The Third and Final Round…The Rebel Signature

Hope everyone is off to a great new year and staying warm. I read that there was snow on the ground in 49 states. Crazy. Here in Northeast Pa it is your typical Jan. Temps have been in the teens for over a week with a little snow and wind chills in single digits or in the negative. This of course means the heaters are going around the clock and the air inside is very dry. Humidity for cigars in this climate is very tricky. I for one am ready to pack up and move further south. Birds are much smarter than us, they know when to head south!

Tonight I decided to brave the extremely cold temps and got the heater up cranked up in the garage for a bit so I would not become a frozen statue until Spring. I decided it was time to try the third and final cigar I received from The Rebel Cigar company. The Signature series is there premier cigar and looking at this cigar I can see why. This cigar has a very elegant look and feel to it. I love the twister style with the medium and dark brown swirling wrapper.

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The RC Signature – 6 x 52

An intriguing, complex, and hand-rolled mix of leaves derived from the remote regions of Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Infused with 100% premium Cuban-seed filler, our Rebel Cigars are flawless creations accompanied by dark and light Nicaraguan Habano wrappers, for an exotic and dangerously sophisticated experience.” (Taken from The Rebel Cigar website)

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The cigar feels light and firm throughout with no soft spots. It smells of barnyard hay, cedar and earth. Off the foot I pick up more of the same with a subtle semi-sweet cocoa. The combination of the light and dark Nicaraguan wrapper really comes together to make a very nice looking cigar.

I use a straight guillotine cut and the cold draw offers a little resistance and I get notes of cedar, hay, and earth. I used wooden matches to get things started and finished with a dual flame torch lighter. Once I got it nice and toasted the initial draw provides me with a very strong cedar wood profile and a little sweetness. As I move into it a little, the straw makes an appearance. The strength is on the medium side with a nice flavor profile. It is very woodsy with a nice smooth finish. The first third performs well with the draw still offering some resistance but not too tight, the ash is holding well and the burn is even.

As noted in other reviews, the extreme cold here plays hell on cigars and is far less than ideal for them. As a result of being in a propane heated garage the burn line is affected and when I go outside it straightens out very nicely however the brutal cold causes some issues with cracking because it is just far to dry and far too cold. Anyone that smokes in the cold knows what I am dealing with. I don’t care what cigar you have and what temp and humidity you store them at, once they get into single digit dry climates, there will be issues. This was no different. My cigars are kept in a humidor in an interior closet in the winter with a humidifier and typically stays at a constant 68 to 70 degrees with 69 to 71% humidity. I am very meticulous about caring for my investments. The issues I experienced with this cigar say nothing about the quality or construction of the cigar.

All that said, I did experience some small cracks in the wrapper. Nothing serious and it only effected the cosmetics of the cigar. I have mentioned before that I should go to a local lounge but I am pretty methodical about how and where I do reviews. I find doing reviews in a smoke filled lounge is not ideal as the other cigars tend to find their way into the cigar I am reviewing and it doesn’t allow for an accurate tasting experience.

Enough about the climate issues, I’m turning into John Kerry…Geez. As I made my way through the second and last third of this cigar not much changed. The flavor profile stayed very steady and consistent throughout with certain profiles taking the forefront and then falling back when another took its place. The main flavors of cedar, smoky wood, hay, earth and cocoa stayed consistent. I personally would have enjoyed a little pepper or spice blended into this to really open the profile up a bit more but that is only my personal preference. I am a big fan of spice and pepper. That’s my Louisiana heritage working it’s way in. Cayenne and spice are at the heart of everything we do so I never shy away from pepper and spice in a cigar. I understand that not everyone likes that. For many of you this blend will be perfect.

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Overall thoughts. This was a nice, smooth, well constructed medium bodied cigar that had a very woodsy flavor profile and mixed well with the other notes I described. I paired this cigar with water but this cigar would pair very well with a great bourbon, rum or scotch. Any of these would add that spice I mentioned and would really bring out the flavors in both the liquor and the cigar. The look of this cigar is elegant, and luxurious. I could easily see this being a go to smoke in a nice after dinner setting with cigars and drinks. It is mild enough so that you could smoke more than one and it looks terrific. Great for social gatherings or as a after dinner smoke. I enjoyed this cigar a lot. Smoke time was right at 2 hours. This is where that resistance in the draw comes into play. It never allowed the cigar to get really hot and burned nicely.

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So that completes the Rebel Cigar series for me. Overall, for a company new to the market they have potential. The only recommendations I would offer (as a consumer) is offer different sizes at some point and I would play around with the band colors. One thing I had a hard time with was taking a picture that showcased the brand and cigar name and it was always a challenge regardless of lighting. The dark red or maroon makes it very hard to display and the light always seems to reflect and takes away from the shot. As a new company, the one thing you want is attention and to stand out. If I took this band off in a social setting, someone would have to pick it up and find the right lighting to figure out what it was. The cigars themselves are really good. The price point for the size are good. The construction is solid, the performance is great, the flavor profiles are very consistent. Don’t expect radical changes throughout. The Light, Medium and Signature by Rebel are worth trying for sure. Visit them at https://www.therebelcigar.com/

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I would like to thank Rebel for giving me the opportunity to review their products and I wish them much success on their journey into this wild and crazy market. I think they will do fine with the right exposure.

I hope you enjoyed the review and I look forward to your comments and reviews if you care to submit them. Until next time friends, as always, long ashes and full glasses. Peace.

“The purpose of this review is to provide a true, honest opinion based on my own experience. I am under no obligation to provide favorable reviews or feedback for this product and receive no compensation for doing so.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Rebel RC Medium

Happy 2017 everyone. Hope everyone had a safe and Happy celebration with friends and family. 2016 was a year with a lot of changes, a lot of tragic events across the globe, new FDA regulations on the cigar industry, one of the craziest election seasons in the history of the free world, and a year of some of the best cigars in the world being released. A lot of new companies launched, many existing companies sped up releases to get around some of the new regulations bringing some of the best blends into the market. I tried many new brands and even more new cigars this year than in previous years. This was for a number of reasons. 1) I was really excited about a lot of the new releases 2) My palate has developed enough that I had a much better understanding of what I was actually experiencing 3) I really fell hard for boutique brands and trying cigars that don’t get much exposure. All of these things really played into my cigar buying, smoking and enjoying cigars this year more than ever. Being a relatively new smoker in the sense that I only got into it about 3 years ago and really into it less than 2 years I have really advanced my expectations and far too often I found myself disappointed by the major name brand releases.

With all that said, (if you follow me you have read this before) I decided to dedicate this blog to those smaller up and coming brands that need a platform and hopefully get them some exposure. I don’t ask for anything other than spreading the word about this page and to provide me some feedback. The response so far has been great and I am very thankful for that. I hope that 2017 brings some great things for this blog and specifically the companies, people and cigars I review here. I try to be honest and as descriptive as my palate allows me to be.

One of the companies that I reached out to about the page was The Rebel Cigar company. You can read my first review of the Rebel RC Light here also. They were nice enough to send me 1 of each of their blends to try and review.

The RC Medium 6 x 52 size

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This is the second of the 3 I received. The product information card they sent states that their cigars feature “Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos infused with 100% premium Cuban-seed filler. The RC Medium Cigar is wrapped in a Dark Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro Leaf”. This is a very nice looking cigar that is a nice, dark brown with a rugged wrapper featuring nice veins. There was a minor defect in the cap which I cut with 0 issues (this was likely from the shock of the change in climate and shipping). The cigar feels light in my hand with no soft spots. Construction is solid and I pick up notes of semi-sweet cocoa, hay and earth from the foot.

I used a v-cut and the cold draw brings heavy notes of straw with a hint of cocoa. It was very interesting how much straw/hay it presented. I used a match to get things started and once toasted I picked up some nice red pepper that hit my palate followed by a very nice woodsy profile. This cigar has a very earthy feel to it and is producing some nice white smoke. The flavor profile is very natural with a bit of spice that tones down pretty rapidly moving through the first third. Draw and burn are both very good. This is a medium bodied cigar.

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As I move into the second third the transition is very subtle with more of the cocoa mixed with a nice wood flavor. It is likely cedar but it is smoky and mixes very nicely with the sweetness of the semi-sweet cocoa. The profile really does not change all that much, and for me that is great. As I stated before, this misconception that a cigar needs these huge flavor transitions at every third is ridiculous to me. I actually prefer consistency over huge shifts. This cigar, so far is very consistent. If you like the first third of this cigar, you will enjoy it throughout. If you don’t, you won’t find much else in regards to major changes. The ash is holding over 1 inch and is grey in color. The burn is a little jagged but I am outdoors in low 40 degree temps with a breeze so this is going to effect the performance. When I go into my heated garage, it tends to straighten out but the heat and lack of humidity really makes it starve for air. Admittedly these are less than ideal conditions to do a true review in regards to performance. Because the climate I am in is so harsh on cigars I always make it a point to state this fact. When you see pictures and it looks jagged, this is rarely (almost never) due to the construction of the cigar. Moving on.

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The final third brought more of the same with the exception of the return of the red pepper spice coming to the forefront with the cocoa taking a backseat but really mixing into a really nice smooth finish. The smoky wood profile really makes a statement throughout this cigar as the dominant flavor for me. That’s the beautiful thing about cigars, they are unique to the individual smoking it. My perfect 10 may very well be the worse cigar you ever smoked so always keep that in mind when you try a cigar based on a review.

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Overall, this was a solid cigar that was medium in strength and flavor profile. The construction was great, nice open draw, good burn that required no touch-ups with a very natural profile. It was very woodsy with just the right amount of spice and subtle sweetness. The blend was very consistent throughout with no major swings or shifts from one third to the next. I think newer smokers would enjoy this cigar which is a step up from milder smokes but the flavor is enough that more advance smokers would still enjoy it. This is a great choice for a morning smoke with coffee or perfect for a nice lunchtime smoke. I really enjoyed this cigar and I would certainly smoke it again. So far 2 for 2 from Rebel Cigar in my book. At an $8.00 price point, this is a great looking, great performing, intriguing cigar that will satisfy a variety of smokers from new to old.

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I hope you enjoyed this review. As always, comments, suggestions and your thoughts are always welcomed. I encourage you to check out https://www.therebelcigar.com/ for more information. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace.

Outlawed Luxury…Run with The Rebel

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and all the other many holiday greetings that we celebrate. Hope everyone had a great weekend with friends and family. I was home alone as I sent my wife and son to Louisiana to be with family and our daughter that moved back in the spring to attend school. Being an adult sucks sometimes but it was worth it seeing the photos and hearing the happiness in their voices. This is also why I have the free time to do a review on Christmas. I am not THAT dedicated. Lol

Anyway, awhile back I had a company start following me on Instagram so I followed back. I saw them posting from time to time, and as I got the blog up and running I reached out to them and asked if they would be interested in being featured here. As they are growing and recently released their cigars, I intend to do a piece on the brand and the people behind it. In the meantime, they were nice enough to send me a 3 pack sampler to review for them. That is always a very humbling thing for me and I truly appreciate it.

I received the RC Light, RC Medium, and the Signature yesterday (Merry Christmas to me!) and I couldn’t wait to try them. I decided to give them a night in the humidor to warm up because they spent some time traveling from Las Vegas to the much cooler Northeast. This factor will come into play during my review. Today was sunny, in the high 40’s which is warmer than it has been here so I decided to start with the RC Light.

The Rebel Cigar (RC) Light – 6 x 52 size

The company included a nice folding card with info about the company and the cigars. The cards states the cigars “are a mix of leaves from remote regions of Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Infused with 100% premium Cuban-seed filler and accompanied by a Light Nicaraguan Habano Claro leaf wrapper.”

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The cigar is medium brown in color with small veins and the seams are slightly raised. It feels firm with no soft spots. The band is black with gold and a deep red (maroon) Cowboy hat, mustache and cigar logo.I picked up notes of really good tobacco, straw and a sweet cocoa off the foot. I used a straight guillotine cut and the cold draw was open with a little resistance. I picked up some earthy barnyard notes mixed with tobacco.

I used a match to get things started and it lit very easily and tons of thick, white smoke poured from this cigar. Once I got it nice and toasted, the first puff produced some pepper spice that hit the back of my palate. I did not expect this as I didn’t pick up any of that from the foot. The next couple of puffs revealed some leathery earthy notes with some pepper and a subtle cocoa in the background. First impression was impressive. Great draw, tons of smoke, a solid and complex flavor profile. As I moved into the first third a bit more, the pepper really toned down a lot and a subtle woodsy (oak/cedar mix possibly) came into the mix. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come because it is very pleasant.

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As stated prior, coming from Las Vegas into the colder North presented some minor issues which is not uncommon. The cold temp can cause the leaves to tighten up a bit and there were some minor breaking in the wrapper. It was also a bit windy and the burn was slightly jagged. I attribute both of these issues to the climate and not the cigar. The ash held almost the entire length of until a nice gust of wind removed it for me. The construction of this cigar is solid.

The second third brought exactly what I hoped. The woodsy flavor that started to appear really takes front and center now and adds to the complexity of the blend. There is still that earthy element with a light cocoa mix. So far this is a medium bodied, full flavored cigar. I am really finding it hard to put it down and the blend really has me intrigued by what is offered. The wood profile really blends well. The ash is over 1 inch and holding strong. It is white/grey and flaky. The draw tightened up just a touch offering just the right amount of resistance. This could be from the cold also. Either way, its still a nice, easy draw and this cigar is still producing a lot of smoke.

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As I move into the final third, the pepper spice makes a nice return. A few spots were a slight bit harsh but I attribute that to me smoking away like a crack fiend and not giving this cigar time to rest. 2 reasons for that…1) the cigar is REALLY good 2) it’s in the 40’s and I have been out here almost 2 hours! The cigar ends with the same profile it started with. A bit of spice mixed with the other great flavors mentioned. The final third moved into the medium-med/full range but stayed very smooth.

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Overall thoughts. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this review. What I came away with is that this is a great cigar. Solid construction, great performance, complex and flavorful profile, medium to med/full strength that is smooth throughout. This was a very enjoyable cigar that lasted right at the 2 hour mark even with me puffing away on it. This tells you about the construction of the cigar. Even with that amount of air flowing through it, it stayed cool and the burn lasted. No touchups were needed. The burn line was slightly jagged but again, I am outside on a windy day.

The price point on the RC Series runs $8.00 and the Signature Series is priced at $12. $8 for a 6×52 of this caliber and size is very fair. I would spend that much for this stick and feel good about it knowing what I am getting. I highly recommend trying this cigar and I look forward to reviewing the next 2. The 52 is a bigger ring gauge than I typically smoke so I hope they look to bring in some different sizes as they grow. This is a solid cigar and I would certainly smoke this cigar in my rotation. Very nicely done Rebel Cigar. Much success in the future!

If you are interested in checking them out or placing an order, please visit www.therebelcigar.com

As always friends, your thoughts, comments and reviews are welcome. Next time we have “Something Special” to review. Long ashes and full glasses. May you all have a very Merry Christmas.

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