Recluse Amadeus Toro by Iconic Leaf Cigar Company

The Recluse Amadeus is the soon to be released third line by Iconic Leaf Cigar Company.  For this cigar Iconic Leaf introduces its first Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper offering into the line.  At the same time, the company stayed true to their roots by making a box-press offering. Because of the delicacy of this wrapper, the Ecuadorian Connecticut box-press is a rarity on cigar shelves today.  The plan is for the Recluse Amadeus to be launched at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, however select retailers will receive shipment prior to the trade show.  Iconic Leaf Cigar Company has done an excellent job with their first two releases, the Recluse OTG and Recluse Draconian. With the Recluse Amadeus, the company does not miss a beat as they once again release another winner.

In addition to keeping with the company’s tradition of box-press releases, the Recluse Amadeus also incorporates two of the company’s signature practices – namely rolling their cigars entubar style and utilizing a two year fermentation process for the tobaccos incorporated into the blend.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what the end result of the Recluse Amadeus was and see what this cigar brings to the table.  As with all pre-release cigars, we default to our pre-review format to provide our thoughts and perspectives.  Once this cigar is released to retailers, it will be revisited and an assessment rating and score will be provided.

Blend Profile

In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, the blend uses the company’s proprietary binder and a mix of Connecticut Broadleaf and Dominican tobacco in the filler.

Wrapper:  Connecticut Seed, Ecuadorian shade  (Grade A)
Binder:  MBC (Proprietary)
Filler: Dominican Ligero, Dominican Viso, Dominican Seco, Connecticut Broadleaf

Vitolas Available

The Amadeus will be available in the following six core facings.  The sizes mirror what was released for the Recluse Draconian.

Robusto (Box Pressed): 5 x 52
Toro (Box Pressed): 6 1/4 x 50
Tarantula (Box Pressed): 6 x 60
Sidewinder 1 (Special Edition): 5 x 57
Sidewinder 2 (Special Edition): 6 x 57
Sidewinder 3 (Special Edition): 7 x 57

The Sidewinder innovation was introduced by Iconic Leaf Cigar Company at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show.  It is what the company referred to as a “Side Press” – meaning it is rounded on the top and bottom, but box-pressed along the sides.

In addition to the core facings, there will be three other additional sizes offered in the company’s other innovative vitola sizes – the Kanú series.  The Recluse Amadeus Kanú vitolas will only be offered in the company’s soon to be released E.L.F. Pack Kanú sampler.  The Kanú is the company’s unique kayak-shaped box-press.

Kanú #1  6 x 54
Kanú’ #2  7 x 52

Kanú #3  8 x 58

Appearance

For this cigar experience, I sampled the Toro vitola.  The Recluse Amadeus Toro has a golden brown wrapper.  There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper, but it also has somewhat of a silky complexion.  There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.  The box-press is firm with no soft spots.

The pre-release Recluse Amadeus we received was unbanded.  Like the other cigars in the Recluse line, the Recluse Amadeus will have two bands.  The difference is the Recluse Amadeus will have white and silver bands as opposed to the black and silver bands seen on the Recluse OTG and Recluse Draconian.  

Banding for Recluse Amadeus
(Photo provided by Iconic Leaf Cigar Co.)

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up my Recluse Amadeus Toro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap.  After clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  The cold draw provided notes of wood and cream as well as some subtle notes of pepper and fruit.  Overall, I considered the pre-light draw of the Recluse Amadeus to be excellent.  At this point, I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The Recluse Amadeus began with a combination of cream, black pepper, and wood notes. The wood notes became primary notes early on.  The pepper and cream notes were a close secondary note.  I also picked up a very subtle fruit sweetness that I categorized as more of a tertiary note.  The black pepper could be detected on the retro-hale, and the pepper was a little more prominent on the finish.

Later in the first third, the wood morphed into more of a nut flavor.  The nut flavor was now the primary flavor.  The cream and pepper notes still were close secondary notes.  While I’ve gotten flavors like this from an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper cigar before, these notes seemed to have a very good synergy between them.  At this point, the subtle fruit sweetness dissipated.

In the second half, the nut flavors became more prominent, but there also was an increase in the pepper.  I found a decrease in the cream notes around this time. In the last third, the pepper and nut flavors were firmly in control.  The pepper spice never got overwhelming nor harsh.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but slightly soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

Given that Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade box-press cigars are not that common, I was a little concerned about how this cigar would burn. However, Iconic Leaf came through with flying colors. The burn line remained relatively straight throughout the smoking experience – requiring little in the way of touch-ups. The resulting ash was not overly tight, but it still remained on the firm side. The ash itself had a salt and pepper color to it. The burn rate and burn were both ideal.

Burn of the Recluse Amadeus

When it comes to draw, Iconic Leaf Cigar Company prides itself on producing an effortless draw. When it has come to the Recluse OTG and Recluse Draconian lines, they have lived up to the expectations set – even on the artesian Kanú and Sidewinder vitolas. The Recluse Amadeus continues this tradition. I found this draw to be flawless. It required very little work in terms of getting the most out of this cigar.

Strength and Body

Three years ago, there was a big surge in Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper releases. During that time many cigar manufacturers tried to push the envelope toward stronger, fuller cigar offerings with this wrapper. With the Recluse Amadeus, I found this to be a little stronger and a little fuller than the traditional milder offering, yet something that isn’t going to go pedal to the metal. The strength of the Recluse Amadeus starts off on the mild to medium side. By the second third, the cigar settles in the medium range and stays there for the remainder of the cigar experience. As for the notes, they were medium-bodied from start to finish. There was a nice balance between the strength and body – and this was most evident in the second third of the cigar.

Final Thoughts

After releasing two solid maduro releases, I was really curious to see what blender J.R. Dominguez had cooked up for the Recluse Amadeus with a Connecticut Shade offering.  With the Amadeus, Dominguez showed he could tackle the project of delivering an excellent Ecuadorian Connecticut cigar in a box-press offering.  2014 could turn into a year similar to 2011 with a lot of Connecticut Shade releases, yet I think the Recluse Amadeus will hold its own.

This was a cigar that produced great flavor and had excellent construction.  While this cigar can easily fit the bill as “morning smoke” or “first smoke of the day”, this is a cigar that can be enjoyed by any time of the day.  I’d recommend this cigar to either an experienced or novice cigar enthusiast looking for a flavorful smoke that is smooth and not overpowering.  As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I would reach for and smoke again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st third), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Medium
Finish: Good

References

News: Recluse Amadeus Becomes Third Release by Iconic Leaf Cigar Company
Price: $8.50
Source: Sample Provided by Manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Episode: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a

* Cigars for this assessment were provided by Iconic Leaf Cigar Company. The samples were received in order to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.