Posted by Jack | in Illusione | on 25 Jan 2014 | at 2:40 PM | 3331 views
The winter here in southwestern Ohio has been a pretty bad one.  Loads of sub-zero temperatures and snow have led me to smoke in the garage with the ceramic space heater going full blast.  And so it is today as well.  Blizzard-like conditions outside, a hot cup of coffee and a cigar primed and ready to go.
One of the most talked about cigars in 2013, among boutique cigar fans at least, was the Illusione Rothchildes.  A single size and single blend offering from Dion Giolito's Illusione Cigars that is, if you can imagine, a value cigar.  I was lucky enough to blunder into these at one of my local shops last fall.  Since then, I have smoked my way through a fistful of them, and each one seems to get better than the one before it.  Let's get smoking....I need to warm up....
Construction: A truly diminutive cigar, the deep maduro brown wrapper is hefty and toothy with no seams or veins.  It has a rather rustic look to it that I really like.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: There is a nice and rather strong pepper and cedar aroma on this unlit cigar.  The draw is perfect, as it has been on every one of these I have smoked.
Light and Burn: Lighting is no issue and the burn is pretty solid throughout.  I have had several occasions where some touch-ups were needed while smoking one of these, but to be honest, nothing terrible.
Tasting: Starting off, the *r* gives up some great earthy characters.  You will find that, for such a small cigar, the flavors it provides are huge.  The first third gives off a hefty dose of cocoa, coffee, and some smooth leathery notes draped over a rather rich earthy core.  Dion really made something special with this cigar and I hope we see some kind of companion to these cigars this year.
The middle third pushes the leather up a bit more while adding some cedar and creamy notes.  There is a hint of something sweet like vanilla in there too.  The finish is a bit salty and toasty.  The body is solid in the medium arena, but if you really put the spurs to this little guy it can light you up in a hurry.  I have caught a nicotine buzz from these on a few occasions.
Finishing up the *r*, there are plenty of creamy and spicy notes that just make me shake my head in wonder.  How did Dion cram so many great things into one tiny cigar?  And they keep on coming too.  A nice cocoa and black cherry.  Some very soft herbal notes bordering on the floral side.  A nice creamy coffee note.  Simply amazing.
Value: Herein lies the true golden star on this amazing little cigar....I paid $4.99 for one of these.  I have seen them for a buck cheaper online too.  Amazing cigar at an amazing price worthy of an every day smoke.
Final Thoughts: Dion never disappoints.  In this case he has created a low cost cigar that could easily sell for $8...giving his fans something to cheer about.  Is it my favorite Illusione so far?  Almost but not quite.  I would rank this one as a tie with the cg:4, high praise indeed if you have had the pleasure.  The Rothchildes *r* is a delicious anytime cigar at an anytime price that I would even recommend to novice smokers.  Truly remarkable from start to finish and very highly recommended.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres maduro
Size: 4.5 x 50
Love that Henry Clay style band.  Very retro.
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