Recluse Draconian by Iconic Leaf Cigars

The Recluse Draconian will be the second line to be released by Iconic Leaf Cigars.  For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been spotlighting this particular cigar.  The Recluse Draconian is a follow-up to 2012’s Recluse by Iconic Leaf Cigars.  That cigar was well received by cigar enthusiasts and it scored an honorable mention on our 2012 Cigar of the Year countdown.  The Recluse Draconian represents an entirely new blend from the original Recluse.  The plan is for this cigar to be launched later this year, however we’ve had an opportunity to smoke a pre-release of the Recluse Draconian.  There is no doubt, Iconic Leaf Cigars continues to be a company on the rise as once again they have produced another high quality blend.

Like the original Iconic Leaf Recluse, the Recluse Draconian is blended by J.R. Dominguez. Dominguez is definitely a rising star in the cigar industry. Also like the original Iconic Leaf Recluse, the cigar is rolled at the Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas factory in the Dominican Republic.  

At the 2013 IPCPR trade show, the Recluse Draconian will be released in  three unique vitolas known as the Sidewinders.  In the formal press release for this cigar, the company describes the Sidewinders vitals as:

As we did with our (Recluse) Kanu’ shape, the Sidewinder shape has never been done before in the cigar industry.  It will remain undisclosed until its release at this years IPCPR July 13th-17th.

Prior to the IPCPR, there will be an additional three box-shaped vitolas offered up to five selected retailers.  For the purposes of this write-up, we were provided with three robusto-sized parejo-shaped vitals.   At this time, this is not one of the vitolas being planned with the 2013 launch.  The idea here is to take a closer look at the blend, and get a feel for what this cigar will offer.  

As always, pre-release cigars are done as a pre-review.  The purpose of the pre-review is to share some experiences with the cigar.   A score and assessment rating will be given once the cigar hits retailers shelves.  In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the Recluse Draconian:

Blend Profile

Iconic Leaf Cigars is definitely putting some mystery around the blend.    While I know some will disagree with this approach, I’ve always said there is some fun not knowing some information around a blend.  This way it keeps you guessing and thinking on the composition of the blend.

As far as the wrapper goes, we know it hails from Ecuador and is a maduro.  The binder is considered proprietary.  We were told from Iconic Leaf Cigars the binder is being called “MBC”.  Finally, there is a component of the filler known as “Iconic Leaf Ligero”.  We were only told that this filler leaf was developed exclusively for Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Maduro
Binder: MBC (Proprietary Binder)
Filler: Brazilian Hybrid, Piloto Cubano, Dominican, Iconic Leaf Ligero

Vitolas Available

The Recluse Draconian is rolled entubado style.  This is a method of rolling cigars that comes from Cuba which involves a “tubing” process – namely taking each filler leaf and rolling it into a tube instead of folding the leafs.  After the filler leaves are tubed, a binder is applied.   This method of rolling has become a fundamental philosophy to the way Iconic Leaf makes their cigars.

As mentioned above, the three Sidewinder vitolas will be unveiled at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show. We do not know what the shape will be as of yet.  As we exclusively reported last week, the three additional vitolas listed will be offered prior to IPCPR to five select retailers.

Sidewinders (To Be Announced at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show)
Sidewinder #1  
Sidewinder #2  
Sidewinder #3  

Pre-IPCPR Limited Release Vitolas
Robusto (Box-press)
Toro (Box-press)
6 x 60 (Box-press)

Prototype box design for the Recluse Draconian Sidewinders

As mentioned above, we will be looking at a parejo-shaped robusto that is not currently on the list of vitolas being launched for this blend. 


The Recluse Draconian has a coffee bean colored wrapper with a slight tint of colorado red to it. The wrapper itself was definitely oily.   There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins, but overall I’d classify it as a smooth surface.

At this time, there was no banding on the Recluse Draconian.  There will be banding on the released version of this line.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For this cigar experience, I opted to go with a straight cut into the cap of the Recluse Draconian.  After I removed the cap, I moved on to see what the pre-light draw would provide.  The dry draw notes provided a nice mix of coffee and cedar spice.  Overall, the flavor profile of the pre-light draw was very positive.  At this time, I was ready to light up the Recluse Draconian and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Recluse Draconian started out with a classic pepper blast.  In the press release, the Recluse Draconian was billed as “truly exotic” in terms of its blend.  In terms of the pepper flavors I derived, the spice was definitely what I would categorize as an exotic spice.

The pepper subsided, and the flavor profile saw a return of the coffee notes that were found on the pre-light draw.  This was also accompanied by some mixed fruit notes.  In the early stages of the smoke, the exotic spice and mixed fruit flavors were the primary flavor notes and the coffee notes were secondary.

Around the five percent mark, the coffee notes took on a smooth, but bold espresso quality.  These notes would move up into the forefront.  The mixed fruit flavors provided more of a secondary role.  The exotic spice was still very much present – and also could be detected on the retro-hale.

Later in the first third, some nut flavors could be detected in the background.  These nut flavors would increased and eventually joined the espresso notes as primary flavors.   The exotic spice was still present – alternating its level of contribution to the flavor profile.  The mixed fruit notes significantly diminished.

The last third saw the espresso, nut, and exotic spice flavors all come together – creating a nice fusion.  The finish was flavorful right until the end.  There was some spice at the end, but no harshness.  The resulting nub was firm and a little on the lukewarm side.

Burn and Draw

In terms of the burn and draw this cigar performed well.  It is important to remember that this vitola is not planned to be one of the initially released sizes, so that needs to be taken into consideration.

The burn line remained relatively straight during the smoking experience of my Recluse Draconian. The cigar itself needed very few touch-ups, and did not require any re-lighting.  The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color.  There was some minor flaking, but nothing that turned out to be a nuisance.  The burn rate remained ideal.

The draw didn’t have too much resistance, so it made for an easy puffing experience.  I did notice on each of the samples that this cigar did seem a little more sensitive to over-drawing in terms of impacting the burn temperature.   In a nutshell, take it a bit slower and you will savor the cigar experience and the burn temperature will remain ideal.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I definitely thought there was a little bit of pop to the Recluse Draconian.  I assessed this strength to be in the medium to full range.  As for the flavors, the Recluse Draconian has some nice depth.  I assessed this cigar to be full-bodied.  When examining how the strength and body balanced each other, I gave an edge to the body here.  One thing I am curious about is how this cigar will age – and whether both of these attributes will mellow with time.

Final Thoughts

While this isn’t one of the vitolas that will be rolled out first, one thing is for certain – Iconic Leaf Cigars has a winner with this blend.  I’m definitely curious to see how this smokes in the box-press vitolas that are rolling out prior to the IPCPR.  I commented to the Iconic Leaf folks that they should look at considering this robusto/parejo size because I think this size can work with this blend.  I would definitely recommend this to a seasoned cigar enthusiast looking for a nice flavorful smoke.  Even though this cigar is on the medium to full side for strength, there is a smoothness to this – therefore, I would not hesitate recommending this to a novice cigar enthusiast.  Overall, this is a very good cigar, and one I would easily smoke again.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Good

Source: These cigars were provided by Iconic Leaf Cigars.  This request was initiated by Iconic Leaf Cigars in order to provide feedback.   Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.