Illusione Nosotros (Pre-Release)

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Illusione Nosotros (Pre-Release)

Illusione - Nosotros and Gentleman Jack

Illusione Nosotros - 2.jpgBrand: Illusion Nosotros
Blender: Dion Giolito & Jonathan Drew
Vitola: Robusto
Ring Gauge: 50
Length: 5.00
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Habano Connecticut
Filler: Nicaragua
Origin: Nicaragua
MSRP: From $7.95 to $12.95


The Nosotros cigar is a collaboration between Dion Giolito of Illusione and Jonathan Drew of Drew Estates. It was debuted at the 2009 IPCPR convention in New Orleans with a tentative release date of October 2009. It is rumored that this release date has been pushed back due to an unforeseen issue with the aging of the wrapper leaf.

From pre-sale information found inline, it seems that the Illusione Nosotros will be packaged in boxes of 20. Cigars will be available in eight different vitolas ranging from 46 ring gauge to 60 ring gauge and carry an MSRP of $7.95 to $12.95 per single.

For additional information on the Nosotros, take a look at The Nosotros Story which was recorded during IPCPR 2009. There is also additional information in our post which announces the brand.

Pre Light:

Illusione Nosotros - 3.jpg

After about a month of rest in my coolidor, I dug out one of my Nosotros samples from IPCPR. This cigar was presented in cellophane, most likely for protection at the convention. Once removed form the cellophane, I gave it a quick once over. With some of my IPCPR samples being a little banged up, I was surprised to find a flawless stick. The color was a deep brown with reddish hue and was consistent from head to foot. A couple of small veins were present, but this cigar looked fantastic.

When pinched, I found just a single soft spot just below the band. The stick was uniformly packed with tobacco and very firm. The aroma on the wrapper and the exposed foot was a typical barnyard type aroma which was fairly mild.

Once the head was opened up with a pair of cigar scissors, I moved to checking the pre light draw. The cold draw produced little in terms of flavor but the firmness was a bit much for my liking. With no apparent issues to concern myself with, I moved on to toast and light my cigar.

First Third:

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After a quick and painless toasting and lighting session, I had my Illusione Nosotros evenly lit and producing a steady supply of smoke. Initially I was a little surprised by an edgy quality that the smoke exhibited. It was like a mind tingling sensation across the roof of the mouth and the broad section of my tongue.

The level of body gets started off in the medium range while the finish is fairly short and mildly aggressive. I would best describe the level of flavor as medium to full with virtually no indication of a nicotine punch at this point.

The flavor combination early on was interesting and had me doing a lot of thinking. While I am not very experienced with wine, I want to say that the initial flavor reminds me of red wine. When this settles, I get a mild taste of walnuts before the flavor quickly changes to a robust Nicarguan tobacco taste.

The burn line is thin and even while producing a moderate amount of resting smoke. The draw is lacking slightly and I find that I need to keep ontop of the cigar, otherwise it has a tendency to go out. The ash is light in color and holds a nice compacted shape. The strength of the ash is about average for a cigar of this size and shape.

Second Third:

Illusione Nosotros - 5.jpg

After about forty minutes of smoking, I reached the second third of my Illusione Nosotros. Even as the cigar slowly grows shorter, I’m finding the draw a bit stiff for my liking. The dense fill on this cigar is great for increasing smoke time but it creates more work than I prefer to get a mouthful of smoke.

The body remains medium, in terms of mouth feel, and produces a finish that is fairly short and a little aggressive. The aggressive, or edgy, feel of the smoke is making my tongue and palate feel worn out. When the smoke is passed through the sinus I am left with a crisp and clean feeling that is rather enjoyable.

Late in the first third, the red wine flavor that I was picking up began to subside. As it subsided, the robust Nicaraguan tobacco taste picked up considerably and is more “in your face” with a very rich quality. The taste of walnuts, which I noticed earlier, remains in the background and seems to sway in and out of the flavor profile.

Final Third:

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After about ninety minutes of smoking, it was about time to begin thinking about putting down my Illusione Nosotros. Up to this point, the body has remained in the medium range. The finish was still a bit aggressive, or edgy, across the palate and tongue while only lingering for a short time before fading.

Ever since our Ask The Readers piece on body, I have been keeping an eye on the effects of nicotine that different cigars produce. Even with paying more attention, I was still unable to notice a significant nicotine kick in this particular stick.

The flavors remained pretty consistent from the second third over to the final third. The only real change that I noticed was the building of the levels of flavor and the increased richness of the Natural tobacco taste. The red wine flavor remained subdued while the taste of walnuts came and went in random waves.

While I can’t explain exactly what it is, this cigar definitely has a unique taste when compared to my past experiences with Illusione product. There seems to be something about it that makes me think that Dion Giolito stepped away from his comfort zone when making this particular blend with Jonathan Drew. I wish I could say precisely why I think that, but I’m struggling to put words to it.

The burning characteristics of this cigar were solid with the exception of the stiff draw. I felt like I had to pull a little harder than usual to get a satisfying level of smoke. This resulted in the smoke becoming warm across the palate and on the fingers. The burn line was thin and even while producing a room aroma that was pleasant.

Final Thoughts:

Illusione Nosotros - 7.jpg

Despite the draw being a bit stiff for my liking, I really enjoyed these Illsuione Nosotros cigars. The flavors were rich and complex while seeming very clean and crisp. If there was an account that opened up closer to home, I could definitely see myself picking these up every now and again. The price point seems fair and the cigar is solid overall.

If I could have it my way, I would like to see these cigars with a little less filler tobacco to loosen up the draw a bit. I know, I’m harping on it…. but the stiffer draw caused some heat issues later in the cigar that I think would disappear if I didn’t feel the need to pull so hard to get the volume of smoke I am accustomed to.

Please Note
All samples (3) were obtained from the
2009 IPCPR Convention in New Orleans

enjoying cigars since 2005

20 thoughts on “Illusione Nosotros (Pre-Release)

  1. Hey Walt, great review. I never thought i would grow to love a non-Cuban brand of cigars like i am starting to with Illsuione. I just hope they don’t start having too many lines of cigars and lose focus. Do any of you plans to review the Illusione ECCJ at some point? Thanks again.

    1. As far as I know, the Illusione ECCJ is no longer a production cigar. From what I understand it was a limited offering which has been replaced by the Epernay. The Epernay, is supposed to be very similar.

      I do plan on reviewing the Epernay and I think I may be able to get one or two ECCJs for a review. Just going to take a little time to see how it pans out.

      Thanks for the comment

  2. I’m finding all the Illusione cigars I’ve tried to be remarkably complex in flavor and very well-made, which are two requirements for me to buy again. I can’t wait to try one of these.

  3. Nice review! Cant wait to give some a try. Sux we have to wait longer, but at least they arent trying to push them out before they are ready! Gettysburg is the closest for me also that carries Illusione 😉


  4. Illusione and Cruzado are two of my favorite non-Cuban cigar lines. I’ve smoked tons of them. My only complaint about them has been that I’ve had a lot of burn issues. I have hopes that this line will be better constructed – and I’m wondering if maybe that’s one of the reasons Dion started to look for another manufacturer for this line. Though I’m wary of the Drew Estates connection, I trust Dion’s tastes. And I like the fact that Dion will hold off on distribution if the cigar needs more age or work. Not all makers seem to be willing to do that.

  5. Great Review Walt! I must say I am jealous. The Nosotros is one of the cigars I am dying to get my hands on. I wonder if one of the reasons Dion has pushed back release is related to draw issues you experienced. Great job as always!

  6. Thanks for the review! I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from Dion, and the LP#9 from Mr. Drew is stellar as well. So I’ve been really looking forward to the Nosotros. Dion said in an interview that he things the smaller ring gauges are better on the Nosotros, but I know that Dion just favors smaller rings period. I usually like smaller rings, but on the Illusione I really like the 88 and MJ12 too.

  7. Great review!! Must be nice getting donations from all of these manufacturers. I bet you are steamed about what our government is planning to do to bloggers online. Get ready for the taxes coming your way…
    If only our government would leave our pleasures and hobbies alone.
    Look forward to getting ahold of a few of these..

    1. I have no idea where the impression of “donations from all these manufacturers” comes from. I think the number of samples we receive is grossly overestimated.

      The IPCPR samples we received cost each member of Stogie Review a round trip plane ticket to New Orleans, several nights at a hotel, and food & drinks. All of which was paid for out of pocket. So if you don’t factor in what it cost us to pay our own way to a cigar convention, then yeah we made out like bandits.

      I am not pleased about the recent FTC guidelines. It has nothing to do with disclosure (which I think we have been very upfront about), and everything to do with my thoughts on how it sets limitations on free speech.

      Which taxes are coming my way? The only one I was aware of was a Pennsylvania state tax on cigars, which has since been stricken from House Bill 1531. I am not aware of any federal taxes coming down the pike.

      Thanks for the comment

      1. I think you misread what I was implying. By saying”donations from all these manufacturers”, I meant getting samples from the manufacturers. Not sure why that would offend you???
        As far as the taxes coming your way, I was referring to the penalties our government wants to impose on bloggers that don’t follow any, or all new guidelines. They are looking for any way to increase their revenue.
        I’m not attacking you, I’m voicing my frustration with our government!!
        I’m a BOTL right there with you, and it pisses me off that the people in DC can’t leave well enough alone and let us enjoy our hobbies.
        No harm intended….

  8. Nice response Walt! As usual,great review! Although the FTC is a big issue,I wish we could all just focus on the great job that the guys at SR do!I am always impressed with honest down to earth way that you guys present your opinions and look forward to watching more reviews! Oh!…and smoking the kick ass cigars you recommend! Thanks again!

  9. Great review as usual Walt. I have been fortunate to have smoked the majority of Dion’s masterpieces including the Epernay and Cruzado lines. I know that it was mentioned in an earlier post but if you have not had the chance to smoke the MJ12 – it’s an incredible cigar. Thanks again and keep the great and honest reviews coming my man….

  10. walt you should try the 3 puff method 2 short puffs one longer it will let the cigar smoke cooler because you wont need to hold onto the last puff as long or pull as hard , great reviews

  11. First nice review and sorry for the draw problems but for that price you would think it would be perfect. Though I do like Dion’s stuff as well as Pete’s, I can’t for the life of me understand the cost—Not that I can’t afford them but what about the overwhelming majority of people that can’t afford the $12-$15 price tag? Maybe venting a bit but someone needs to speak up.There are plenty of cigars for 1/2 the cost that everyone can enjoy.

  12. On another note Walt–You really do need to try the Illusione Epernay as it is one of my favorites–For how long who knows?

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