Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona
Size : 5.1 x 42
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $7.80 each
More info about purchasing Illusione MK Ultra cigars...
The Raices Cubanas factory has made a quite a bit of noise the last few years with releases from the likes of Viaje and especially Illusione. Dion Giolito has carved out his own niche in the cigar world and keeps coming up with new hits. The Ultra MK supposedly is the first release of a new line of cigars within the Illusione mainline brand (his other brands being Epernay, Cuchillos Cubanos, Cruzado, and the former joint venture Nosotros). These particular cigars were recommended by buddy Abdul @ Habana House Cigars in Austin, TX (3601 South Congress, Suite-D200, (512)447-9449). Abdul has pretty similar tastes to my own, and these new sticks came in, and he immediately took me into the humidor to pick these up along with some of the new Cruzado Domenicos Extras. This being only my second review of Illusione cigars for Cigar Inspector, how did it fare?...
The Ultra’s wrapper is an oily, dark chocolate brown color. There are very few veins and the few that are within the wrapper leaf are not very large. Seams are tight, the packing is tight, no soft spots, and the Illusione is topped off with a signature triple cap. Smooth on the outside, the outer leaf exhibits a significant amount of oiliness. The wrapper smells of rich leather and coffee bean, and barnyard to the foot. Though small in stature, don’t let its looks fool you to what is lurking within this stick.
Construction : (3.75)
Raices Cubanas doesn’t make shabby cigars, so I didn’t expect this cigar to be anything less than almost perfect. The oily wrapper burns very slow, and combustion of the foot, when first lighting, was a little difficult. The draw had a perfect amount of tug, and the smoke was plentiful and thick. The ash looked like crap though with blackish char all over it. The ash held on for 1 inch chunks before bending under its own weight and dropping off. The burn was not thoughtless though, and a few touch ups were needed throughout the smoke (not a big problem though).
I thought this would be an easy smoke when I decided to smoke it late in the night for this review,…….Wrong! Instead, the 1st third hit me with a full onslaught of rich saddle leather and hints of flower and anise notes. The underlying deep chocolate notes provides a sturdy backbone to the flavor profile = delicious. The first few puffs were medium bodied and quickly switched to full bodied in a heartbeat. The flavor is very much full and overwhelming. The smoke emitted off the foot is fragrant like pipe tobacco.
While I was able to retrohale somewhat comfortably for most of the 1st third, I would no longer be able to do that going into the 2nd third. My sinus cavity had to take a step back as the strength of the smoke kept elevating in this cigar. Flavors were then turning towards the darker side of things. The flavors moved on to heavy amounts of leather, meat, dry cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and raw coffee bean flavors in this part of the smoking experience. It’s a real treat if you like your cigars with the Liga Privada / La Flor Dominicana profile.
Getting closer to the last third of the cigar, black pepper spice is very prominent and a chocolate malt ball flavor starts to take over. Strength remains full+, this little guy is a firecracker.
Most would think that $7.80 for a corona sized cigar is a lot, but the MK delivers for its price tag. Take in consideration that the “Dirty Rat” is around the $11-$12 range and most would come to the conclusion that this is a bargain stick.
Overall Rating :
Dion has a definite hit here with the Ultra MK. This stick definitely gives the “Dirty Rat” a run for its money. In my opinion, I would rather smoke this for the coin than scour the earth for a “Dirty Rat.” This vitola really lets this superior wrapper leaf shine, and flavor “BOMB” is a perfect summation of what you will expect from this stick. If you like your cigars full bodied/full flavored and strong as balls, then you will love this. La Flor, Litto Gomez, and Liga Privada smokers will really enjoy this stick. Even though I haven’t written a lot of reviews of Dion’s cigars, I do smoke a lot of his products. To say the least, this is nowhere similar to anything else he makes. This cigar is a totally different animal (a beast!). This is so far the best cigar from Dion Giolito I have had so far. Thanks to Abdul @ Habana House for recommending this stick for me. Hopefully you guys out there will be able to enjoy this stick too. ‘Til next time,…