Cigar Review: Illusione Gigantes

Cigar Review: Illusione Gigantes

Illusione Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Binder: Nicaragua (Criollo 98 & Corojo 99)
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 1/2″ x 56
Strength: medium-full
Price: $7.99

Click here to buy it now

Overall Rating: 8.5

Illusione’s earlier Rothchildes release was a huge hit with cigar enthusiasts both for the quality and the price (see my earlier Rothchildes review). In a hope of replicating that success Illusione has followed up with the Illusione Gigantes. The 6 1/2″ x 56 cigar is big, but not too big at a decent price. Filled with chocolate, wood, nuts and earth the Illusione Gigantes is a flavorful cigar. Although it will not likely garner the rave reviews and attention that was given to the Rothchildes, the Gigantes is a pretty good cigar that is a decent everyday stick.

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Pre-Light: The Illusione Gigantes has a rich milk chocolate colored wrapper that is dry to the touch. The band on the Gigantes is similar to the Rothchildes, but the colors have changed from red to purple as has the name of the cigar on the band. The Gigantes is very firm to the touch.

A leather and oak scent can be picked up on the wrapper, while a sweet natural tobacco aroma comes from the unlit foot of the Illusione Gigantes. The cold draw lets through a very earthy flavor.

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Burn: The draw on the Gigantes is superb, and lets through a good deal of flavorful smoke. The burn of the Illusione Gigantes is mostly even, and corrects itself quickly at times when the burn is uneven. The ash is a bit flakey, so it’s important to ash frequently to keep the ash of your shirt.

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Flavor: There is an earth and cocoa mix to the start of the Illusione Gigantes. A pleasing pepper occurs on the retrohale along with some meatiness. In the first third of the cigar there is a good mix of earth, cocoa, whole grain toast and floral notes. At the transition to the second third of the cigar there is a slight hint of marshmallow. The cocoa remain the dominant flavor in the second third. Some black coffee, earthiness, mint, oak and almond notes join the cocoa flavor throughout the second third. As the cigar continues into the final third the Ligero begins to give the cigar even more depth. While the cocoa and black coffee split the role as dominant flavors there is a wonderful group of background notes, including meatiness, roasted almonds, black pepper, oak and wheat toast. In the final few inches of the cigar, the black pepper really stands out. This is a complex and flavorful cigar.

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Overall: Like the Illusione Rothchildes before it (see my earlier review), the Illusione Gigantes is an excellent cigar. The draw and the burn are both great, and the flavor is wonderfully complex. There is a great mix of earthiness, cocoa, coffee, almonds and meatiness to this cigar. For the size and quality of the cigar the sub-$8 price is quite good. While the Gigantes is sure to please Illusione fans, it lacks just a bit of that something special that made the Rothchildes so special. Personally, I really enjoyed the Gigantes and plan on adding a few to my collection to see how they age. If the Gigantes sells like the Rothchildes they’ll sell out days after they arrive in your local shop, so when you see them it’s best to pick them up then.

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Pairing: When pairing the Illusione Gigantes an espresso or Cuban coffee are excellent choices. Although there are several excellent single malts (such as the Dalmore Cigar Malt, Jura Prophecy and Balvenie 17 DoubleWood) that will pair well with the Gigantes, but personally I enjoy a Camus Cognac with the Illusione Gigantes.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)