Recluse Draconian Cigar Review

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The Recluse cigar line is made by Iconic cigars which is headed up by Scott Weeks. I had heard of a couple of the Recluse cigars before and did smoke the Amadeus Habano before but the Draconian was a whole new beast for me! I don’t usually smoke larger vitals but for this one, I went for it. Here is what I came up with!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: MBC (Proprietary)
Fillers: Briziago HD, Piloto Cubano, Iconic Ligero (Proprietary), Dominican Ligero
Vitola: Sidewinder #3, 7×57

Appearance & Smell:
The wrapper has a very nice slightly dark brown appearance. It looks a fair bit lighter in the picture compared to in person. Not very veiny at all. This has a very smooth wrapper to the look and the feel. It appears to be an oval type box press and has a half chisel tip at the end. The smell is rather light. I picked up some pepper and some cocoa. Unfortunately, this cigar had a crack starting towards the end of the foot. But as I have said in previous reviews, every cigar smoker has had this happen to them. So I still smoke them anyway!

Smoke Preparation:
I cut this one with my trusty Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cigar. I then lit the end with my Xikar Enigma double torch.

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Burn & Draw: 
Even though the cigar is an odd shape, the draw was very nice. The burn was slightly crooked because of the crack at first. The burn evened itself out pretty well without me having to touch it up. I don’t usually smoke larger cigars but I pleasantly surprised by this one.

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Strength & Body:
Even though this cigar touts an Ecuadorian Maduro, it really came across as a medium strength cigar to me. The body was very enjoyable. I picked up: Creaminess, cocoa, pepper, and some dark earthy tones.

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Final Thoughts:
The fact that this cigar had a fairly large crack in it that made it burn a little crooked BUT it completely corrected itself without touchups, says volumes to me! What a fantastic construction! The flavor was there, the design was there. I don’t usually smoke larger cigars because it’s almost uncomfortable to me. The half chisel tip made it very smokeable and enjoyable. Depending on where you pick it up, this cigar usually goes for around $11-$12 retail and I think it was worth it!

Source: Obtained Locally
Brand Information: Iconic Leaf/Recluse Cigars

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Emilio Grimalkin Cigar Review (2018 Release)

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Grimalkin. Interesting name. Alright, let’s roll with it. I hadn’t heard of the prior release of the Grimalkin, so this cigar was completely new to me. During my research I found out that it had been released before over 6 years ago. Apparently, rumor has it that the My Father Factory was making the original release and that it was a Nicaraguan puro. This time, James Brown and the crew at Fabrica Oveja Negra are making this new release but it is a Nicaraguan puro again. Here are my thoughts!

Blend Profile:
All I know at this point is that it is a Nicaraguan puro!
Vitola: Toro, 6×50

Appearance & Smell:
It has a fairly veiny wrapper. It feels well rolled and has a rich medium brown wrapper. The smell has deep earth, red clay, and a bit of pepper.

Smoke Preparation:
I used a Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cigar. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch lighter to evenly light it.

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Burn & Draw:
This cigar has a fantastic draw! It was a perfect medium, not too tight and not too loose. The cigar burned evenly throughout most of it. I was smoking outside so I ended up having to touch up the end once or twice. Overall, I was very pleased with the burn and the draw.

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Strength & Body:
The strength of this cigar was very much a medium-plus without a lot of fluctuation. The body did have a fair amount of complexity to it. For the first third I really got a lot of bitterness but it really smoothed out in the middle. It was VERY earthy, it really had some teeth to it though.

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Final Thoughts:
This was a sample given to me so I don’t think it had a lot of rest. I would like to see what a month or two in a humidor would do to this blend. I enjoyed the earthiness and the depth of the blend. I think there is a lot more in this cigar that I just couldn’t pull out of it yet. I certainly would smoke one again and I look forward to it! Retail cost will be $9-$10 and it will come in a robusto and toro size.

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Kaywoodie Super Grain #61 Refurb

I have the honor of fixing up a few pipes for a fellow smoker and friend. This Kaywoodie had a very unique shape and it caught me eye. I have seen a couple others like it but the grain is truly amazing on this one. Here are the “before” and “after” pictures of the goods!

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Stem:
This stem was oxidized but not nearly ask bad as other stems I have cleaned. The problem was that there was a fairly deep tooth dent in the bottom of the stem near the button. When the oxidation was removed, it showed that there was slight cracking in the stem at the deepest spot of the dent. So I wet sanded the oxidation off of the stem with 500 grit sandpaper. When all of the oxidation was removed, I used an activated charcoal mix to patch the dent/cracking. After two layers of patching, I was confident that it would come out even. I then wet sanded the patch with 500 grit. Once the patch was completely smooth to the stem I proceeded with wet sanding using 1000 grit followed by 1200 grit. I used pipe cleaners and high proof vodka to clean out the stem. To get the tenon shiny again I used steel wool to clean it up. The stem tended to turn too far into the shank, so I used my heat gun to heat it up and twist it back to its original position.

Bowl:
These bowls are always a challenge. The odd shape doesn’t really allow me to use a traditional reamer. I have a couple of knives that I use for pipes like these to remove the charcoal and layers inside the bowl. The inside then gets the dust cleaned out with q-tips and vodka. I then topped the bowl, removing nicks and burns from the top with sanding. The the top of the bowl gets re-stained to match. I cleaned the shank with high proof vodka, q-tips, and pipe cleaners.

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Thanks for looking!

Charter Oak Broadleaf Toro Cigar Review

One of my friends was visiting me at the shop and asked if I had ever tried a Charter Oak. I told him that I really hadn’t been too adventurous lately and I hadn’t heard of it. He hooked me up with the toro in the Broadleaf. So here we go!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadlead
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Vitola: Toro, 6×52

Appearance & Smell:
Tis broadleaf appears to have a nice oil to it. The wrapper also has a good grit. The cigar also looks well constructed. The smell is deliciously sweet and carries notes of cedar.

Smoke Preparation:
I was feeling a little froggy and decided to go with a v-cut. I used a no-name inexpensive plastic cutter to put a v-cut on it. I did use my trusty Xikar Enigma double torch to light the cigar evenly.

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Burn & Draw:
The burn was just lovely! This cigar had an even burn throughout the entire smoke. I didn’t have to touch it up once. The draw was just as fantastic. It is always a pleasure to have a well-constructed cigar that you don’t have to maintain, just smoke.

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Strength & Body:
I suspect that this cigar was meant to have a little more kick than I actually picked up. For me it turned out to just be a medium. It was so smooth that I wouldn’t be afraid to give it to the newest of smokers. The flavor was out-of-this-world! Deliciously complex and surprisingly buttery!

Final Thoughts:
Well, I always go in skeptical when cigar smokers (not reps or industry people) give me cigars and tell me they are great. I have been given a few skunks. You know the type of smokes, $4-$5 cigars that people swear are just as good as Padrons but you can’t make it through more than a quarter. I was really pleasantly surprised by this cigar! I should have known because the guy I got it from has probably smoked more than I have and that’s saying something! I would buy this for myself any day of the week.

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Providencia El Santo Cigar Review

I was contacted by a representative of Providencia Cigars to see if I would be interested in bringing them into my humidor. I had never heard of the company and I was more than willing to learn about them and their cigars. They sent me some information and some samples to check out. The El Santa was the first cigar that I had a chance to try. Here is the rundown!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Sumatra Nicaraguan Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
Vitola: Torpedo

Appearance & Smell:
The appearance is a little rugged. The wrapper has some nice toothless to it. It has a beautiful brown tone. The smell is very much rich cocoa and earthiness.

Smoke Preparation:
I used my Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cap. I lit the cigar with my Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light on the cigar.

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Burn & Draw:
The draw was really nice and smooth. The burn stayed consistently even throughout the entire smoke. I was even outside in the wind and the cigar burned even as long as I kept it rotated.

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Strength & Body: 
The strength presented itself as a medium for the first half of the cigar and then it stepped up into a medium plus during the second half of the cigar. The body was very nice. It had a couple flavor transitions that included: Spice, cocoa, earthiness, and oak.

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Final Thoughts:
This was a pretty darn good cigar. I will definitely be looking into the price points and consider bringing it into my retail humidor. It is always pleasant to find smaller cigar companies that are making well-constructed cigars with great flavor.

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Alpha Absinthe Maduro Robusto Review

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I had seen an advertisement or mention of absinthe infused cigars somewhere. The idea intrigued me and I was curious about what they would be like. I have only seen them in one local shop on the other side of town. That day I opted for the La Aurora ADN. Well, I finally got around to trying one of the Alpha Absinthe Infused cigars! Here is my take on the smoke:

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Olor Domincano
Filler: Honduran
Infusion: French absinthe, 15 different herbs
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Robusto, 5×50

Appearance & Smell:
This cigar looks very well constructed. It has a few larger veins in the wrapper but nothing to be bothered by. The smell is… different. It’s hard to pick out distinct smells when there are so many!

Smoke Preparation:
I went back to my trusty Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on it and my Xikar Enigma double torch to get it evenly lit.

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Burn & Draw:
The draw was perfectly fine. Not too tight, not too loose, just enough resistance to keep it well lit. The burn stayed pretty even for the most part, I only had to touch it up once or twice.

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Strength & Body:
I smoked this cigar, it really stayed in the medium to medium plus range. That San Andres wrapper definitely gives it some nicotine kick. As for the body… well, it’s complicated. When I first heard of this cigar, I thought it was strictly absinthe that it was infused with. Even when I smoked it I didn’t know that there were 15 different herbs used to infuse it also. So as I was smoking it and trying to pick out distinct flavors, I was having a hard time. It’s a bit overwhelming, perhaps too many herbs?

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Final Thoughts:
If you want something “different”, this would be great for you! Would I try it again? Yes, I would. Would I go to a shop looking for it specifically? Probably not. Construction, draw, burn, everything was perfect but the confusion on the pallet really left me wanting a more distinct direction for the cigar. It didn’t live up to what I had hoped it would.

Source: A friend
Brand Information: Alpha Cigars

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Camacho Corojo Toro Review

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It’s been a hot minute since I have indulged in any of the Camacho blends. I have smoked this blend before but it’s been at least two years if not longer! Also, you will notice that this cigar is a bit cracked at the foot. Every cigar smoker wants the perfect smoke but we have all had that one cigar that got smooshed, got cracked, or the cap started coming off after the cut. Sometimes things don’t go perfectly. So I decided to smoke this cigar and review it anyway. Enjoy!

Blend Profile:
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Corojo
Filler: Honduran
Country of Origin: Honduras
Vitola: Toro, 6×50

Appearance & Smell:
The appearance has a color that is a little bit lighter than I remember it being but it is beautiful. Very light veins, generally smooth. As I said before, the foot was slightly cracked on this one. The bright red band is eye-catching. The smell is RICH, earthy, with a hint of deep spice.

Smoke Preparation: 
I had my Xikar Xi1 nearby, so I put a flat cut on the cigar. To light it, I used my Xikar Enigma double torch to get an even light on it.

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Burn & Draw:
Wow! Even though the foot was cracked, it burned perfectly even from the start! I didn’t have to touch up this cigar once. The draw was nice, maybe just a hair too easy but it didn’t burn too quickly.

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Strength & Body: 
This cigar is touted as a really full body cigar on multiple reviews and descriptions. It only came off to me as a medium plus. It was a really nice balance of strength and complexity. There was quite a bit of stout earthiness and spice throughout the smoke. Some deeper notes of cocoa and sweet spice could be tasted when I got deeper into the smoke.

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Final Thoughts:
I thought this was a delicious smoke! For the $8-$9 price, I think it is definitely worth it. If you don’t like spice, then avoid this cigar like the plague! But if you enjoy spice in your smoke, this is a cigar you should give a try!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Camacho Cigars

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