Cruzado Marelas

Overall Score

1 review for Cruzado Marelas

  1. H*********

    Cruzado Marelas

    Origin : HondurasCruzado
    Format : Perfecto
    Size : 5 5/8 x 46
    Wrapper : Nicaragua
    Filler : Nicaragua, Honduras
    Binder : Nicaragua
    Price : ~$8 each

    In this review, Tim A.K.A. Handypilot draws a comparison between Cruzado and Illusione flavor profiles. Enjoy!

    This stick is part of Cruzado series of smokes from Dion Giolito’s Illusione brand. Similar to the Illusione, though a slightly lower price point, they incorporate blends of Criollo and Corojo. However, the Cruzado line is 2 parts Criollo and 1 part Corojo, as opposed to Illusione’s 1 part Criollo and 2 parts Corojo. This stick was gifted to me from a fellow BOTL and was my first Cruzado. I was somewhat anxious to smoke the Marelas as I’m a big fan of Illusione. Here’s my take…

    Prelight: A distinct barnyard smell, prelight draw was great with sweet tobacco flavor. Construction was good – it had a nice semi-smooth wrapper and attractive shape. However, there was a little too much vegetable gum to hold the foot together, which caused some burn issues I’ll discuss momentarily.

    1/3: Initial tastes of sweet chocolate with a little spice, and smooth. Draw is near perfect once the foot burns down a bit. Burn is pretty even so far with one correction from a poor initial lighting. The initial lighting flamed up a bit around the wrapper from vegetable gum burning. Smooth and sweet without any spice now. Ash holding at 1/2″ to 3/4″. Very much like some of the Illusiones with flavors more subdued and lacking the distinct flavor floral/earth sweetness – More of a caramel sweet. Burn a little uneven, and needing another correction.

    2/3: Starting to get hints of that Illusione earthy sweetness now. Burn uneven again and requiring a touchup. Ash holding on about 1″. Aroma is very nice and sweet, smells like something sweet baking. The Illusione taste has gone away, but flavor has gotten more carmely sweeter with a near perfect burn and a perfect draw. Very smoothy and creamy – no spice.

    3/3: Spice has come back a bit. A little bitter after a relight, but that didn’t last too long. I did notice, along with my wife, a little nutmeg aroma.

    Appearance : [rating:4.5/5]
    The perfecto shape is very attractive, with a nice rich brown color and a slight colorado tone. The band was simple and elegant, though it won’t win any art awards like the Opus X. The wrapper is semi-smooth with a couple small veins that blend well with its format.

    Cruzado Marelas

    Construction : [rating:4/5]
    This is a well constructed cigar. The perfecto shape lends witness to the skills of the torcedor… especially when it has a perfect draw. The burn issues mentioned are simply attributed to my humidity issues, and my dry-boxing impatience. The one thing I did deduct for was the vegetable gum flare-up at the foot. The liberal use of gum to create the perfecto foot caused the initial burn issues.

    Cruzado Marelas

    Flavor : [rating:4/5]
    This is a medium bodied cigar, with medium strength and flavor. There was a great deal of complexity with subtle flavors going in and out… This sit well with me. The Cruzado Marelas occasionally had hints of the Illusione line, which I really like, and may be attributed to the Corojo it shares. This cigar was also smooth, but had the occasional tingle on the tongue to mix it up a bit. The Marelas would’ve received 5 stars if the flavors were more pronounced, but that’s my palate. The flavors were pretty good for a cigar that has more viso than ligero, and would make the medium-bodied cigar lover very happy.

    Value : [rating:3.5/5]
    This is a good cigar for the money, and any fan of Illusione should consider Dion’s Cruzado line. It shares much of the same qualities and flavor as it’s older brother, but a little cheaper. However, it’s not much cheaper than Illusione (~$1/stick). I would spend the little extra and get the fuller flavored sibling.

    Overall Rating : [rating:4/5]
    This was a nice cigar with regards to flavor and complexity. The flavors came in and out, and sometimes paralleled Illusione. It took me about 1:15 to smoke, but takes me a while. Most will probably smoke this in 1:00. There were some issues with the burn and there was a couple relights. I attribute this to my humi being slightly high, and I dry-boxed it for only an hour. I’ll give the Cruzado line another try, but I’m not convinced to stock it regularly. To be continued…


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    • D***

      Try the Cruzado Avalitos – these are the best of the Cruzado line in my opinion!

    • D*

      I’m with Daize: been avoidin’, mebbe should be enjoyin’!

    • D****

      have avoided Cruzados so far, maybe I should give ’em a try.

    • p*******

      Having smoked both the Illusione and Cruzado lines I can say they both are very, very good cigars. Try the Illusione Epernay La Elegance it is smooth. On the Cruzado side Avalitios it is a great short smoke.

    • e*****

      What am awesome cigar!

    • M***

      My first shot with the Marelas wasn’t that great but I gave it another shot and the second time around was markedly better. I am a big fan of the Cruzados. The Elitas is my favorite of the bunch. Thanks for the great review.

    • K********

      I’ve tried multiple Illusione cigars and can say the Cruzado is the only one I’ve liked. I enjoyed the earthy flavors on the one I smoked.

    • J****

      I’ve been on the fence about Illusione but every review of the Cruzado I’ve seen seems to fit my taste preferance a little better. I’ll have to try this when I can. Any Illusiones are hard to find where I am.

    • J*****

      I love Cruzado. Anytime I order from a site that carries them, I try to throw a couple in the basket. The Elitas is probably my favorite size, though I smoke more of the Dantes.

    • R***

      The Cruzado line sounds like a must try cigar. I have not smoked any of Dion Giolito’s lines yet but hope to change that soon.
      Thanks for the review.

    • S****** P

      Good review. I haven’t had either of the smokes. My local B&M recently started carrying Illusion.

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Cigar Region Honduras
Filler Nicaragua
Wrapper Nicaragua
Binder Nicaragua
Length 6 1/2
Ring Gauge 52
Vitola Toro
Construction Hand Made
Price Paid $9.50