For a company that has been producing premium cigars for less than 10 years, Illusione has become a mini powerhouse in the industry. Dion Giolito, the owner and founder of Illusione, started out in the cigar business and decided to come out with his own brand and his cigars have made quite the splash. The Epernay line of cigars debuted in 2008 as the ECCJ 15th limited release (in honor of the 15th anniversary of the European Cigar Cult Journal). The cigar is now offered in 5 different sizes. Now on to the cigar at hand.
Illusione Epernay Le Ferme
Size: 48 x 5 1/4″
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cafe Rosado
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo
Pre-Light: As I go through my pre-smoke progression I note that the construction is solid, not tight, but solid with no soft spots to cause concern along the body. There were no discernible aromas on the foot and the body, but as I took a dry draw I got clear hay and cedar flavors. The draw on this cigar was perfect.
Smoking Characteristics: This cigar continued to have a great draw throughout the entire smoke. It also remained cool and never got harsh which is always a welcome characteristic for any cigar to have. This cigar produced mouthfuls of smooth, thick smoke, which doesn’t really effect my opinion of the cigar but it it a personal preference of mine to have nice thick smoke.
Flavor: The prominent flavor in this cigar is hay. Throughout the entire smoke the hay is underlying flavor and the other flavors that present themselves are layered on top of that. As I started to smoke this there was a lot of spice. In the retrohale, I was getting that same spice but also a little cedar. That spice was strong until an inch into the cigar when it tapered off. Once the spice was done the more subtle flavors were able to be detected. The other flavors that were woven throughout this cigar were cedar, roasted nuts, oakiness, and a touch of sweetness.
Overall Impression: I would classify this cigar as mild – medium in strength with big flavor, therefore, it would be the perfect cigar for anytime of the day. The Epernay burned perfectly and never got bitter. This is in my regular rotation and whether you smoke mild cigars or full cigars you should definitely check it out.
Final Score: 8/10 – A great cigar