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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Illusione Epernay 10th Anniversary D’Aosta Toro
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: klamm143
93
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 Josh Cellars 2019 Pinot Grigio Wine - Chilled

Pre-Light: 9 Points of 10 Possible

Gotta admit - I had to research this stick a little. I haven't smoked a lot of Illusione cigars in my past - but anything coming from Brian is always a good stick to try. I figured I would pair a 13 dollar stick with a 13 dollar wine supposedly from the same flavor wheelhouse. This stick was stored in my humi for about 4 weeks at 65RH and 70 degrees temp. It was firm to the touch with several small veins in the outer wrapper that did not seem to adversely affect the smoke experience. The color was on the lighter side of medium brown, with the slightest of an oily sheen. The cap was perfect and the aroma rather mild with hints of flora and grasses. I choose a v-cut to enjoy this stick.

Light & Burn: 14 Points of 15 Possible

This stick toasted and lit easily. The initial draw was perfect with no adjustments needed. The ash was a light grey to white, holding firm at 1 to 2 inches the entire burn and gave off ample to heavy smoke that was very pleasant. I got 70 minutes out of this stick before having to put it down. The burn was relatively even throughout, with a couple of quick touch ups to even out the burn towards the end of the stick.

Construction: 28 Points of 30 Possible

The stick was well constructed to include cap, foot, body / wrapper and fillers. Firm to the touch and remained firm throughout the burn. The initial draw was easy and the draw throughout was smooth and even. As mentioned earlier, the outer wrapper was laced with small veins that did not adversely affect the smoking experience.

Flavor: 42 Points of 45 Possible

I found this stick to be mild to medium (low side of medium) in strength. I normally prefer Maduro, bold or full body cigars - but this one was sweet and creamy enough to grab my attention. I could easily adopt this blend for morning or after meal dessert smokes. I didn't find this smoke to be very complex, actually sweet flora and cream in the first and third sections, giving way to some pepper or spice in the middle. Not at all overbearing with the change (mild in flavor change) but still enough to detect. No hot spots, and a cool burn right up to the end.

Summary

Not knowing what to expect from this stick, I found it to be quite tasty. A sweet aromatic smoke that I'll be trying again I'm sure. I'm also a fan of the Java Mint and while I do not put this cigar in that flavor profile, I do find it would be a great morning or dessert blend. Thanks to Brian and Bruce for letting me experience this cigar.



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