I've been chatting/sharing music with Dion Giolito on Twitter (he's Vudu9) for awhile now. It was, however, slightly embarassing that I'd talked with him for so long but never had his cigars. For the longest time, it was pretty hard to find his cigars in the Rhinebeck or Rochester area (with the closest store I was sure of being Albany for both places). I finally made a sojourn to Habana Premium in Albany and picked up a handful of Illusiones to try. I smoked a few at a Herf in Rochester but I didn't take notes. I smoked another at the Uptown Cigar's Cigar-B-Q but I wasn't paying attention. I was busy chatting with Marvin. So yesterday I put in my dues and sat down with an Illusione 68 and the latest copy of Whisky Magazine, my preferred way to review cigars. I do this because, if I just sit there with the cigar, I tend to puff constantly and that makes the cigar burn hot and taste like crap. The magazine actually slows me down and I never really have a problem keeping track of the flavors. So it's a win win. Here's a picture of it:
I decided just to launch into this bad boy so I cut it with the Xikar and lit it up straight off. Here be some notes:
First quarter: Woody, earthy, nutty, and a slightly cayenne-like undertone. Definitely strong on oak with touches of cedar every once and awhile. For a short cigar, it smoked cool and fragrant. A nice beginning.
Half-way: The spice picked up at this point. Not an undertone anymore, it really balanced with the oak. It was almost like a good spicy rye whiskey. A slight touch of new leather came into the fold as well. Definitely a medium-full cigar at this point.
Third quarter: Oak and spice tempered by a nutty sweetness. Hadn't changed much from the half-way point but the balance evened out somewhat. Not too spicy/woody, not too sweet/nutty. This is a cigar that Goldilocks would appreciate. Scratch that; SHOULD appreciate. Screw porridge. Raid Papa Bear's humidor, woman!
All in all, a very nicely balanced cigar with a great burn and some delicious flavors. As far as price point, I think it's a touch expensive in NY but anywhere else it would be a great deal. I blame NY for that. I think I paid about $7 or $8 for it but you can get it for about $5 everywhere else.
Note: Yeah, I know the last two photos aren't stellar. Blame my Kodak Easyshare. For normal pictures it's ok, but for macro it's so terribly fickle it's embarrassing. I want to upgrade to a Canon or a Nikon so I can take better pictures but that's going to have to wait until the future. So bear with.