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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Illusione Gigantes
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: klamm143
91
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member biggsy16 (Rich).  The cigar provided for this round is the Illusione Gigantes Maduro.

The Hype:
Illusione cigars were a dream made into a reality by cigar retail veteran Dion Giolito. Dion had been working in cigar stores and eventually running his own cigar shop for about 15 years. Like a lot of cigar fanatics, he wanted to create his own cigar that was blended for his own personal taste. Dion made a great choice when he paired up with Paul Palmer of Casa Fernandez cigars to make Illusion cigars. Illusione cigars are made with 1st generation Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobacco grown in Nicaragua. Illusione cigars are a bold, medium to full bodied experience with a complex blend of flavors ranging from coffee, earth and leather. The taste is reminiscent of pre-Sandanista Nicaraguan cigars.

Illusione Gigantes cigars are a big follow up to the very popular Illusione Rothchilde. The newest cigar from the boutique brand is full of flavor yet medium-bodied, precisely what Illusione is known for.

This large and in charge cigar is packed with earthy flavors such as cocoa, salted nuts, leather, pepper, and has a sweet creaminess from the dark Mexican San Andres maduro wrapper and the well-aged blend of Aganorsa long-fillers derived from Nicaragua. Joined with an enjoyable floral aroma, this premium cigar is not too big for your britches.

A blend of Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99, and finished with a 'Capa Rustica' San Andreas Wrapper. Medium to full-bodied and very complex. The CT series is a blend of Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99, and finished with a Connecticuit Shade Wrapper from Ecuador. Medium bodied and very complex.


Length:
6.5
Ring Gauge:
56
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Mexico
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Full
Shape:
Toro Gordo

This cigar was enjoyed with Jack & Coke (Times 2)

Pre-Light: 19 Points of 20 Possible

This stick was received on 07/30/2018 then immediately stored in a Tuppador (inside RH 65% - outside room temp of 70 degrees F)for 14 days. Stick was then removed from Tuppador and allowed to settle 7 days at room temp and room RH. (still in it's cello)

Smoke Date: 08/20/2018 at 2 PM lasting 102 minutes before putting down for nub to flame out on it's own.

The stick overall was all I hoped for based on "the hype" and generally in my wheelhouse for "flavor, strength and body". Initial smells of earthy tobacco, coffee, cream and some leathery notes were strong when taken out of it's cello wrapping.

A dark, semi oily wrapper with minimal veins, tight construction, and a well formed cap - I choose a V-Cut. Pre-light draw was smooth and easy with lots of coffee, cocoa, cream, and sweetness notes.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

This stick toasted/ lit easily and evenly giving off a lot of sweet creamy smoke. A few times the burn was (just slightly) uneven with cigar rotation or (1 time only)a quick dash of flame to catch up the uneven side. The cigar continued to give off almost a constant small smoke stream throughout the entire burn keeping the creamy aromas most of the way thru. Towards the middle burn, I could detect leathery / tobacco and spice aromas (but they were short lived in comparison to the creamy aromas). The burn produced a dull white ash that held on in 1-2 inch segments before falling off or being rolled off.

Construction: 28 Points of 30 Possible

The initial feel was firm to the touch with only a slight flex before light up but after a bit of heat the stick seemed a little more softer / spongy during smoking. Overall - well constructed with only a few ripples and some minor veins in the wrapper. No imperfections noted that adversely affected the smoking experience or enjoyment level.

Flavor: 31 Points of 35 Possible

I found this stick to be less complex than other reviews and hype suggested. As with the smoke aromas throughout, I also found the taste/flavors to follow suit. Sweet cream, coffee, cocoa and sweetness held throughout but particularly in the first and last thirds. The center third is when I could detect leathery earthy tobacco flavors along with nutty woodsy overtones but they faded back to predominately sweet creams at the end. Overall - the flavors blended nicely with no pockets or stages of system shocking changes.

Summary

From start to finish I liked this stick - definitely something I'll buy at some point. Also with a price point ranging from 8 to 9 dollars, it will not break the bank (adding more to it's appeal). The sweetness of this stick makes it a good smoke at any time of day, with or without food, and a compliment to sweet and fruity beverages. The size makes for a rather long smoke so a breakfast stick / smoke will not work for some folks. This was not my first experience with the Illusione but it was my first Gigantes. WELL PLEASED and enjoyed the smoke. Thank you to junglepete for letting me participate and to biggsy 16 for sponsoring this month's 2018 September Geek Critique.

Happy Smoking Trails to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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