New Havana Cigars has been always a go-to place for me to get ahold of many Illusione, Viaje, Tatuaje, and EPC cigars when I can’t find them locally. I was on my lunch break and happen to catch a post from NHC on Facebook with a link to the Burn line from Illusione (that was once exclusive to The Burn Lounge) being offered by NHC. I, personally don’t prefer too many of the original lines of Illusione. Except, for a few of the small ring gauged cigars and anything Dion puts a maduro wrapper on. On a whim, I got the sampler of the line and figured I try them out and see whats up with them.
Made at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras, the Burn line was done as a house line for the Burn Lounge in Miami, FL. It may just be an odd querk, but most cigars that have “Miami” in the name I tend to like a pretty good bit. So, I actually have high hopes and expectations for these cigars.
Cost: $8.80 ($44.00/5pk)
Purchased from New Havana Cigars
First Looks: The Burn line looks a good bit like the “original” Illusione line. A plain and simple white band with red lettering aside from the usual black lettering on the original line. A triple cap adorns the head of the cigar. Its not a great looking triple cap, but I think its function over form that matters with it. There are a few soft spots here and there on the cigar.
The wrapper has a few veins here and there with a very slight tooth showing through. The wrapper has a color inconsistancy. Its got some darker spots in the wrapper that struck me as odd. There is a slight woody aroma on the wrapper, that’s not too strong. The foot has a very strong aroma of a cedar or cinnamon and is very pungent.
Construction: A straight cut reveals a slightly loose draw. The cold draw has cedary hints that’s similar to the aroma of the foot, yet less pronounced in strength. The ash was a little on the flaky line which led me to keep it on the rest of my ashtray when not drawing on it. I don’t think this is a short (or mixed) filler cigar, but I didn’t want to drop ash on my lap today. The burn was pretty good, a slight wave in it, but never needed a touch-up. Although I did need to relight the cigar a few times. I smoked the cigar right out of the box from NHC. They may have been somewhat too wet. Maybe that’s also why the soft feel and slow buring of the cigar. So, I suggest to let it rest and possibly drybox these cigars before you smoke them. The draw seemed to thicken up once I got into the cigar and I liked the draw more and more as I got into it.
Flavor: The first few puffs I get are peppery-spicy with some flat cocoa flavors. Along with those flavors is a a very very faint hint of a wood undertone. Right of the bat, I can tell this is going to be a pretty bold smoke. A little ways into the cigar, the spice seems to level off, yet still leaves the pepper and wood going strong. A simple creamy caramel note creeps up into the flavors, but nothing major.
Around the end of the first third, the pepper seemed to be a flavor of the past as far as a main flavor is concerned. The wood and caramel flavors seemed to take charge and the pepper fades to an undertone.
About at the halfway point, I got an odd tangy flavor that popped up quickly. I really didn’t care too much for it all. I think the wetness of the cigar started taking an effect on the smoke flavors. I did a small purge and it did help some with the tangy flavors. The tangy flavor eased off some working into the final third.
In the final third, I found myself trying pretty hard to keep it going. I really was kicking myself in the backside for not dry boxing the cigar. The main flavor in the last third (besides the slight twang) was a medium lined wood note that was along the line of the first thirds, but slightly different. The caramel was still there and the pepper was pretty much gone. But, the pepper that was there lingered on the tip of my tongue. Around the end of the smoke a hint of the cocoa from the first few puffs showed back up unexpectedly.
Final Thoughts: I liked the flavors of the smoke, but the construction “issues” had me feeling lacking about this cigar. I think a good bit of dry boxing would do these some wonders. The draw was pretty good, but the relight left a bad taste in mouth so to speak. I liked the flavors of the Burn over the flavors of the original Illusione line. The wood, caramel and pepper appealed to me a good bit. A slightly complex cigar, but not overly complex smoke, but a solid smoke.
I think the wetness of the cigar finally caught up around the middle of the 2nd third. I really believe it affected the flavors from then on out. This was a pretty good cigar until then. I think if it wouldn’t have been so wet, it would have been a real good cigar.
This cigar is worth a try if you like or don’t like Illusione. There are a few similarities to the original line, but also some differences. I suggest to grab the sampler to see which size is your favorite, then go from there. I think these are fairly limited production, so don’t procrastinate.
I am going to dry box the other ones I have left in the sampler pack. Then, later on this month try the others to see if there is any construction and flavor differences after the dry boxing. I may even get a review up of one of the other sizes, so keep an eye out for it.
Purchase the Burn from Illusione here: NHC Illusione Burn