Illusione MK Teaching Machine

Illusione MK Teaching Machine

Origin : NicaraguaIllusione
Format : Petit Corona
Size : 5 1/8 x 42
Ring : 42
Wrapper : Nicaragua Café Colorado
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Illusione MK cigars...

I recently bought a box (AUG07) of these cigars solely upon the recommendation of several Brothers of the Leaf, and certainly do not regret the purchase. Originally the MK was only available at trade shows where Dion Giolito used them to show off his cigar blending and rolling genius. More recently they have become available in limited regular production. This is the first Nicaraguan Puro I have ever had the pleasure to taste. In my 15 years of cigar smoking I have almost exclusively smoked Cuban cigars until now. All I can say is that I got taught! I am reviewing the 5th cigar I have smoked in the box, but they have been all consistently the same.

Appearance : ★★★★★
The dark coffee wrapper, with slightly darker splotches here and there, is quite beautiful and slightly rustic in appearance. There are no protruding veins and the triple cap is perfectly applied on all the cigars in my box. The gold and white band is very elegant, and the boite nature box these cigars come in is originally and tastefully designed.

Construction : ★★★★★
Perfectly straight, razor sharp burn. Long ash, perfect cap, perfect draw. When the ash does drop off a perfectly shaped cone is revealed underneath. It is impossible to find a fault with the construction of these cigars. The rollers at Illusione must be among the best in the world.

Illusione MK Teaching Machine

Flavor : ★★★★½
This cigar starts out medium bodied and ends full with a powerful kick. The first two thirds are quite consistent yet complex with a medley of oriental spices I identified as ginger, cloves and white pepper intertwined with a smooth cappuccino taste. The white pepper remains subtle and in the background until the final third where it comes out in full force along with wood and leather flavours. It loses half a star for perhaps being just a tad too overpowering by the end, but nothing I couldn't personally handle or appreciate.

Illusione MK Teaching Machine

Value : ★★★★★
At 6$ or less a pop, I challenge you to find better value.

Overall Rating : ★★★★★
I do not give near perfect scores easily, the Illusione MK deserves it in spades. These have become a permanent part of my collection and certainly one of my preferred cigars. I will have to give the Illusione CG:4 White Horse a try next.

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8 Comments on “Illusione MK Teaching Machine”

  1. Very nice review! Although I haven’t actually had this particular Illusione, from the others I’ve had the pleasure to smoke, I have no doubt that the MK is as good as you described!

    As non-US cigar smokers, we tend to get in this Habanos-only mind set. Often, we get so wrapped up in our Cuban cigars, that we miss out on some very fine smokes from other parts of the world. I applaud you getting out of that Habanos-only mind set and for expanding your cigar smoking experience by adding the Illusione MK to your smoking repertoire. I hope you continue to experiment and enjoy both Habanos and non-Habanos for the rest of your cigar smoking days! :)

    BTW, Nicaragua produces some of my favourite cigars…many of which, in my opinion, rival even the finest Habanos!

  2. This is an excellent review and it seems to capture the same opinion I have on the mk, as well as most of the illusione line.

  3. Nice review. I have not yet tried the MK, but every Illusione I have tried so far, I have liked.

  4. Nice review. Illusione is one of my favorite brands, and one of a handful that can match Habanos, for my tastes anyway. I like the MK, the CG4 and the F9. Be sure to also check out the new Illusione Epernay line, which is similar in some ways, but more subtle.

    I am somewhat surprised you’ve had no construction issues – I usually find some with Illusiones. That said, the most recent Illusiones I’ve had seem to have been rolled better and had better burns.

  5. I have only ever smoked the five from my box. Its pretty safe to assume that there must be some variation (Illusione torcedors arn’t Gods after all), but I have not personally experienced it. Also I have not smoked any other Illusione asides from the MK and cannot comment on construction of other cigars under the Illusione brand name.

    Thanks for the suggestions Robert, I will definitely be trying other Illusiones when I get the chance.

  6. If you like the MK, then you will absolutely love the CG4…I have both and would take the CG4 hands down. If you ever get a chance, the Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos 42 are suprisingly very good as well and are under $4 each! I got them from New Havana Cigars – excellent service!

  7. handypilot says:

    I haven’t had a Illusione that I didn’t like and this one is no exception – it’s one of my favorites, along with the ~2~. I also love the naming concept that Dion employs…Who isn’t going to smoke cigar named after Christ?

    Daize: Welcome to the NC club! You definitely need to smoke more Nicaraguan Puros…try Casa Magna. You won’t be disappointed, because Nicaragua is growing the best tobacco right now.

  8. My Review of the Illusione ~mk~

    The ~mk~ aka “The Teaching Machine” is a classic corona that has a throwback flavor. This cigar is very rustic in presentation and taste. The draw is slightly tight, but that’s OK for a corona, but the construction is perfect. The dark tight ash holds as long as you want it to and you are rewarded with bountiful smoke and one hell of a kick. This is not your daddy’s cigar.

    Illusione MK

    Rich pepper and spice abound with hints of leather and anise. This cigar is a powerhouse, both full in body and very full in strength. I bought an extra one so that I could put it down for a year. Can’t wait to see how this little firecracker will do with some age!

    Rating: 88 (B+)

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