We’ve reviewed a few different Illusione products over the last year. But each cigar provides a different experience, so I thought I’d add one more to our library of Illusione reviews. Today I’m firing up the ~88~ which if memory serves me correctly was my first introduction to Illusione Cigars.
Name: Robust ~88~
Factory/Tabacalera: Raices Cubanas
Made in: Danli, Honduras
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cafe Colorado
Filler: Nicaraguan 1st Generation Corojo ’99 & Criollo ’98 seed
Price: $8-9 per stick
Comes in: Box of 25
Vitola: Robusto(5 x 52)
The ~88~ comes un-celloed in 25 count boxes with a simple white and black band. The wrapper is a medium shade of brown with only a few minor veins. The texture of the leaf is smooth with a slight oily feel. Construction on these cigars is impeccable. The combination of even bunching, tight turns and triple cap make for a true visual delight. Pre-light aroma was a combination of wood and light barnyard. After snipping off the cap I took a few effortless pre-light draws which yielded a light earthy taste.
When I fired up the ~88~ I was immediately greeted with a bold/rich earthy taste. I was also able to pick up on some slight leathery notes and a black pepper spice that was only obvious through the retro-hale. However, once I got about 1/2″ to 3/4″ into the cigar the pepper really began to pick up and was now noticeable on the palate. The cigar was burning well, producing tons of thick white smoke and drawing perfectly.
As I smoked further through the first third of the cigar I began to notice what I thought was a woody taste. The cigar retained it’s earthy core while the black pepper seemed to increase in strength. The cigar continued to perform well in the construction area. Then as I got past the halfway mark of the cigar I began to doubt that I was picking up a woody taste. On the contrary I’d say I was getting more of a herbal or floral flavor.
From beginning to end the Illusione ~88~ was a killer smoke. The construction was superior and the complexity kept the cigar interesting for the entire one hour and twenty minutes. Consistency is what I’ve grown to expect from Illusione and this sample did not let me down. I’d describe the ~88~ as full-bodied, full-flavored and complex. I’d also highly recommend this cigar to just about anyone that’s looking for a cigar that offers loads of flavor and complexity.