This pre-release Robusto was sent to me by Iconic Leaf but in no way was my review impacted by this. 2 cigars were provided and both were smoked for this review.
They were sent to me for review last autumn. Given my smoking climate, I let them rest over the winter in my humidor and while these cigars are now available I have finally gotten around to smoking my two samples for the purpose of this review.
Iconic Leaf (Recluse) rolls all of their cigars in the entubado style and all are rolled at their Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas factory in the Dominican Republic.
Origin : Dominican Republic Format : Proprietary Kanú (based on perfecto) Size : 6 x 54 Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro Filler : Dominican Binder : Their binder is proprietary and they simply refer to it as ‘MBC’ Hand-Made Price : ~$10
This new and unique shape by Iconic Leaf, the Kanú, was inspired by a Kayak boat. Iconic Leaf sent me a couple samples last autumn for review along with some promotional material. I wanted to give these cigars some resting time and as our winter hit early, I decided to put off smoking them until the time was right.
All of Iconic Leaf's cigars are produced in their factory; Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. They roll all of their cigars entubado style and every leaf in the Recluse is fermented for two years.
At first glance the cigar resembles a box-pressed perfecto but to my eyes it actually resembled an Italian made 'Toscano' in a larger, more refined format. Don't snip it in the middle though as you would a Toscano! (*wink*) Thankfully the company offers instructions on where to snip the cigar in their boxes. I did not get these with my two review samples and as such I found the draw on the first one quite tight. I did snip more off the second one and found the draw much improved.
The function of a perfecto is that the different components from wrapper to filler allow for the cigar to go through subtle flavor transitions. Iconic Leaf Cigars advises that by developing this one of a kind shape the smoker is able to get a slow, cool burn as a result of the benefit of pressing along with flavor transitions. Iconic Leaf refers to their process as "specific and unique; a one of a kind process". Their company literature provides that "Every cigar has a story to tell. You have to read this book page by page. This one will not allow you to jump chapters. It is a novel."
Remember I rated their Recluse Toro higher than the Alec Bradley Prensado in flavor so I was more than curious as to how this shape would fare and whether it would alter the flavor profile at all.
The promotional material shipped with the cigars indicated that the cigar has "subtle cornering and is aerodynamic in fashion. It was a painstaking process to perfect this new shape but we have mastered it. The shape smokes razor sharp with a full easy compliment of flavorful smoke on the draw. It is a masterpiece!". Let's put this to the test shall we?
Back in the Summer of last year I was sent a couple of pre-release cigars to review from Iconic Leaf Cigar Company, a relative newcomer to the cigar industry. The “Toro” cigar I was sent was actually quite enjoyable, something rare for a new name. Normally, based on my experience, new cigar companies are either dreadful out of the box or need a few years to turn an average cigar into one with promise. Very rarely does one come out of the gate with such promise. I was sincere in my rating of the cigar in giving it 4 stars out of 5 in my review back in August 2012.
A month and a half back I was sent a production version of the cigar, fully banded (the pre-release sample came unbanded) so I thought I would give it another try and update my review.
The original review is still up and should be checked out for a more in-depth commentary of the cigar itself. What follows are my additional comments on the Toro from Iconic Leaf.
I was recently sent a couple of pre-release cigars to review from Iconic Leaf Cigar Company, a relative newcomer to the cigar industry. According to the company’s literature, Iconic Leaf Cigar was founded by two very well-known and well-respected legends in the cigar industry who have chosen to remain anonymous in their pursuit to make the very best premium boutique cigars that can be found anywhere in the world without the influence of their names. Iconic Leaf Cigar’s founders may have chosen to keep their identities private but their leader has not. Led by J.R. Dominguez, son of legendary cigar maker Jose Dominguez, Iconic Leaf is extremely excited about their new line-up of cigars recently unveiled at the IPCPR trade show in Orlando. According to the company, all tobacco leaf in the RECLUSE goes through EIGHT fermentation cycles and is a collection of what they deem to be “truly iconic leaf” from around the world. The RECLUSE cigar selection is produced exclusively at the Leyendas Cubanas factory run by Don Jose Rafael.
First, a little bit about the Recluse cigar straight from their website:
The RECLUSE cigar is comprised of the absolute finest of everything. From the seed that is sown, to the blend of the tobacco leaves that make up this masterpiece, to the painstaking fermentation. Under the watchful eye of the maestro, Don Jose Rafael in the Leyendas Cubanas factory, each cigar goes through a Club Med for cigars, if you will. Each leaf is hand selected from only the finest tobacco leaves of the harvest. From the Flavorful and smooth Brazilian Maduro wrapper and Cameroon binder, to the specifically selected Dominican leaf variations in the filler, these cigars are what we believe to be the finest in the world. Each and every leaf in the RECLUSE goes through EIGHT fermentation cycles. Why? Because Don Jose Rafael will not settle for mediocrity. Every RECLUSE is rolled in the old Cuban tradition of tubing which is taking each filler leaf and rolling it into a tube instead of folding it. Once all the filler leaves are each individually rolled into a tube shape, they are brought together and surrounded with the binder. This is time consuming but creates an effortless draw and an unparalleled smoking experience. We then box press each cigar to compress the leaf and reduce air space. This spotlights the flavors of the blend and creates a slower burn while delivering an exceptional draw. The RECLUSE line is offered in ten box pressed sizes.
Having been sent a couple of unbanded Toros to sample, I wanted to be fair to the company so I let them sit in my humidor for a couple of weeks to stabilize and acclimate themselves following the shipping. I was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to taste one and last night decided that the Recluse would be my cigar of choice. Pictures of the bands, provided by the company, can be seen in the attached images. I chose to smoke my sample with a straight cut.