Illusione MJ12

Overall Score

1 review for Illusione MJ12

  1. Handypilot

    Illusione MJ12

    Origin : NicaraguaIllusione
    Format : Toro
    Size : 6 x 54
    Wrapper : Nicaragua
    Filler : Nicaragua
    Binder : Nicaragua
    Price : ~$7-8 each

    The naming conventions used by Dion Giolito for Illusione normally revolve around significant times in his life or Jesus Christ… the latter of which I think is awesome! I was a little puzzled in determining the origination of the name mj12 because it’s not listed on the Illusione website, so I googled onward. Well.. the Majestic Twelve happen to be a committee of scientists, military leaders, and politicians whom were charged with the investigation of UFOs. Based on Dion’s other names I’m guessing this isn’t it, but this is what lean toward because the shiny foil wrapper makes it look like a UFO; I tried linking it to Christ. The only thing I could come up with was the original 12 disciples of Jesus. This makes sense, because Dion considers the Illusione mj12 a classic connoisseurs cigar, and the 12 disciples were true connoisseurs of Christianity. Let me know if I’m right Dion!

    Much like the 68 I smoked the other day, I decided to enjoy a cigar while toiling with leaves and branches. A word of warning: a power hedge trimmer can cut through an extension cord while your concentrating on the flavors of a smoke! Though this did give me the opportunity to retest my soldering skills. I was leaning towards LFD Double Ligero Chisel Head, but I had a light lunch and was working with power tools… bad idea. I still wanted something medium-full bodied to match the crispness of Autumn, so I decided on the Illusione mj12 ‘The Majestic 12?. It had been staring me in the face for several weeks, because I haven’t tried this vitola yet. Here’s my take…

    Prelight: The shiny foil wrapper stands out amongst other cigars. According to Illusione, the foil wrapper promotes aging and protection, much like a cellophane wrapper does…it looks cooler though! Unwrapping this cigar is like Christmas, revealing the perfect gift. The gorgeous Cafe Colorado wrapper is perfect, no visible defects, a classic cuban triple cap, and minor veins running throughout. After clipping the head, I took nice draw of leathery tobacco, with subtle sweetness. The draw was a little firm for me, but near perfect. Lighter, meet The Majestic 12!

    1/3: The first third was hard to detect flavors. There is some spice and some sweetness, but nothing really jumped out at me…just a good ol’fashion smooth tobacco flavor. The aroma coming off this cigar is really pleasant – very much like other Illusione cigars. The draw is near perfect, and the burn is even.

    2/3: The burn and draw is still near perfect! A very well constructed cigar. I’m starting to think Illusione has some underpaid torcedors in Nicaragua. The flavors are more defined now, with smooth smoke and medium-full body. I’m picking up smooth leather, a little cinnamon spice, and floral sweetness. The smell of the smoke is better than most cigars, but not as aromatic as other Illusione cigars.

    3/3: The Illusione mj12 is starting to get a little bitter now with signs of burning tar. However, the slight bitterness is not overtaking any of the flavor, which has remained consistent throughout the entire length. The burn required one touchup after I neglected the cigar for about 5 minutes, but other than that, the burn and draw remained very good.

    Appearance : [rating:5/5]
    When I think cigar… this is what I picture. It looks like a real man’s cigar at 6 x 54, and it holds in the hand as such. The cigar wrapper is impeccable, and foil wrapper and band are catchy marketing genius. Both features make this cigar stand out above the rest, like a Tatuaje RC. No imperfections, and a beautiful size and color get this 5/5 stars!

    Construction : [rating:5/5]
    It seems as though I’m constantly repeating myself when it comes to Illusione. Maybe I’m biased, but these cigars seem to have perfect construction, and remain above most cigars I’ve smoked. Case in point…on several occasions I let this cigar lie longer than usual, and every time I came back it was still smoking. Most cigars would have required a relight. Also, the one time I did relight it, it had been over 5 minutes since I touched it, and it really didn’t need it. I just don’t care for the product of resurrecting a cigar through puffing hard…bitter hot smoke.

    Illusione MJ12

    Flavor : [rating:3.5/5]
    This is the only part of this cigar that is less than great IMHO. The flavors are very good, but they were too few and too consistent for my liking. If this cigar had the fuller flavors of the 4/2g, and more complexity, it would be perfect!

    Value : [rating:4.5/5]
    With a box price of $7-8 and a smoking time of over 2 hours, this cigar has exceptional value!! Coupled with its quality, the Illusione MJ12 is very hard to beat… not impossible, but very hard.

    Overall Rating : [rating:4/5]
    This is one of the better cigars I’ve smoked. Construction…perfect! Appearance…perfect! Value…great! The only thing it gets penalized for are flavors and complexity. I would highly recommend this cigar, especially if you’re partial to Illusione or Nicaraguan blends. If you like medium and consistently flavored cigars, then this is the perfect cigar for you. I will definitely smoke it again.

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    • Rc

      This review is right on target! I work at a large cigar lounge and because I am frequently in and out of the walk-in humidor, I have to let my cigar sit while I wait on customers. Of all the cigars I have sampled, the MJ12 maintains itself the best. I can set it down and come back 5-10 minutes later and is still nicely and evenly lit. The reviewer is also correct in stating the overall smoke time is roughly two hours ( or more! ). I have sampled the other Illuisone cigars, but this is my favorite and also the most favored by my patrons. You won’t go wrong.

    • DJ

      Great review… looking fwd to one.

    • RU

      Thanks for the review. It always seemed to me that the names are not just about Jesus as a religious icon per se, but about world domination conspiracy theories that link back to Jesus (like some of the more eccentric theories that claim Jesus, God, etc. were actually aliens and that there has been a millennia-long coverup by Masons, Rosicrucians, etc.). I remember reading somewhere that Dion was very into researching such theories for a while, so that may be the tie-in between the different names. Whatever the logic behind the names, they certainly work as a marketing tool!

    • Rich

      Sounds like another must try stick. Thanks for the review.

    • Avatar photo


      Dion has just confirmed on Twitter that the name comes from the UFO scientists.

    • Tom Ufer

      Great review! I have enjoyed all the Illusiones I have smoked as well. I’ll have to pick this one up next.

    • Stephen P

      Nice review Handy Pilot. I will have to give one a try and see what I think of it.

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Cigar Region Nicaragua
Filler Nicaragua
Wrapper Nicaragua Maduro
Binder Nicaragua
Length 6
Ring Gauge 54
Vitola Toro Gordo
Construction Hand Made