Category Archives: Illusione

H Town by Illusione (Guest Review by Abe)

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Price- MSRP $9.95

Beverage- None

Size – Lancero (7×40)

Strength- Demi (2/4)

Rating- Rocky IV (9/10)

Blend Details:

Wrapper- Nicaraguan Corojo 98

Binder- Nicaraguan Criollo 99

Filler- Nicaraguan

This year illusione snuck onto my rotation. It started as something polished and not in your face that I could smoke while getting some work done. After more frequency, I decided to sit down and enjoy the nuances one can miss if not paying attention.

The Experience-

As I light and begin my first draw I receive a taste of toasted nuts, with a healthy dose of spice on the retrohale. The toasty nut flavor then defines itself as toasted graham cracker (like on a baked cheesecake) the oils manage to coat my palette with the mentioned flavors. The retro then transitions to that classic illusione floral note; very faint but lets you know it’s an Illusione.

The retro then becomes more and more bakers spice with a light roast coffee ground emergence. The graham cracker flavor remains, but with added tartness very reminiscent to the oils found on an orange peel. All while the smoke provides a chewy texture.

As the cigar nears the end, the palette remains coated. Woodsy, and toasted nut notes with hints of pepper replace the flavors of citrus and graham cracker. The after taste is that of non-bitter espresso and slight mint. The spice on the retro increases followed with a slight pepper nuance. The cigar while being relatively cool finishes with some distinguished heat.

Construction- Superb

Flavor Notes- Graham Cracker, Coffee, Nuts, Citrus

Smoke time- 1hour 40 minutes

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? Heck Yea! Sitting on a couple boxes myself.

If you haven’t tried illusione, or perhaps want to give it another try this cigar truly embodies illusione. Refined, good construction and unique flavor that can’t be found anywhere else. I recall Dion, stating that his cigars don’t need to be paired with any drink as they really make your taste buds water. While I cant agree that is the case with all his cigars, this one truly accomplishes that goal. If you have a chance grab a box as these will be a beauty to age.

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Cruzado by Illusione

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Price – $10

Beverage – Sugar free Red Bull and Bottled Water

Size – Toro Gordo (Domenicos Extras 6 X 56)

Strength – Demi (2/4)

Rating – Sabotage (6/10)

Composition:

Wrapper – Nicaraguan Criollo Rosado

Binder/Filler – Nicaraguan

One of my favorite cigars is the Illusione Rothchildes and I’ve really grown to like the epernay and eccj as well. This was my first time with the Cruzado, here are my thoughts:

  1. Good burn, flawless draw, decent construction. We talked a little about this on our podcast this past week where we likened the Warped and Illusione cigar lines to finely tuned Mercedes or BMWs. What we meant was that these cigars are so finely rolled and somewhat delicate that it doesn’t take much to get a snag in the wrapper, which has been a common occurrence for me with both Warped and Illusione. These little hiccups haven’t necessarily affected my smoking experience, but it is worth noting.

2. Solid medium cigar and I’m calling it a Demi.

3. I experienced a little bit of wood flavor,  some pepper, nuttiness, and a little earthiness.

4. My smoke time was 1 hr and 50 minutes.

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? No

In terms of my personal brand hierarchy, Illusione has continued to creep towards the top. Admittedly, the toro gordo is not my favorite vitola in the world, but this was the one available/recommended to me in the shop. I would like to eventually try to give some of the other vitolas a shot, particularly the regular toro. Although I enjoyed the Cruzado, it didn’t wow me like some of the other Illusione cigars that I mentioned above. I would smoke this cigar in the shop if I’m looking for a nice medium stick that could last me a couple hours, but I wouldn’t necessarily take it home and put it in the humidor. Either way, if you haven’t explored the brand as whole, I’d encourage you to do so.

Please remember to check out our podcast:  SoS Podcast 3-6-16

Until next time friends!

 

*R* Rothchildes by Illusione

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Price – $5
Beverage – Bottled Water
Size – 4 1/2 X 50 (Rothchildes)
Strength – Demi (2/4)
Rating – Rambo IV (9/10)

Composition:
Wrapper – Mexican San Andreas
Binder/Filler – Nicaragua

You don’t have to be a trillion dollar banker to enjoy this wonderful little cigar, Lord knows you’d have to subtract all the zeroes off of that and add a minus sign to get to my net worth. With that being said, here are my thoughts on the Rothchildes:

1) Easy draw, good burn, good construction

2) Upper level Demi on the strength, not overly strong, but not a light cigar either

3) I tasted a little cocoa and hints of citrus, pretty earthy cigar as well in my opinion

4) My smoke time was forty minutes

Now to the two questions:

1) Would I smoke it again? Yes

2) Would I give it humidor space? Yes, I’m calling the Rothchildes box worthy

This is not my first rodeo with the Illusione line of cigars and this was by far my favorite offering up to this point. We often talk about value and humidor roles and this delivers on both accounts. You get a great cigar at a cheap price and it serves as a nice, quick smoke. It’s like looking down your bench and seeing Nate Robinson lurking, all 5’7″ of him waiting to come out and drop a quick 20 on the opposition. I would buy a box of these in a heartbeat and recommend giving these a whirl if you get a chance.

Fume D’Amour by Illusione

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Price – $10
Beverage – Dr. Pepper
Size – Clementes (6 1/2 X 48)
Strength – Demi (2/4)
Rating – Sabotage (6/10)

First time with the Love Smoke by Illusione, came as a recommendation by my boys Vlad and Jared from Cigar Dojo. Here are my thoughts:

1) Excellent burn, good construction. Draw was a little on the tight side, but I wasn’t gasping for air, calling the draw average.

2) I thought this was a lower level Demi and believe most smokers should be able to easily handle this cigar should they choose to smoke it.

3) I found this to be a better version of the Headley Grange. It had a little bit of a very distinct spice to it, I found a little bit of citrus like flavors as well as a toasty/marshmallow like taste. One thing I really liked about the Fume was the amount of flavor it packed, definitely its biggest attribute.

4) My smoke time was one hour

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke this again? Yes

Would I give it humidor space? Yes

I’m not a huge fan of the price tag on this stick (would have been a Rambo if it was $8), but as discussed before, a humidor is only complete if your superstars are complemented by role players. The Fume is a really nice change of pace cigar for me based on the current make up of my humidor. Additionally, I found the Fume to have a nice, unique flavor which scored some points with me. All in all, I would recommend at least giving this a shot and keeping some around.

MJ 12 (Natural) by Illusione

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Price – $10
Beverage – Mountain Dew Baja Blast
Size – Toro (6 X 54)
Strength – Demi (2/4)
Rating – Bullet to the Head (5/10)

This was my first MJ 12 and picked it up because it came in a cool tin foil wrapper. This stick also comes in a maduro, but that was not available at the Burning Leaf on the night I went. Here are my thoughts on the Natural:

1) The MJ12 had an easy draw, but the burn was a little uneven and required some touch ups. Additionally, and what most negatively impacts my rating here is the wrapper started to come apart on the last third, so I’m giving the construction a poor rating.

2) This is a solid low-level Demi and I think at a strength level that can be handled by all smokers.

3) I wanted to give the MJ a higher rating because the taste of the cigar was pretty good. I found a bit of chocolate and nuts mixed in amongst the flavors. However, with the burn and construction issues I was left very disappointed.

4) My smoke time was 1 hour

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? No

Would I give it humidor space? No

This could have been a one off and maybe the construction issues aren’t widespread, however when I pay $10 for a stick I expect to thoroughly enjoy my smoking experience. On the plus side, this is not a bad tasting cigar by any means, but I can’t justify recommending it at the price point and with the issues I encountered.

Gigantes by Illusione

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Price – $8

Beverage – Red Bull

Size – 6 1/2 X 56

Strength – Demi (2/4)

Rating – Sabotage (6/10)

I picked up the Gigantes at Tobacco Express in Homer Glen, IL where my boy Jacob hooked it up, thanks brother! I decided to fire this thing up on my hour and a half drive home to the Chicago area. The Gigantes was my first Illusione and here are my thoughts:

1) Excellent burn and draw with a beautiful dry looking Mexican San Andreas wrapper

2) Started off a lot like the Kristoff maduro and that comparison lasted until about the half way point of the cigar, which I was none too pleased (you can see my review on the Kristoff).

3) At about the halfway point, the Gigantes started to have subtle similarities to a Liga No. 9 and I started to think to myself, “man this thing isn’t so bad”. I’m in no way saying this is a dead ringer for a No. 9, but it did have some similar undertones.

4) I’m calling this a solid Demi, potential Sly for milder cigar smokers

5) Excellent price point and value, you get a lot of cigar for $8

6) Expect the smoke to last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how ambitious you are

Now to the two questions:

Would I smoke it again? Yes, better explained in the answer to the second question

Would I give it humidor space? Yes, I am very curious to see how these age and mellow out. I think the Gigantes is the opposite of a go to cigar in that I’d like to buy a couple and tuck them away in the humidor for a while and try them again.

All in all, the Gigantes is a solid smoke at a very good value, and was a difficult cigar for me to rate. I thought about bumping the rating to a Rambo due to the value component and my curiosity on how they age, but I will keep it at a Sabotage. With that being said, I’m leaving the door open for a modified rating depending on how they are after some aging. If you like the Kristoff Maduro, this is $2 cheaper and offers a similar smoking experience. For me, at $8, these are worth a shot, curious to get reader’s thoughts on this one.