Illusione ~hl~ (Holy Lance) Maduro

Illusione ~hl~ (Holy Lance) Maduro

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Lancero
Size : 7.5 x 40
Wrapper : Maduro
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $8 each
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The standard Illusione ~hl~ is a favorite of mine. I consider it the single best Lancero on the market right now. Whether you agree with me or not on that point, there is no denying it is an excellent cigar. Recently Illusione added a Maduro and Candela version of this elegent Lancero. I smoked a few of the Candelas recently and it proved to be an excellent version of the Holy Lance. One I enjoyed very much. It seemed only natural that I finish the cycle and try the third and final incarnation of the Lance.

I really enjoyed the ~hl~ with the maduro wrapper. The flavors were very rich and very different from the others. It was earthy with very nice dark chocolate notes and subtle bitter/semi sweet component to it. It was perhaps not as complex as the other two. It never really changed much but the thing is that it doesn’t need to. The flavors are deep and delicious. It is a great smoke that I enjoyed and never got bored with. It is a total change of pace from the Rosado and the Candela ~hl~’s.

Illusione CG:4

Illusione CG4

Photo credit: Fire Up That Cigar

Origin : Nicaragua
IllusioneFormat : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $9 each
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The first thing I noticed about this cigar was the wrapper: an aromatic, slightly veiny, dark textured brown wrapper. I did not find any issues or problems with the wrapper or the construction of the cigar but holding it in my fingers, it did feel a bit on the dry side. I believe this is due to my own humidor and not reflective on the build of the cigar. The band of the cigar, a simple yet pleasing looking band, uses great typographical elements to really complete the look of the cigar on the whole.

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Illusione ECCJ

Illusione ECCJ

Origin : Nicaragua
IllusioneFormat : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $12+

ECCJ stands for European Cigar Cult Journal, which is a cigar magazine. Dion Giolito was asked to make this cigar for the celebration of the magazine's 15th anniversary. I have never read or seen the magazine, but I hear you can read it in both English and German, that’s pretty cool.

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Illusione ~hl~ (Holy Lance) Candela

Illusione ~hl~ (Holy Lance) Candela

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Lancero
Size : 7.5″ x 40
Wrapper : Candela
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $8 each
More info about purchasing Illusione cigars...

I have to believe that this cigar is a first in the Modern Cigar Era. A Candela wrapped Lancero. I recently reviewed the Illusione ~88~ Candela which kindled a spark of interest for this wrapper that I largely ignored in the past. Like I said in that review of the ~88~, Candela wrappers seemed to be reserved for use on bad cigars. The regular Illusione ~hl~ sports a rosado wrapper and is probably my number one favorite Illusione cigar. The standard ~hl~ is the definition of elegance and balance. The Candela ~hl~ is a different animal.

I don’t know if the blend of this cigar was tweaked or just entirely different from the blend used for the standard Holy Lance but this green version tastes nothing like the original. The Candela is heavy on the palate with a strong spice. The Candela wrapper imparts a crispness with a slight grassy note and a subtle sweetness that is almost completely overpowered by the spice and tobacco flavors. The heaviness of the flavors is backed up by a fairly stout punch in the strength department. I found the ~hl~ Candela to be a bit rough around the edges but still a really good robust smoke. If you asked me to pick a favorite of the Candelas I think I’d have to give the nod to the ~88~. One I will certainly enjoy again. Still, I thought the Lancero was excellent and offers a different Candela experience. It is a cigar I will certainly enjoy again soon. My Local just got a bunch of boxes in so I should be able to stay in good supply.

Cruzado Avalitos

Cruzado Avalitos

Origin : HondurasCruzado
Format : Petit Corona
Size : 4 x 46
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler : Honduran and Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
More info about purchasing Cruzado cigars...

The Encounter: I’ve been searching the country for this target since it appeared on our Most Wanted List. An informant on vacation in Florida tipped me off to its whereabouts. A plane ride later, I had sequestered the target for interrogation.

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Illusione Nosotros

Illusione Nosotros

Origin : NicaraguaIllusione
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : USA
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8 each
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The long-awaited Illusione Nosotros blend was released in 2009 in a joint venture between Jonathan Drew from Drew Estate and Dion Giolito from Illusione Cigars. These cigars are rolled in Drew Estate's factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. They come in eight vitolas with the Robusto been the subject of today’s review.

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Illusione 68

Illusione 68

Origin : NicaraguaIllusione
Format : Petit Corona
Size : 4 x 44
Ring : 44
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5 each
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The Bombone is the smallest vitola in Dion Giolito’s Illusione line, but looks can be deceiving!

I decided to partake in this little treasure while laboring away at the rituals of fall. Wisconsin is seeing the last days of warmth, and with that comes leaves and yard-work. The day was relatively warm and sunny, with temperatures in the 50’s, but my hedge trimmer was even hotter! While raking and trimming I decided to find a smoke that would be quick and wouldn’t require too much attention. The Illusione 68 fit the bill. Here’s my take…

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Illusione ~ hl ~ Holy Lance

Illusione ~ hl ~ Holy Lance

Photo credit: Claire Hogan

Origin : NicaraguaIllusione
Format : Lancero
Size : 7.5 x 40
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7-9 per stick
More info about purchasing Illusione Holy Lance cigars...

The following review comes courtesy of Robert (Twitter), a cigar lover from Central Ohio. Enjoy!

In the same league as the Holy Grail and Shroud of Turin, the Holy Lance is considered a relic of Jesus Christ. Believed to be the spear that pierced Christ's side as he hung on the cross, according to legend, Constantine the Great (the first Christian Roman Emperor) carried the weapon in battle. Some believe that Hitler pilfered the Holy Lance and ordered it to be hidden in Antarctica, where it remained until being retrieved by European Nazis in the seventies.

Since it is impossible to track down the current whereabouts of the Holy Lance, we will just have to examine the Dion Giolito blended Illusione ~ hl ~ the more user friendly Holy Lance.

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