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illusione MJ12 Cigar Review ““full in flavor”


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 was a concept in blending a cigar that is “full in flavor,” but medium in strength 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 Illusione cigars are made in small-batch quantities to maintain quality and consistency.


There is a little bit of noticeable tooth and an overall rustic look. A slight oily sheen is apparent on the wrapper with a sweet and rich earthy smell. A rich and light floral pre-light smell appears at the foot.


Journey Profile:

1st quarter: Once lit, there is a very smooth draw before you are quickly introduced to some notes of spice. It had a very good feel with an open draw giving off thick clouds of smoke. The texture is creamy with a hint of floral notes as well.   2nd quarter: There is a good amount of spice in the nose with a full aroma of sweet, earthy tones. Its easy going start became slightly more complex as I continued through the cigar.   3rd quarter: Its texture remained rich with a lingering spice through the nose. You will find a great creamy texture on the palate with lots of full flavor.    4th quarter: The burn was mostly even and held on to an attractive, long and loose white ash. It continued to gradually build in intensity, ending as a very well balanced smoke. Noticeable on the palate were a hint of both earthiness and cedar flavor.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, the Illusione MJ12 cigar has some solid complexity and is very well made. It is a medium-body with rich flavors that were smooth on the palate and left an excellent aroma in the air.



Myron Gooch Sr.

Reviewed at: The Man Cave.

Time Smoked: 2 hour 00 minutes.

Cost: $11.00

Wrapper: Nicaragua.

Binder: Nicaragua.

Filler: Nicaragua.

Size: 6” x 56.

Rating: 92.


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