Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Illusione Epernay Le Monde

Epernay Le Monde
When my local cigar shop, Havana Phil's, got in the Epernay line I headed over as soon as I could. Phil had the newest size in the line, Le Monde, which is a corona gorda that measures 6 1/4" with a 52 ring gauge. The cigar which is not even on their website is much thicker than the rest of the line and I imagine will be more popular as well. Whether he named it Le Monde after the French newspaper or he was just thinking about the world, it is a very enjoyable cigar. For anyone who does not know French, le monde is french for "the world." The cigar like the rest of the line is a Nicaraguan puro and uses no ligero in the composition. The wrapper is very oily and has a light marbled brown wrapper that is fairly similar to the rest of the line. The aroma is very pleasant with a nice hint of Asian spices with coffee and wood.

The cigar begins beautifully with that nice spice from the aroma and has hints of coffee, cocoa and honeycomb as well. So far the cigar is burning fairly even but has some waves here and there. Smoking this compared with the other in the line the cigar is much more fuller in body and somewhat richer. I would say the cigar is still medium in body but still relaxing and light. As I get into the second third the cigar really gets milder but still fuller than the other vitolas. The second third still has nice coffee notes present but it also has some cream in there that pairs well with some chocolate and honey as well. There is a minor hint of lemon zest or orange peel but it is very faint. In the final third now this cigar is really going great. It has picked up a little more in body and almost similar to the first third but still incredibly flavorful. Coffee is a big flavor in this cigar and it is still remaining in the final third but this orange flavor is really becoming stronger and pairs well with this chocolate note. It reminds me of those chocolate orange balls that I got around Christmas time as a kid. Looking back on the cigar I realize that I was probably picking up some hickory notes as well throughout but it was very unique and complex.

This was a real treat of a cigar and very complex. The cigar is definitely a notch above the other vitolas in the line but still very soft. With the intention of having these being paired with Champagne I can see the pairing and would enjoy it very much. I am going to give this cigar a 93 and think it is definitely worth having in your humidor but compared with the vitola, Le Matin,  it is not as good. The Epernay line is incredible and I think one of his best and one of the best on the market. I will say though that this cigar is definitely fuller than the others. Most of the time vitolas in the same line are very similar in flavor profile and strength, but the times where I see variations are in Cuban lines. There are definitely some Partagas, Montecristo and H. Upmann vitolas that are very different than the others. Once example is the Montecristo Petit Edmundo which is completely different then the Edmundo or No. 2. This is a great cigar and definitely a cigar that if you are more into fuller bodied cigars will love. If you usually would pass over the Epernay line because of its mild bodied, than try this on for size.
Epernay
Available at Havana Phil's

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