These past weeks I have been smoking the Illusione Maduro line, and I thought it was time for me to review some of the other vitolas in the that line, so I am back to review the Illusione ~88~ Maduro. If you want to see my past review of the ~888~ Maduro, click here. I found the ~888~ Maduro to be a great counterpart to the original line, and a great maduro smoke. The line has been incredibly consistent from vitola to vitola, and all of them have captured that core Illusione flavor with a maduro wrapper. I have smoked the Maduro line side by side with the core line, and to see the difference is truly incredible. The blend is the same for the filler, and the binder is also the same, but the difference comes in the wrapper. The maduro line has a beautiful San Andres maduro from Mexico, while the core line has a Colorado Cafe Corojo wrapper. The filler and binder are all Nicaraguan tobacco, and feature Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobacco.
Like all of Dion’s cigars, the cigar is made in Honduras by Casa Fernandez at Raices Cubanas. All the cigars are made in the traditional Cuban manner, and have a beautiful triple cap to top it off. The cigar is identical regular Illusione ~88~, and measures 5″ with a 52 ring gauge. If you want to compare this review with the original ~88~, click here. The cigar is beautiful to look at, and it is an incredibly dark maduro wrapper. It definitely is Maduro, and in some areas might even classify as Oscuro. It is very oily to touch and the coloring is fairly even. When I hold the wrapper and foot of the cigar to my nose I am greeted with lovely notes of barnyard, rich earth, tobacco, spice, wood and chocolate. I actually detect a subtle hint of anise with this smoke, but it is very soft.
As I light up the cigar, and work my way into the first third I immediately begin to pick up those awesome flavors from the San Andres wrapper. It has a lovely amount of rich earth to it, and there accompanying warm spices and anise. There is a bit of coffee with that, and lots of leather, coffee, wood and cocoa. The draw is absolutely perfect, and I am getting a great amount of smoke that is very concentrated. The burn line is great on this cigar, and it is leaving a nice dark gray ash. The cigar is probably around medium full, but very complex.
|San Andres Maduro|
I am actually look at my notes from the original Illusione I smoked, and I wrote so little. I just started blogging then, and I am going to have to review the ~88~ again to give you all a better review. In the second third I really begin to pick out all those core Illusione flavors, and taste them all with a maduro wrapper. It is slightly cream in this third, with a lovely bit of coffee and chocolate. There are also hints of spice and wood, and it finishes wonderfully. The cigar really showed its strength in this third, and it is really moving right along. The cigar is still a solid medium full in terms of strength, and the burn line on this cigar is absolutely perfect. I am still holding on to the ash from the first third and it has the same coloring as before. When I get into the final third, the cigar begins to quiet down some. It is giving off lovely notes of espresso, wood, leather and spice, but that sweetness from before has softened some. I would definitely say the strength and flavors from the filler are really showing here, and the cigar is finishing full bodied. I am not saying the flavors are lacking, but there is definitely a nice change in this third from the second third. Construction wise the cigar is still going great, and the burn line is perfect. I have had to ash the cigar since my initial light, but it is giving off a great amount of smoke that is perfect for smoke rings. I smoke it down to the nub, and it is cool right to the end.
This was a very nice cigar, and I did not expect anything other than that after smoking the line and several of these cigars. Like the ~888~ Maduro I found this cigar to be very similar to the Padron Family Reserve No. 46 Maduro in the since that it captured all of those similar flavors and strength. This cigar showed all those rich and flavorful qualities from a maduro, but still remained balance and complex, not one dimensional as some maduros can be. The cigar has a great burn throughout, and I thought the draw on these smokes was awesome. I think the Illusione Maduro is a solid maduro and as I said before, it is right up there with the E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro. I think this cigar is just as good as the Illusione ~88~, and I would give it a 93. I do prefer the ~888~ Maduro to this vitola, but I know a lot of people prefer the robusto vitola. You can’t go wrong with this smoke, and I know I will always keep these in my humidor. I do look forward to reviewing the ~cg:4 and ~mj12~ maduro, and once again great job Dion!