release reviews with some trepidation because, even if the blend stays the same, time may change the way the tobacco smokes before the full release. What’s more, I don’t even know the specs of the anticipated Sidewinder vitolas, much less how their formats will alter the Draconian experience. So I would take the ensuing analysis with a grain of salt.

That said, based on the samples I smoked several days after receiving them in the mail, I think Draconian will be a cigar you’ll at least want to take for a test drive. The Robusto has a bold intro with lots of ligero spice, dry wood, espresso, and earth. The texture is thick and moist with a heavy smoke that coats the palate. The smoke production is excellent—an outcome of the entubado technique.

The flavor settles into the midway point with less spice and some cocoa sweetness and nutty creaminess. Still, it’s firmly medium- to full-bodied with a solid nicotine kick. All the while the construction is solid, save for the gray ash being a little flakier than I’d prefer.

I’ll be very interested to see how the blend develops with time, as well as how it performs in the Sidewinder format (whatever that format is). Judging the Robusto as it is now, I’d award it a solid rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Cigar Review: Iconic Leaf Recluse Draconian Robusto (Pre-Release)”

  1. BubbaGene Monday, March 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    "Recluse Draconian". …. Who is naming these things? Good lord, it's a cigar, not a punk band.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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