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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Illusione Epernay 10th Anniversary D’Aosta Toro
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Brian (bstessl)
86
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 Iced coffee

Pre-Light: 9 Points of 10 Possible

Slight oily sheen with a few veins and a couple of wrinkles near the band.  Good looking cap that was straight cut.  Firm but not hard with a medium flow cold draw that gave hints of sweetness.  The aroma is sweet with a heavy spice.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

I ran out of fuel with my single torch so I lit with a trusty bic lighter.  The ash only held for a half inch for most of the smoke, but burned mostly even.  The ash was a marbled dark and light grey and did not flake.  Smoke volume was average.

Construction: 24 Points of 30 Possible

This is a good looking cigar, the wrapper was almost seamless with a slight wrinkle near the band.  The cap held strong throughout, but when cutting a small crack in the wrapper went from cap almost to the band, but this didn’t affect the experience.  The draw was even throughout and smoked wonderfully.

Flavor: 40 Points of 45 Possible

For the most part this was a solid medium strength/flavor throughout.  Picking up barely in the final third.

1st third - Starts off with a heavy (oak?) wood flavor up front and a bit of pepper on the retro.
  
2nd third - Wood is still prevalent and the retro calmed down a bit.  A little bit of bitterness and herbal tones come in late in this third.  I started getting a little bit of an oily mouthfeel.

Final third - The strength picks up, but just barely.  Wood is still the main flavor, but black pepper sneaks in a little bit.  The retro was pretty consistent with the second third.

Summary

Overall this was pretty enjoyable, though not overly complex.  The flavors were consistent with a smooth smoking experience throughout and a really good burn.  The ash fell a bit often for my liking, but hey... what are you gonna do?



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