Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona Gorda Extra
Size : 6 3/4 x 46
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $12 each
More info about purchasing Illusione Epernay cigars...
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Released in 2010, the Le Matin is the first size in the Epernay line to be box pressed and offered in boxes of 25. After seeing the discontinued M-7 boxes lying about the factory floor, Dion Giolito decided to put them to use in making a cigar with balance and elegance. By perfectly blending Nicaraguan Criollo and Corojo tobaccos and topping it with a Rosado wrapper Dion was able to create this newest member of the Epernay portfolio.
On to the review…
The pre-light on my Illusione Le Matin showed a veiny, box pressed, dark chocolate wrapper. I found a couple of spotty watermarks on the wrapper and upon inspection the foot showed a loose roll. Cap was a very nice triple seam and the band a simplistic white with gold writing. Cold smell is a woody, sweet, hay. Cold draw was easy and loose with notes of spice, cream, and wood.
Pre-light score: 8 pts.
The Le Matin opened with a full bodied load of rich creamy smoke. Excellent! Lots of spice, wood, and cream covered my palate in the initial tasting notes. Draw was absolutely effortless and the burn a tad wavy (had to eventually be corrected). Ash was a very brittle dark gray and fell off after the first inch or so. Aroma only backed up the creamy barnyard tastes.
Immediately into the second third the cigar turned sweet with a velvety truffle taste/sweet cream. Amazing and most enjoyable! The back palate showed more dark toasted tastes and again the burn had to be touched up. Aroma and ash remained the same as noted in the first third.
In the final third of my Illusione Epernay Le Matin I was embraced with tasting notes of meaty, nutty, dark oak wood chips. Burn only got worse and had to again be touched up. Supposedly being the more medium bodied line of Illusione cigars I found the opposite of my Le Matin. I would classify this smoking experience as full-bodied throughout.
Smoking score: 6 pts.
So, final thoughts over the Illusione Epernay Le Matin are mixed but run more on the good side than bad. Even though the aesthetics and taste profile of the cigar were close to perfect the performance flat out sucked. The burn and draw of the cigar just completely lowered the overall enjoyment of the smoke. If these two things could be corrected (draw a touch tighter; burn even and consistent) this cigar would easily fall into the 28 – 30 range on my rating scale. Overall though, the enjoyment factor is there so go pick a couple up and see what you think.
Overall Experience score: 8 pts.
Illusione Epernay Le Matin Rating
Pre-Light: 8 pts.
Smoking: 6 pts.
Overall Experience: 8 pts.