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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Illusione Epernay 10th Anniversary D’Aosta Toro
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Cfickter
91
Cigar Geeks Rating

A new, regular-production size that commemorates the Illusione brand’s 10 years on the market. It’s also the 12th cigar in Epernay’s portfolio. Epernay is named after the Champagne-producing town in France whose effervescent wine inspired the sweet and floral character of the cigar. Lighter in body than the core Illusione brand, Epernays contain no strong, ligero tobacco, as brand-owner Dion Giolito wanted to emphasize balance and finesse over power and richness. Unlike the rest of the Epernay series which all have French names, D’Aosta is Italian, referring to the mountainous region of Northern Italy where Giolito’s family is originally from.

Length:
6
Ring Gauge:
50
Country Manufactured:
Honduras
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Corojo
Nicaragua
Color:
Colorado
Strength:
Mild-Medium
Shape:
Toro

This cigar was enjoyed with Water

Pre-Light: 8 Points of 10 Possible

Good looking cigar, slightly oily, firm, evenly colored.  Veining is minimal but there are one or two moderate sized veins.  Cut with a Xikar X1 (Red Wave), with some very slight damage to the cap.  Pre-light aroma was light hay or grass along with some light nutty.

Light & Burn: 14 Points of 15 Possible

It was quick to light. The burn started slightly wobbly, but quickly self-corrected. Early smoke volume was impressive.  Once the burn corrected the burn light was near perfect the rest of the smoke.  Ash was flaky and layered, dark grey.  There was some slight flowering but generally the ash held well.  The cigar would stay lit even when sitting for extended time.

Construction: 28 Points of 30 Possible

As mentioned, there was a small bit of damage to the edge of the cut.  This did not effect the smoke-ability or experience.  The wrapper seemed really think, almost Connecticut shade like.  There were no major construction issues.  Cap held up well thru the entire smoke.  Draw remained near perfect.

Flavor: 41 Points of 45 Possible

1st third – Strong spicy, peppery taste hits immediately.  Roof of the mouth and upper throat feel the sting.  That settles down quickly and some of the predominate flavors are spice, woody and some nuttiness that is really enhanced thru the retrohale.

2nd third – The woody and nutty flavors continue from the first third but now some sweetness and creaminess are introduced.  The retrohale is really the highlight as it brings out the best in this cigar.

3rd third – Really more the same on the woody/nutty front.  But I think I really focused the nutty flavor of cashews, which also may explain the sweetness.


Summary

It is easy to see why this cigar was on so many "top of" or "best of" cigar lists.  Not overly complex and its lighter medium profile belies the great flavors it presents.  I would find this cigar smokable at any part of the day.  Great way to start your day with a nice dark roast.  I find the price point is fair and this cigar is definitely box worthy



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