Cigar Review: Illusione Cruzado (2017)

Cigar Review: Illusione Cruzado (2017)

Illusione Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo Rosado)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua (Criollo 98 & Corojo 99)
Size: 6 5/8” x 48
Strength: medium
Price: $10.25

Overall Rating: 9.1

Over the years, Dion Giolito’s Illusione Cigars has released several cigars bearing the Cruzado name. These cigars variations on the original Illusione core line. (Check out our 2010 Illusione Cruzado review here.) Giolito gave the new Cruzado blend an updated look. The Illusione Cruzado is a flavorful medium bodied cigar that is a Nicaraguan puro, making use of a Corojo Rosado wrapper with a mix of Criollo and Corojo filler.

Pre-Light: At just shy of seven inches and with a 48 ring gauge, the Illusione Cruzado is a Churchill with a classic look to it. The understated Illusione Cruzado band is in keeping with past Illusione releases, but with a slight more modern look to it. A shiny and smooth Nicaraguan Corojo Rosado wrapper makes the small dark band stand out against the medium brown wrapper. There is a slight reddish Colorado coloration to the cigar’s Corojo wrapper. All in all, the Cruzado is a very good looking cigar.

Leather and wet leave scents come from the wrapper. The unlit foot has a sweet aroma to it, with notes of wood, cinnamon and nuts. A slightly firm cold draw allows through sweet flavors of coffee, nuts and wood.

Burn: The burn on the two thirds of the Illusione Cruzado Churchill tend to be very even, while in the final third it can get a bit uneven. Overall, the burn was very good on the three cigar smoked for this review. What starts out as a good draw, loosens up and becomes a great draw as the cigar burns. A grey ash has a tendancy to fall off unexpectedly, so its worth asking fairly frequently.

Flavor: The Illusione Cruzado Churchill begins with some notes of leather, cedar and nut flavors. There’s just a hint of herbal spice on the palate early on.On the retrohale there is a pleasant mix of leather and mild spice. Entering the second third of the cigar there is a distinct coffee note that comes to the foreground of the flavor profile, mixing nicely with they existing flavors. A nice sweetness underlies the flavors during the first third of the cigar, while the second and last third of the cigar are more woodsy in character. By the halfway point, the spice in the cigar picks up just a little. The second third of the Illusione Cruzado is a blend of coffee, leather, generic wood, nuts, and spice. At this point the retrohale is a mix of coffee, leather, nuts with only a slight spice through the nose. During the transition to the final third of the Cruzado, there is a bit of white pepper that begins to occur on the tongue. The flavor profile of the last third of the cigar is rounded out by flavors of coffee, leather, wood, spice and white pepper.

Overall: Illusione has released some great boutique cigars over the years, including cigars previously bearing the Cruzado name. The release of the new 2017 Illusione Cruzado was something that I was quite excited about, and the cigar did not disappoint. Dion Giolito’s Illusione brand has always made great use of the classic Churchill vitola, and the new Illusione Cruzado Churchill is no exception. This well-made medium bodied Churchill is full of flavor. There’s a pleasant mix of leather, cedar, nuts, coffee and mild spice to the flavor profile of the Illusione Cruzado. Not overly strong, the Cruzado is a cigar that can be enjoyed by almost all but the most novice of cigar enthusiasts. For me personally, I found the Illusione Cruzado Churchill to be a great cigar that I thoroughly enjoyed. While the $10.25 price may be just above the range of “everyday cigar” for some, the Cruzado still seems a good value for what you get. (We do not take price into account in our Overall Rating.) Although there are other sizes available, the only vitola that really stood out was the classic Churchill, which is a great size for this blend. I’d definitely recommend giving the Illusione Cruzado a try when you see it arrive at your local tobacconist.

Pairing: I found that the Illusione Cruzado pairs well with a wide variety of beverages. A mildly peaty single malt such a Ledaig 10 compliments the Cruzado nicely, and is my personal choice for pairing with the cigar. A nice sipping rum such as the Zafra 21 is also always a good choice.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@toastedfoot)