Illusione Epernay Le Matin

img_0656 Epernay is a town in France that is built upon chalk rock in the heart of the Champagne region, and this is where the line gets its name. The whole line is meant to be lighter and sweeter than the original Illusiones, and there is no ligero tobacco in the cigars at all. Out of the five vitolas I smoked my favorite, Le Matin. The cigar is 6 1/2″ long and has a ring gauge of 46, and has a wonderful draw. To me the cigar is very mild-medium in body, and is blended beautifully. Like all of his cigars, it has a wonderful triple cap and the wrapper on this cigar, a cafe rosado, is beautiful. Another great this about this line, is that all of the vitolas have ring gauges in the 40’s. I hate large ring gauge cigars, and I think Giolito does as well. I love Giolito’s smokes and I think he is right on with what he is making, but let’s get to the flavor profile of this beauty. The cigar smokes very smoothly, giving off lots of floral, honey, and café au lait notes. This cigar truly is great, and deserves to be in the top 10 of 2010, since it was just released last year. Looking at Cigar Aficionado’s Top 10 however, I would move it up to third place, I think it is a better smoke than the four ahead of it. I have read from interviews that this cigar is meant to be paired with champagne, and I can see the reason for that. This would be fabulous with prosecco, cava, or champagne, but would even go great with a coffee! I for one praise my favorite prosecco and cava over most champagnes, just because of the flavors I have gotten. I am still smoking this cigar right now, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I love it.  img_0655 I would strongly recommend this cigar to anyone out there, and it could be enjoyed anytime of the day. I think in my next wine tasting with Red Dog I will bring one of these sticks over. I can honestly say that this is one of the best smokes I have had all week and would give it a 96.  If you don’t believe me in my opinion, check out other critics, they will say the same. I feel like a guy on Wall Street with this cigar.  “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

Empire Cigars

W. Curtis Draper

Cigar Revisited: Illusione Epernay Le Matin After 3 Years

I experienced my first Le Matin around three years ago and to this day it is still one of the best cigars I have smoked. I would put it in my Top 100 Cigars of all time, and it is in my Top Three Cigars from Illusione without a doubt. The Epernay line is a personal favorite of mine anyways, but the vitola offering and the press on this cigar separates it from others in the line without any competition. Most smokers I know are fans of the Epernay line, and it is a line that really changed things up for the American market. I believe Dion was able to create a cigar that was light and flavorful, but not only appeal to the smokers who like Connecticut Shade wrappers, but also the connoisseurs who seek something that has a little bit more.

Le Matin measures 6 1/2″ with a 46 ring gauge and I would classify it as a Grand Corona. It is a Nicaraguan puro that is composed with no Ligero tobacco, and it features a Corojo ’99 wrapper that is classified as Cafe Rosada. The blend is composed of Criollo and Corojo seed tobacco, and it is all AGANORSA tobacco. As mentioned earlier, the cigar is pressed and is very smooth while remaining silky in texture. The veins are to a minimum, and it is a beautiful cigar in all aspects. From beginning to end the cigar delivers flavors that are of honey, graham cracker, tobacco and sweet spices, and with that on the finish are some tobacco, nutty, cedar and cream qualities. It is a complex smoke and one that any aficionado would enjoy. The Epernay line has always done well in terms of ratings by many out there, and this is a classic example why. If you have never smoked this particular offering, I recommend that you pick some up as soon as possible.