This weeks guest review comes by way of JB from our Fan Forums.
Illusione ~cg:4~ White Horse
48 X 5 5/8
The Illusione brand was developed to recapture the Nicaraguan cigars of times past before the Sandinistas took over in 1979. Their idea was to create a cigar that was bold and clean. They can be hard to find, and they have some unique names for their vitolas like f9, 888, 4/2g, and the cg:4.
This cigar sticks out among the rest in the humidor when you first look in. The first thing that you notice is the relatively thin and plain black and white band. Once you pick it up the flawless red-brown wrapper is very attractive and the construction is visually perfect. The wrapper is a consistent color from head to foot and it is hard to see the seam unless you look close. The ~cg:4~ I have is nice and soft from head to foot and it is finished off with a Cuban style triple cap that was masterfully applied, and quickly removed with my xikar.
The pre-light draw is excellent with a light sweet spice to it. The foot lit without problem using the non-herfing method with my colibri “soda can” torch lighter.
The first few puffs gave a huge amount of smooth spicy smoke. The base flavor at this point is strong smooth tobacco with a nice spiciness that isn’t too strong, and that would be welcomed by most. The flavor profile through the first third follows suit with a nice wide range of spice that rises above the smooth tobacco base that lingers for a minute after exhaling.
I am pairing this one with a glass of black coffee with a few ice cubes thrown in to welcome the warm weather. The combination is working very well, but I think that water works a little better to get the more subtle spices from this smoke.
As I enter the second third the spices settle down and are less complex, but still there, and still good. The spice is still very strong when blown through the sinuses, and I won’t be doing that again. The base flavor has picked up a bit of a musty/leathery taste that goes well. The burn is nice and straight, but needs to be touched up slightly to keep it from tunneling.
The cigar is listed as a 48 ring, but I feel like it is a little smaller, maybe a 46 or so. This is forcing me to go a little slower than I usually do because this seems like a cigar that will smoke well if taken slowly, but will choke you if smoked too fast.
The strength has been in the medium range and is starting to kick into full gear as I enter the final third. There is still plenty of smoke being delivered with each puff, and that musty flavor left some time ago. The flavor is now mostly strong smooth tobacco with the spice still there. I would describe the flavors as really being two tiered where the spice and the base flavors seem to operate independently of each other, it is pretty interesting how distinct they are, but also how well they compliment each other.
As I get down near the band I can feel the heat coming through the cigar, and the white band has begun to turn yellow from the temperature.
These cigars sell for about $180-220 for a box of 25 in the various sizes or $6-9 for a single. A little steep for most of us to smoke everyday but certainly worth picking up a few to keep in your humidor. Overall I was highly impressed with the construction and the flavors and would recommend picking up a few especially if you are a fan of Nicaraguan cigars and/or if you are a Don Pepin fan. They aren’t blended by DPG but are similar to the cigars that he blends.