Brand: Illusion Nosotros
Blender: Dion Giolito & Jonathan Drew
Ring Gauge: 50
Binder: Habano Connecticut
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All samples (3) were obtained from the
2009 IPCPR Convention in New Orleans