Cigar Review: Illusione Singulare 2012

Cigar Review: Illusione Singulare 2012

Illusione Singulare 2012

Size: Vimana (Toro + ) (6″ x52)

Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler:  Nicaragua

Strength: Medium

Price:  $11 MSRP (as per press release)

Grade: 9.1

Earlier this week we reviewed the 2011 Singulare from Illusione, today we bring you our review of it’s box mate, the 2012 Singulare.  The 2012 Singulare is wrapped in a Mexican San Andreas Maduro wrapper.  In the box presentation these cigars are also wrapped in a white tissue paper wrapper, which I assume is A) aesthetic, and B) also to prevent any crossover of flavor between the wrappers of the two different cigars.  Personally, I think it’s a nice touch regardless of utility.

As mentioned in our review of the 2011:

In 2010 Dion Giolito of Illusione released the Singulare “Phantom”, a Nicaraguan puro, which quickly became one of the hottest cigars of the year.  The Singulare was such a successful line that when I was able to go back and grab a box they were gone, and unfortunately they were not to be seen again.

Unfortunately last years release, the 2011, was held up in production and not released until now.  This year Illusione decided to release both the 2011, and the 2012 vintages together in a single box that consists of seven of one blend and 8 of the other.  Here’s more information on the release from Greg Mottola of Cigar Aficionado (May 4, 2012):

“Last year we were back-ordered by about a half million  Illusione cigars,” said Giolito. “It doesn’t make sense for me to release a limited edition when I can’t get my regular product out to my customers. But now we’ve caught up.” Each box of  15 cigars will contain two different vintages, the 2011, which has a Corojo wrapper, and the 2012, which comes wrapped in a Mexican San Andrés cover leaf. Both measure 6 inches by 52 ring, a size that Giolito has dubbed Vimana (Sanskrit for U.F.O.), and will retail for $11 each.

 “The blends on these cigars are both completely different,” said Giolito. “But they do share common leaves from a Nicaraguan farm called Chilamate, which grows very distinct tobacco.”

You can read the entire Cigar Aficionado article here.

But enough about that, let’s toast the foot.

Pre-Light:  (1.8) The 2012 Singulare as mentioned, comes wrapped in a white tissue paper.  After removing the we find the San Andreas Maduro wrappered gem.  The wrapper has a is nice and dark with a perfectly applied triple cap.  The 2012 Singulare sports an identical band to the 2010 vintage.  The Singulare 2012 is tightly packed, and firm to the touch.  The wrapper has a few veins to it ahs quite a bit of variability in its darkness.    There are a number of small veins present and a bit of tooth.  The wrapper is dry to the touch without much oil present.    

The scent off the foot consisted of a leathery sweet spice.  The pre-light draw has fairly non descript with a bit the same leathery sweetness and a hint of the spice.

Burn: (1.8)  .The 2012 Singulare had a great open draw and burned smoothly with a good draw through the first two thirds.  The burn line was pretty solid with a few jagged moments that self corrected.  The 2012 Singulare required a single touch up near the nub due to the slow pace I was smoking it.  The mostly white ash has a little black zig-zagging and the ash is firm beyond the inch point I usually look for.  The Singulare burned cool through the nub.

Flavor:  (2.8)  The 2012 Singulare started off at first light with a distinctive dry bakers cocoa with pepper and spice on the finish through the first inch the pepper lays a coating on the palate.  There is a semi sweetness to the cocoa notes and a complex array of varying pepper notes that transition in strength and taste.  The pepper seems to hang at the back of the palate and as I close in on the end of the first third there is a bit of a cinnamon note at the tip of the tongue..

Through the second third I notice the cocoa note takes on more sweetness and the spice recedes.  There is a real nice complexity between the depth and range of the varying sweet and dry cocoa notes and the spice and pepper with.  I’m enjoying the complexity offered by the varying depths of each note.  When retro haled there is a dominant dry cocoa with a pepper that sits firmly in the background of the flavor.

Like the 2011, the final third presents much more reemergence of the spice but and a bit more of the bakers cocoa which is reminiscent of the first few notes before the sweetness emerged.   The flavors, are balanced and complex despite any really distinct transitions.

Overall: (2.7)  The 2012 Singulare is a really nice cigar.  The San Andres wrapper has some different characteristics than a lot of the other San Andres that’s  been in the market place as the cocoa note spends more time without sweetness, as opposed to the often sweet cocoa note often encountered with this wrapper.   My favorite part of the 2012 was the dynamic interplay between the two most dominant elements, the cocoa note, and the pepper note, and how there was a nice variation in each of these notes between puffs.

I didn’t mention this in my review of the 2011, but I really think both of these cigars will continue to improve as they age, which is meaningful because they are both very good out of the box.  Both the 20122 and the 2012 offer rich, flavorful, and somewhat complex smoking experiences out of the box.  Another win for Dion and Illusione.

Total: 9.1