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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Illusione Gigantes
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Barry (benchjockey)
90
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 None

Pre-Light: 19 Points of 20 Possible

The smooth, dark brown Mexican San Andres wrapper is oily and almost vein free. A straight cut went smoothly.The pre-light draw featured chocolate. The pre-light aroma was tobacco. The cap was well attached.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

The cigar lit easily. The draw was perfect producing a high smoke output. The ash was grey and somewhat flakey. The burn wandered offline three times but always self-corrected. No relights were required.

Construction: 27 Points of 30 Possible

Cigar smoking in Florida during the summer can be challenging with high heat and humidity present 24/7. Canoeing can be a problem, but not with this stick. The cap held tight and the wrapper performed flawlessly. Actually tonight wasn't too bad. I barely broke a sweat and smoking time was 2.5 hours.

Flavor: 31 Points of 35 Possible

The first few puffs tasted creamy with chocolate in the background leaving a pleasant sweet aftertaste on the lips. There is also a hint of vanilla.

Citrus comes into play in the second third followed by the appearance of nuts. Then vanilla reappears along with coffee. To my delight chocolate is back. The flavor turns nutty with the retrohale creamy.

Semi-sweet chocolate takes over to begin the final third, followed by espresso. The aftertaste is pure chocolate. For the first time I get pepper on the retrohale. For me this was a medium strength stick,


Summary

The reason I jumped at the opportunity to review this cigar is that it hits squarely into my flavor wheelhouse. I love Mexican San Andres wrappers. This isn't a chocolate bomb like the Crowned Heads Le Careme, but a more balanced smoke. However I do wish that sweet chocolate was more prevalent.
My thanks to Rich for his sponsorship and for introducing me to this fine cigar.



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