Dissident Cigars by Benjamin Holt hit the market back in 2019 and they were quite the rave (pun intended). I guess Benjamin realized the hits he had with James Brown (not the singer the cigar maker) and continued to work on new projects with Fabrica Oveja Negra in Esteli, Nicaragua. In October of 2020, Dissident Cigars put out a press release announcing three new blends, which I was able to get, through some purchases at the Underground Cigar Shop & Lounge’s NFG 21 event last month. One of those was the Dissident RAVE, which is the subject of today’s review.
The RAVE is expressed in a single single (5.5 x 52) Box Pressed Robusto and comes packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $10.50/cigar.
Dissident Cigars describes the rich multi-country blend for the RAVE as:
- Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican & Pennsylvania Broadleaf
For this review I sampled two RAVEs, which I purchased for this review from the Underground Cigar Shop and Lounge in Fort Worth, Texas
As soon as you take the RAVE out of the cello, you quickly notice the expert construction of this box pressed robusto. Golden tan in color, it is silky smooth to the touch and nicely packed from head to foot. There are minimal veins running through the barrel and a well applied triple cap seals off the head just waiting to be opened up, to take you on a pleasant smoking experience.
A single band adorns the RAVE which keeps with the company’s motif of red, black and white colors. The name “RAVE” is presented boldly in the center using an open triangle for the letter “A”. The Dissident logo is printed on the bottom of the band. The back of the band presents the company’s iconic Lightening Bolt symbol.
Running the RAVE along the nose, I noted an interesting light smoked meat note along the barrel. I checked the second RAVE when I sampled it, and there it was again. Intriguing indeed. Moving to the foot, I was presented with notes of cream and and smokiness. A for more sniffs and I would put this in the category of smoked cheese. Not what I expect from a Ecuador Connecticut, but then again, the filler plays into this also.
Well, with my olfactory system intrigued, enticed, and teased, it was time to slice the cap and move onto some pre-light tasting. I used a double blade Xikar cutter to cut the cap straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give the RAVE some cold puffs. I first noted a peppery sensation on the lips followed by sweet and earthy notes. The draw was spot on with restriction. A few more cold puffs (yes it is that tasty before you light it up) and it was time get the RAVE going.
Using a double flame torch, I warmed the foot slowly until the leaf began to take to the heat. A few puffs, in front of the flame, brought the foot to an even orange glow and filled the palate with an initial burst of peppery smoke. Follow along as I burn the Dissident Cigars RAVE to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offers a black peppery burst especially to the nose
- Fragrant floral notes and a mild spice develop as the pepper pulls back
- A solid salt and pepper ash evolves on a fairly pristine medium thick char line
- Fruit notes join the profile making for an excellent start to the journey
- The ash held on for a good inch plus before falling and revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Excellent volume of smoke
- Woody aroma
- Cinnamon nuances brighten the palate
- Pretty solid burn
- Sweet cedar notes enter midway
- Finishes with an increased peppery spice
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
The Dissident RAVE shows once again the type of craft that comes out of Fabrica Oveja Negra. The RAVE had a solid burn with no waves or off burns through the journey. It had a complex array of well balanced flavors, especially for a Connecticut blend. I experienced no bitterness or bite through the journey. In fact there was a pleasant undertone of natural sweetness and I especially enjoyed the short lived burst of cinnamon in the second third. This is worth picking up a fiver of for sure. I rate this a 94.
Point Deductions: (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-1) Salt and Pepper Ash; (-1) Ash Fell Often
Bonus Points: (+1) Pristine Burn; (+1) Positive experience is the same through multiple samples; (+1) Complex and Balanced