In spite of picking one of these smokes at RTDA last year, somehow I didn’t get around to actually smoking one until now. It seems like a pretty big oversight, doesn’t it. Well, if you take a quick peak in my humidor, you’d quickly see why. Let’s just say organization isn’t one of my strong suits.
It wasn’t until Jarrod from Tex Cigars sent me a couple of Defiance robustos (a.k.a. “The Renegade”) that I remembered that year old stick resting quietly in the deep recesses of the humidor. In this case, my lacking organization skills worked out. Since I didn’t review that cigar last year, I’m open to smoke and review two this year.
The story behind the defiance is that it is more than just a cigar. It’s also the flagship smoke of the Defiance Alliance, an organization dedicated to fighting anti-smoking legislation. 5% of the proceeds of each cigar go to support this worthy effort. You might be tempted to dismiss this cigar as a well intended gimmick, but you also need to know that its the creation of the very talented Jesus Fuego. So it goes without saying that I’m really looking forward to finally trying these out. So let’s get to it.
Size: 5 x 50 (robusto)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Price: ~$5.75 (buy it here)
To begin with, the cigar has a very classy appearance. The dual bands are sharp looking without being tacky, and a little comical. What’s a little funny about them are the phrases. On the front, a rewording of the classic phrase, In Vino Veritas. In this case, In Puros Veritas, or “In puros there is truth”. And on the back of the band a note: “Do Not Remove!” Of course sooner or later you will, only to find a message inside the band that praises you for not always doing what your told and directing you to their website.
The cigar itself looks great too. Visually both cigars appear very smooth with tiny veins and just a little bit of lumpiness to the touch. The scent of the wrapper was also noteworthy, the aroma was an interesting combination of honey sweetness, compost and dill. Yes, dill. After clipping the cigars, I tasted syrupy coffee in the cold draw.
In the burn department, these cigars were slightly disappointing. One cigar cracked near the head, and slowly unraveled as I smoked. Fortunately, it was only this first stick (and the one photographed for this review) that had this problem. The other cigar’s wrapper did not form any cracks or other similar problems.
However, the burn line of the second one was noticeably less even than the cigar with the cracked wrapper. I also noticed that this cigar had draw that was slightly too firm at the beginning. This turned out to be only a slight irritation as the draw opened up nicely as the it burned.
But there’s one place where both cigars preformed beautifully in terms of the burn. That would have to bee the great lengths of light colored ash that held tight to the end of each smoke.
Both cigars began with enjoyable sweet, creamy flavors. I noted coffee, caramel, a bit of cocoa, and a incredibly tasty spicy cinnamon in the first third.
The second third continued to be syrupy sweet and more cedary and woody. (Yep, I did notice different woods!) I also got more chocolates and cocoas and a surprising, but short pocket of butteriness.
These cigars finished on a very cedar-y note. At times the cedar was sweet, other times it was more aromatic or even floral. And in one cigar I actually briefly tasted some nice coconut.
I have no complaints about the price. I wouldn’t have a problem buying more at this price.
While the burn was problematic, particularly in the first, unraveling smoke, the flavors more than made up for the trouble. You’ll notice from the pictures that I didn’t give up on the cigar when the wrapper got ugly. I was enjoying the it too much to put it out. (I only wish I had a bit of pectin so I could have made dealing with the wrapper a bit easier!)
So my verdict on these cigars is very positive. The Xikar Defiance goes on my short list for cigars I need to buy by the box. But while I’m waiting for my humidor to clear out a bit, I’m going to have to go searching for that long lost RTDA ’07 Defiance. I have a feeling I’m going to love it.
I also need to say another quick thanks to Tex Cigars for hooking me up with such great smokes. I really appreciate it, and encourage you to give them a little business if you’re interested in trying out this cigar!
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Definitely
Recommend It: Absolutely
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.