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Illusione Epernay Le Elegance Cigar Review “Full in flavor”

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Brand History:

Illusione cigars created by Dion Giolito set out to re-think the modern standard of cigar culture in the market today.  Dion’s approach was “do the opposite from everyone else in the industry.” One subtle way was by putting the size descriptive front and center on the band, normally where the brand name would go.  Another way was to blend a cigar that is “full in flavor” but medium in strength, which was relatively non-existent when Illusione was introduced into the market. Since 2005, Illusione has garnered every award and accolade imaginable in the industry world-wide, and is looked to as a leader in the “new generation” of artfully handmade cigars.

 The concept behind Illusione Cigars was to re-create a specific taste profile from years past. Before the Sandinistas took over Nicaragua in 1979, Nicaragua was growing some of the best tobaccos in the world.  The cigars made from these prized fields in the Jalapa Valley and Esteli region were strong, bold and clean.  After years of neglect, these old Somoza fields have been re-cultivated by the legendary master grower Arcenio Ramos of Cuba. Along with Fernano, Chandito and famed Cuban agronomist Jacinto, Arsenio has assembled the varitable dream team of tobacco production.  They have re-grown these humble acres to yield their fullest potential once again.  All Illusione cigars are made from first generation Corojo 99, Criollo 98 seeds, wrapped with a grade one Café Colorado wrapper, and finished with a traditional triple cap in the premier Raices Cubanas factory.  Illusione cigars deliver a taste and a quality of smoke rarely found in today`s market.  All of Illusione cigars are made in small-batch quantities to maintain quality and consistency.

 Appearance:

There is a creamy brown wrapper with a very aromatic pre-light smell.  There is a bit of tooth, small amounts oil sheen, and hints of sweetness.

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Journey Profile:

1st quarter: The cigar was slightly snug on the draw but my palate was quickly introduced to a consistently thick and creamy smoke.  There was an immediate burst of flavor right from the time it was lit.  2nd quarter: A slow and even burn started to produce a long flaky ash.  There was more of a creamy texture with rich flavor slowly developing.  3rd quarter: Sweetness continued on the tongue and its character dominated the flavor.  There was also a small amount of a floweriness detectable in the aroma of the smoke.  It rounded out with hints of a toasty texture and cocoa notes.  4th quarter: Plenty of creamy texture were evident on the palate.  It provided a slow burn and smooth draw that gave way to tons of thick and creamy smoke in the air.  Some late spice developed with a rich earthy flavor.

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   Final Thoughts:

Overall the Illusione Epernay Le Elegance cigar is packed with complexity.  Its great construction provided for an even burn throughout.  It was well balanced with both sweet and spicy earthy notes.  It is extremely well-balanced with a long full finish.

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Myron Gooch Sr.

Reviewed at: Lavender Blue Lounge.

Time Smoked: 1 hour 5 minutes.

Cost: $10.50

Wrapper: Nicaraguan.

Binder: Nicaraguan.

Filler: Nicaraguan.

Size: 5 ¾” x 40.

Rating: 90

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