Illusione 888 “Necessary & Sufficient”

Illusione 888

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : ChurchillIllusione
Size : 6 3/4 x 48
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$9 each

The Illusione 888 “Necessary & Sufficient” is a Nicaraguan puro Churchill created by Dion Giolito. The name of the cigar is a testament to Giolito’s Christian faith. The number 888 is a numerological representation of the name of Christ. “‘Necessary and Sufficient’ both describes the balance and profile of the cigar,” explains Giolito on his website. “It also represents to not go wanting. He is all I need, He is necessary and sufficient.” The Illusione brand may not be the most globally famous cigar brand, but it still has quite a following, and for good reason. Illusione cigars have a reputation for quality, and the 888 is no exception.

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★½
This is a beautiful cigar to look at. The Nicaraguan wrapper is a rich brown like milk chocolate. The surface of the leaf is oily and smooth and traced only by very fine veins. The “888” label is thin, spare, and simple. It marks the cigar with minimalist subtlety, not drawing attention away from the wrapper leaf.

Illusione 888

Construction : Rating: ★★★½☆
The draw is wonderful, but the burn is a bit uneven. I am pretty sure this is unfortunately a pervasive problem, because I have smoked several of these, and there were burn issues with all of them. With some minor adjustments from time to time, the burn can be kept relatively even. This is the 888’s only noticeable flaw however; otherwise, the experience is a delightful one.

Flavor : Rating: ★★★★½
Just as you would expect from the creamy milk chocolate appearance of the wrapper, this cigar delivers a creamy, chocolately flavor experience. Cocoa and creamy marshmallow undertones are the most prominent notes throughout the smoke. The initial flavors also have a touch of leather and earth. There is a bit of spice, but it remains in the backdrop. The creamier notes become more prominent during the middle third, and in the final third, the spices finally move to the foreground. While the flavors transition a good deal from start to finish, the overall elements are very consistent and well balanced. Body is definitely full.

Value : Rating: ★★★★☆
At around $9.00 a stick, this stogie is getting up there in terms of price. It is comparable to many other full-bodied cigars I have tried at this price point, however, and better than a great deal of them. So despite construction flaws, the value is reasonable.

Illusione 888

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★★☆
The balance and profile of the Illusione 888 are indeed “Necessary and Sufficient.” The flavor profile is excellent and very well blended, and the cigar provides a very pleasurable smoking experience. The only drawback is the need to regularly correct the burn line to keep it even. If you can get past that though (and I think you’ll have no problem given the overall quality; I certainly don’t), you should thoroughly enjoy the Illusione 888.