Illusione 888 review

May

18

by at 4:51 pm (1 Comment) Cigar Reviews


Brand: Illusione Cigars

Series: ‘888’

Size: Churchill – 6 3/4″ x 46

Origin: Nicaraguan binder, wrapper, filler

Price Paid: Approx $13 USD

Paired With:  Homebrewed IPA

Cigars smoked for this review: 1

Illusione888_1

Construction:  When smoking anything made by Illusione, I’ve come to expect perfect to near perfect construction.   My ‘888’ kept the streak alive, and was near perfect in appearance.  The medium brown / tan wrapper was free of any notable imperfections, and had a smooth, oily feel to it.  The 888 was very firm from cap to foot, and the cap was beautifully applied.  The unlit foot and cold draw offered both an aroma and flavour that reminded me of dried figs or raisins.

Illusione888_2

First Third:  Any time a churchill – ish vitola sparks up easily, it’s a good day.  My 888 took little effort to fire up, and began delivering the goods right away.  The 888 was unusually smooth and balanced right from the beginning, and I seemed to bypass the introductory period where your palate and the cigar are getting to know one another.  The first third brought a light, leathery character with a hint of white pepper or spice.  These flavours gave way to a finish  which reminded me of nutmeg, which hung out on my palate for a bit after each puff.  The draw was medium firm through the first third, and the strength was medium.  The burn was good, and required a minor correction.

Illusione888_3

Second Third:  The second third of my 888 got a little bit beefier.  The leathery character from the first third became a little stronger up front, and balanced nicely with the peppery / nutty undertone.  Remember that raisin / fig note that I picked up on the cold draw?  Much to my delight, it showed up in the second third, and added a great counterpoint to the slight peppery notes. The overall mouth feel was remarkably smooth, and each puff left me with a nice, lingering aftertaste, not unlike after you’ve had a nice sip of something.  The draw eased up and leaned more towards the ‘medium’ side of things, and the burn remained even.  The strength of the 888 picked up a little, but I’d still call it ‘medium’.

Illusione888_4

Final Third:  So here’s what makes the 888 a unique beast:  Typically when you’re smoking a larger cigar, it comes with the understanding that longer smoking time, and the accumulation of oils within the cap, or head of the cigar, can lead to a slight ‘off’ taste showing up when you’ve still got a good chunk of cigar left. That never happened with my 888.  The flavour profile softened a little bit from the second third, but everything stayed smooth and balanced.  Roughly an hour and a half into my smoking experience, the 888 was still delivering smooth,  distinct notes of leather and spice.  The burn remained even, and the draw medium.  The strength through the final third was medium, leaning towards full.

Overall:  If a cigar has been poorly blended, or there’s a construction flaw lurking within it,  you’ll certainly find out in the time it takes to smoke a churchill.  Larger cigars, or cigars with unusual shapes, can also be more prone to draw or burn issues.  That being said, the quality, and construction standards I’ve come to expect from Illusione Cigars were clearly represented in the 888.  This cigar was beautifully made, and my 888 smoked, and tasted excellent from end to end.  Would I recommend this cigar? Yes.  If you’re looking for a medium strength, churchill sized cigar with a flavour profile that isn’t overly spicy or peppery, the 888 is a solid bet.  Would I smoke another 888?  Absolutely.

Rock out,

 

Matt


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One Response to “Illusione 888 review”

  1. Hanny

    February 26, 2016
    1:38 pm

    Also one of my favorites. I like the small Robusto in this cigar. It’s pefecrt when I don’t have as much time as I’d like. Great flavor and nice coffee and cocoa flavors.

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