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Dissident Soapbox Rave robusto extra

Punch and Draw madly Rave about the Dissident Soapbox cigar. Now step off!

Dissident Cigars Soap Box cigar

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Binder: Nicaraguan Double Estelí
Filler: Nicaraguan Esteli, Condega, Jalapa

Draw: The Dissident Soapbox Rave is a nice looking stick. On first inspection, the cap appeared to be rolled INTO the cigar, as opposed to being applied to the outside. Turns out, I’m a moron – who knew? Still, this 5.5 x 52 stick has a very smooth construction. The vellum-finish wrapper shows a few significant stems underneath, conspicuous on such a smooth roll. Construction is tight; the stick is quite stiff. For me, the aroma off the foot is all “rich” elephant pen with wheat straw. There are some very subtle notes that I’m unable to identify separately, but contribute to the richness.

Punch: Speak truth to power, little bro! It was clear to me that the cap been applied in the conventional manner, but it is smoothed down very well; this is evident once it becomes wet. But, the construction overall does appear to be very good. When I punched the first of two sticks I had for this review, it popped loudly while the cap split slightly. The second time when punching, the head blew out catastrophically – like a 54 Chevy with moth balls in the gas tank. If I keep it way in my mouth while drawing, I should still be able to smoke this thing.

Dissident Soapbox Rave vitola with a blown head.

Blown head. Usually this happens to ME and AFTER I’ve smoked a cigar.

The cold draw is minimal; I’m not really getting any flavor to comment on. Toasting the foot gives a strong sugar and … hemp? Upon lighting it is totally different – it has a strong flavor intensity with a harsh/sweet on the attack and a short, burnt sugar (carbon) and tobacco finish.

D: I didn’t really get anything on the cold draw, either, other than it is just about right. On initial lighting, I’m getting a metallic twang on the attack, a grassy burning in the middle – no, more like burnt popcorn – and a pretty vacant finish. There’s also mild roasted pine nuts. I notice the smoke coming off of it though: it is quite intense, and does remind me of hemp, and maybe some sandalwood. The head of my cigar was flat (blunted) and I think I clipped it a little too wide. On the second stick, I cut the cap and had a chunk of tobacco fall out from within.

P: Yes. I would equate metallic with the acidic harshness I got – am getting. The Dissident Soapbox is a serious smoke; no candy bar here. There was harsh bitterness on the attack, initially, but it quickly smoothed out. Leather and some nuttiness, shifting toward sweetness on my first stick. No sweetness the second time – yet. It reminds me of licking the point of a pencil in grade school: slightly woody. There is also a sensation of my throat tightening up way in the back with a very slight black pepper finish. Overall, a very simple flavor profile at this point with mild-medium flavor intensity.

D: Agreed, at about an inch, it shifts so there’s more flavor coming through. The metallic taste stays on attack, but the whang leaves. There’s a cream sensation which picks up in the middle and persists to the aftertaste, a real buttery taste. There’s also a mild latex flavor which kind of lingers through. Peanuts, fresh peanuts in the middle and finish. We caught up with the Co-founders of Dissident Cigars — Red_Ryan and Gweedo C — at the 2014 IPCPR trade show and this is what they had to say about their smokes and the company’s image.

This Dissident Soapbox seems to idle well with minimal stoking to restore proper cherry. After a rest, I took a puff; immediate toasty popcorn sweetness and then the peanut protein flavor. The latex is barely on the finish, and the aftertaste is definitely a buttery – no, coconut oil – flavor. Very nice!

P: Starting the second third, the flavor intensity has dropped way off. There is still a mild metallic/acidic harshness on the attack, which includes some sweetness. When I think of the peanuts you mentioned I can imagine that part of the flavor is that of roasted peanut skins. The relatively short finish is mild tobacco – which reminds me of a Te-Amo I had: just tobacco, with a very mild cedar showing up, and an occasional touch of radish. Still, the flavor components are very subtle; it’s pretty well balanced.

D: The ash is very nice, and held on for an inch-and-a-quarter. The burn line has been real even, no burn issues. Coming into the second third, the attack is still about the same, but the other flavors have faded somewhat. There’s new leather/chamois taking over the middle-through-aftertaste, but the coconut-buttered peanuts is still present. The tightness, which Punch describes, for me is like a retro-kick of the attack-twang. Definitely an iron‑y flavor. Just got that “burning grass” taste on one draw, after a brief rest period.

P: So we’re coming to the last third; the flavor strength has dropped somewhat, again. The attack is still fairly bright, and except for being milder, is unchanged. The finish is also remaining true to the previous third with an occasional showing of cedar and some menthol coming on. There was no cedar or menthol yet on my second one.

D: At about 3 fingers, burn has been great. Ash clings for an inch, easily. Straight burn, no touch ups, but I admit I had to purge the first stick to get it hot again after a significant rest. Doing so relieved some of the cedar which I was detecting coming into this phase. The rest of the profile remains pretty consistent: twangy attack with burning grass and new leather, cedar now and other woods running throughout, and faint buttered peanuts. After the purge, there was a hint of dill and green onion on the aftertaste. The second stick required no purging and had no cedar. My mouth has a coconut oil film with popcorn. Taking a puff after a rest yields an immediate roasted meat at the initial attack, followed by more of the same flavors. There’s still peanut, but I think I’m settling on the overall taste being coconut-buttered burnt popcorn, and not buttered peanuts. It’s still very likable.

P: With an inch-and-a-half remaining the attack has disappeared and this fellow has mellowed down to mild all-around.

D: My first stick went all cedar-melange on me. I was at about two-and-a-half fingers, and I put it down, regrettably. On the second stick, I’m down to just over one finger! Still enjoying it! Very consistent still without the melange of stick One. I’m down to taking micropuffs and long rests because of physical heat. No pepper in this at all.

Burn it or Spurn it?

P: Burn it down. The first third was rather intense, but not particularly complex. Good homogeneous ash. Except for the flavor intensity dropping from the first inch, the flavor has been quite consistent throughout. Not highly complex, but not boringly simple, either. This is a fine smoke. Very good construction and burn characteristics.  There were a few discrepancies in flavor between the two samples I had. Even so, the Dissident Soapbox doesn’t have a flavor profile that I would run to, but there is nothing bad about it – I just prefer less subtlety and more obvious complexity. I think this is one that many people would like, though. It is not a stick that says “Hey, look at me”, but rather is content to hang in the background and provide a satisfying smoking experience. Except for blowing out the head when punching, this is well constructed and burns great.

D: Burn it, regularly. Nice burn characteristics, fine construction. Medium-flavor overall, with a medium complexity and mildish strength. Mildly charred movie-theater popcorn is something I don’t taste in a cigar everyday, but I could, if I bought a box of these. Peanut goodness… this is a Cracker-Jack – now THERE’S a box to stand on!

The Dissident Soapbox is available in these shout-it-out free-speech loudmouth vitolas: Rant (4.75 x 46), Rave (5.5 x 52), and the Tirade (6.25 x 56). All of this goodness you read here based on two sticks gifted to us by the proprietors at IPCPR 2014.

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