Guest Cigar Review: Illusione ~mk~ Teaching Maching

Illusione ~mk~

Size: 5 1/8×42, Corona

Wrapper: Nicaragua Café Colorado

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium

Price: Box of 25, $185.00

Today we have a guest review from Tony! I first met Tony through the Cigar Asylum and he has become a friend on Toasted Foot as well. He has an excellent palate and you can find Tony on Facebook or on Cigar Asylum. Please welcome Tony in the comments section (and try to convince him to come back!). Thanks Tony!

Illusione ~mk~_2Matthew messaged me recently and requested that I do a guest review for Toasted Foot; being a fan of the site, how could I refuse.

I decided to do this review on a recent box purchase I made, the Illusione ~mk~ Teaching Machine. A beautiful corona created by Dion Giolito and the Raices Cubanas factory. The concept behind Illusione cigars was to re-create a specific taste profile from before the Sandinistas took over Nicaragua in 1979, when Nicaraguan cigars were known for being strong, bold and clean. A concept that I believe came to fruition.

Dion mentions on that the corona vitola is the perfect vehicle for the delivery of flavor; something I agree with. As many of you know, there is a story behind each Illusione label and this one is no exception.

Project MKULTRA was a government experiment in creating ‘zombie soldiers’ if you will, through experimentation with LSD and subconscious suggestion when under the influence. MKULTRA was also referred to as the ‘teaching machine’.

This blend, along with the ~hl~ The Holy Lance, is 20% different from the regular black and white bands, hence the gold and while coloring.

Now on to the review.

The look of this cigar is impressive, a nice reddish-brown wrapper with dark splotches and a nice silky sheen. Beautifully firm with no major veins and finished with a perfect triple-cap. The cold draw is earthy with a strong, rich tobacco flavor as well as just the right amount of resistance. The first draw produced a peppery cedar flavor with a bit of punch through the nostrils. The finish was that of rich tobacco.

Getting into the first third, the bit of harshness through the nose subsided and a nice cedar flavor accompanied by a bit of nutmeg came through. The finish was creamy and sweet. The ash is a medium grey and the burn line is perfect. Towards the end of the first third the creaminess builds and I am getting a slight espresso finish.

The second third transitioned into a creamy, nutty flavor and the espresso finish is gone and is replaced by a sweet, rich tobacco flavor. The ash fell as soon as I began the second third and the burn line remained true. The smoke is smooth with a nice spicy tingle that coats the palate. At around the halfway point the spice begins to build and the tangy cedar flavor returns.

The final third begins much the same as the second third ended, but the finish leaves a nice spicy leather flavor on the palate. The tanginess of the cedar is again replaced by a sweat creaminess that is superb. Needless to say, this cigar is definitely nub material. The nose exhale is spicy with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

In conclusion, this is an excellent cigar and while I may enjoy the Illusione Epernay line a bit more, this cigar is definitely worthy of a box purchase. With a perfect draw, no touchups required, medium body and a complexity of flavors, this cigar can be enjoyed at any time of the day and anywhere you may want to smoke it. Total smoke time was 50 minutes, perfect for a lunch break and plenty of flavors for an after dinner treat. This is a cigar I highly recommend and plan to keep in my rotation for a long time.