Illusione ~88~ Candela

Illusione ~88~ Candela

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Robusto
Size : 5.0″ x 52
Wrapper : Candela
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $9 each
More info about purchasing Illusione cigars...

Green is the new Brown… Or something like that. Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars seems to be single-handedly championing a return of the Candela wrapper to premium cigars. Once a mainstay of American cigar smoking, the modern smoker tends to look down on the green cigar wrapper as being too mild, near flavorless, or too grassy. The truth is they are right. Just about any candela wrapped cigar you find on the market today isn’t very good. It turns out that perhaps this is because no one bothers to put the wrapper on a good cigar. That is until Dion started putting it on his Illusione cigars. The first to get the green treatment was the lancero - the ~hl~ or Holy Lance. Now you can also find the Candela on the very large ~888~ and the beefy robusto ~88~.

When I saw the Candela ~88~ on the shelf and I was intrigued. I hadn’t tried a Candela wrapped cigar in ages and none I have ever had were any good, but this time the wrapper was on a cigar/blend that I knew I really enjoyed so I had to give it a try. I was amazed. The wrapper dramatically changes the cigar when compared to an ~88~ with its normal Nicaraguan wrapper. It was crisp and smooth. The Illusione core flavors of Earth and leather are still very much present, but they are expertly balanced with a slight sweetness and tea notes. Later in the smoke I started to pick up a floral component to the flavors as well. It was an amazingly good smoke, complex in flavor and visually interesting with its bright green wrapper. This is one Candela that is certainly worth trying.

Room 101 Conjura Edition Petit Corona

Room 101 Conjura Edition Petit Corona

Origin : Honduras (Eiroa/Camacho)
Room 101 cigarsFormat : Petit Corona
Size : 4 x 48
Wrapper : Rosado (Origin?)
Filler : Dominican & Nicaraguan
Binder : Honduran
Hand-Made
Price : $7.50-$8.00
More info about purchasing Room 101 Conjura cigars...

For some reason, over the last year, I have ignored the Room 101 brand at my local B&M even though they came highly recommended from the store manager. To me, a cigar blended by Camacho (Eiroa family) didn’t sound appealing since, truthfully, I never really cared much for them. Camacho’s have always been lackluster but very serviceable cigars. Somehow, Matt Booth, the head of Room 101, has teamed with the Eiroas and squeezed what seems to be the best thing I have smoked out of that factory. Check out below what makes this partnership so great.

Read the full review of Room 101 Conjura Edition Petit Corona...

Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom

Illusíone Singularé 2010 Phantom

Origin : Honduras
IllusioneFormat : Toro
Size : 6.0′ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $12 each
More info about purchasing Illusione cigars...

The Phantom is the 2010 version of Illusione’s Limited Edition “Singularé” cigar line. It is a refined looking toro with a handsome wrapper that has the look of fine leather. It is a mild to medium bodied smoke. Not much spice to be found here which is unusual of a cigar that uses all Nicaraguan tobacco. It starts off light and mild with creamy flavors of cedar and toasted tobacco with a subtle bit of earthiness. Eventually it picks up a bit. The flavors are consistent but develop more body and there is an added floral undertone and a bit of sweetness that adds some complexity. This was an excellent smoke and a very different profile for Illusione. I found it to be even lighter and more mild that some of the Epernay line. Still mild doesn’t mean flavorless as this stick had plenty to offer. I feel like I use this word a lot when talking about various cigars from Illusione, but it fits so I’ll use it again… Elegant. This cigar has a very refined and elegant feel to it. Grab some if you can still find them.

Gran Habano Corojo #5

Gran Habano Corojo

Gran HabanoOrigin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano
Binder : Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : Nicaragua, Mexico and Costa Rica
Hand-Made
Price : ~$4-5 each
More info about purchasing Gran Habano Corojo #5 cigars...

Background Info

Honduran cigar maker Don Guillermo Rico created the Gran Habano line of cigars in 2003, five years after starting his own successful cigar manufacturing business.

Mission Debrief

This is another cigar that has lived in my second humidor for quite a long time, probably before I bought it and its contents from my friend. As I know I have smoked a few of these in the past but couldn’t really remember if I liked it or not, I figured this one was as likely a candidate for interrogation as anything else in the humidor. The only problem with this review was that I started it too late in the evening and ended up not being able to get photos once I started smoking.

Read the full review of Gran Habano Corojo #5...

La Escepcion Excepcionales

La Escepcion Excepcionales

Origin : HondurasLa Escepcion
Format : Torpedo
Size : 5.5 x 50
Wrapper : Honduran Habano Talanga
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Ometepe Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6-7 each

Background Info

Originally a Cuban brand started back in the mid 1800’s, the La Escepcion was revived under the General Cigar banner, makers of Hoyo de Monterrey, Partagas and Punch to name a few. Honduran-made, this is the first cigar to boast using binder from the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe.

Mission Debrief

La Escepcion Excepcionales qualifies as one of those that you are looking through your local B&M and the band or name catches your eye, and you don’t recognize it right away (or at all in my case). I caught this one in a middle display, partially paired between a couple of boxes of La Traviatas, which I also purchased at that time. Always up for trying something unfamiliar to me, I picked up a couple to see what I could discern.

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Casa Toraño Robusto

Casa Torano Robusto

Origin : Honduras
Torano cigarsFormat : Robusto
Size : 4.75 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua
Binder : Indonesia
Hand-Made
Price : $6.15
More info about purchasing Casa Toraño cigars...

Four generations ago, the Toraño family began making fine cigars in Havana, Cuba. In 1959 the family left Cuba and was instrumental in pioneering the art of processing Piloto Cubano in the Dominican Republic. Today, Casa Toraño has 13 cigar lines with factories in Honduras and Nicaragua.

Read the full review of Casa Toraño Robusto...

Alec Bradley American Classic

Alec Bradley American Classic

Origin : Honduras
Alec BradleyFormat : Toro
Size : 6 x 50
Wrapper : Honduran Connecticut Shade
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua
Binder : Honduras, Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $5 MSRP (street price should be considerably less)
More info about purchasing Alec Bradley American Classic cigars...

Every now and then I come across a cigar that really grabs my attention. These choice sticks sometimes become a Joe’s Gem while other times simply an incentive to purchase a box. Right now I am giddy over a sample of the soon-to-be-released Alec Bradley American Classic Blend.

The term “American Classic Blend” is one many cigar makers have used and generally means the cigar has a Conn. Shade wrapper. But these days, some of the best tasting Conn. Shade wrappers are grown outside the US. Such is the case with the new ABC (Alec Bradley Cigars) release. It sports a Honduran grown wrapper from Conn. Shade seed…and it’s gorgeous. With a golden brown hue and leathery feel, this cigar looks like a winner. But its good looks are only the beginning of a wonderful smoking adventure…

Read the full review of Alec Bradley American Classic...

Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary

Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary

Origin : HondurasPunch
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Corojo
Binder : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5-6 each
More info about purchasing Punch Rare Corojo Anniversary...

Thanks to General Cigar Co. for providing this sample for review!

This is a new cigar out from General Cigar Co. that is made with a proprietary Connecticut grown corojo wrapper, rather than the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that is on the regular Rare Corojo line. Speaking of that, I've never understood why the regular Punch Rare Corojo's are even called that since they don't have a corojo wrapper, but I suppose that isn't relevant to this review...

Read the full review of Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary...

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