Vitola: The Instigator (Belicoso)
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Crillio
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Defiance cigars were created as a way to fight against the legislatively and tax based oppression of cigar smokers. Proceeds from each box will be donated quarterly to individual state tobaccos right coalitions in the form of 5% of the wholesale box price. For example, 5% of all wholesale sales to stores in Maryland are donated to Maryland’s state coalition. In the event that a state does not have a coalition, the proceeds are placed in an escrow account to be held until needed.
Defiance cigars are currently being blended by Jesus Fuego, whom you might know as the blender of the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 & 1992 as well as the Olde World Reserve, for cigar accessory maker, Xikar.
The Defiance line is available in four sizes which include The Guardian (52 x 6.50), The Sentry (46 x 6.00), The Instigator (54 x 6.00), and The Renegade (50 x 5.00).
After pulling my Defiance Cigar out of its cellophane sleeve I began to look it over. The wrapper leaf contains several medium sized veins which protrude slightly and add a mild lumpiness to the smooth texture of the leaf.
When pinched, I found the stick to be very hard from head to foot with the occasional spot which was not quite as hard. Once clipped I found the draw to have just the right amount of resistance for my liking. The cold flavors were mild and fruity.
After a short toasting and lighting session, I had my Defiance Cigar evenly lit and producing a generous supply of thick and flavorful smoke. The body starts off in the medium range with a finish that is thick on the palate. As the smoke is expelled, I found myself sort of smacking my lips due to the thick feeling. The thick, or heavy, sort of feel was a nice compliment to the body at this juncture in the smoke.
The primary flavor at this point is wood with a secondary mixture consisting of a mild Corojo flavor as well as a dull fruitiness. From time to time the fruitiness briefly changes to a mild vegetal flavor for a puff or two before changing back over.
The burn line is thin and even while producing a light resting smoke. The aroma of the resting smoke is fairly mild and pleasant. The ash is firm and compacted as well as being light in color. A firm tap against the ashtray removes it after about an inch has accumulated.
After about an hour of smoking I found myself into the second third of my Defiance “Instigator” by Xikar. The body had a slow progressive build but never reached the point of cresting the medium spectrum. The finish remained smooth while leaving a thick feel on the tongue and palate.
The base was made up of wood as the primary component with the same Corojo and mild fruity flavors making up the secondary components. The occasional mild vegetal flavor came and went which gave the flavor an added bit of character. All the while the flavor as a whole seemed to develop and become deeper and richer as I smoked along.
The ash remained firm and help on easily for about an inch before falling. The burn line was thin and even while the burn rate was about average. While holding the cigar, I found a single glue fingerprint from whomever applied the Xikar band., which I found to be a little comedic.
After about ninety minutes of smoking I found myself into the final third of my Defiance Cigar. The body at this point continued to progress but still did not pass the medium mark into med-full. The finish continued to produce a heavy feel that was easy on the palate as well as smooth. The combination of this thick feel paired with the medium body makes for an enjoyable mouthful of smoke.
The primary flavor has changed gears and has become very deep and rich Corojo and Criollo tobacco flavors. The secondary flavor, which is far less noticeable, is the wood flavor from earlier on in the smoke. The wood flavor adds a nice compliment to the Corojo and Criollo flavors that I am enjoying so much. With each puff the cigar continues to develop more and more character and complexity.
The construction and burn characterizes of this cigar continued to impress. The burn rate remained about average for me while the burn line was thin and even. The draw continued to produce a generous supply of thick smoke which was easily passed through my sinuses.
To be completely honest, I can’t figure out why these cigars aren’t talked about very often. The blender is well known, as is the company behind the brand (Xikar). The flavors and complexity of the smoke make the cigar a winner in my book.
The defiance is mild enough to be smoked earlier on in the day while being heavy enough to be smoked at night. All while providing an enjoyable experience. Having smoked one of these cigar per day for the last three days I can definitely see myself picking up more in the future.
If you happen to find a Defiance in a store near you, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. Aside from getting a fine cigar you will also be helping fight anti tobacco legislation.