October 1, 2009
Origin : Honduras
Format : Lancero
Size : 7.5? x 40
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $9 each
Since Illusione cigars burst on the scene they have been well received and its creator Dion Giolito has reached near rock star status in the cigar community. I shared some details on Dion and his cigar company in my review of the Illusione ~cg:4~ if you are interested.
The Holy Lance is a good looking lancero. It has leathery rosado wrapper with a traditional pigtail cap. I am a fan of the lancero. I feel that it is a size that lends itself to the ideal blend of filler and wrapper delivering the cigar’s true flavors. The ~hl~ starts off with a blast of white pepper and heavy floral notes with an underlying sweetness that are just fantastic. My enjoyment of the cigar is enhanced by a heady bouquet of floral aromas. The whole experience reminds me of sitting down with a fine 16 year old scotch in a way. The ~hl~ is not as powerful as other Illusiones providing a smooth medium bodied smoke. Half way through, the floral notes are complemented by smooth creamy flavors of nuts and wood. In the last third it develops a nice spicy bite.
The construction is superb which is hard to do with this vitola that is sometimes prone to draw problems. The draw was excellent and the burn is dead even. The ash doesn’t hold for very long which is also common with a lancero so be sure to tap it often or you’ll have ash in your lap. The ~hl~ is a superb,complex, and elegant smoke. It is my favorite Illusione. I have smoked a fair amount of lanceros from Oliva, Pepin Garcia, Litto Gomez, etc… and I dare say the ~hl~ is the best lancero available today.
October 11, 2015
Appearance & Construction: The Illusione hl is a great looking lancero with a pigtail cap. The wrapper has a few small veins and seems a little lighter than most of the Illusione line. The seams are cut straight and there are no signs of flawed construction.
Smoking Characteristics: The hl has a nice smooth even draw, probably the smoothest drawing lancero I have ever had. There were a few burn issues which is somewhat disappointing considering that small ring gauge cigars usually burn pretty even. The ash was normal for a lancero and fell off at about the three quarter inch mark. The body of the cigar is medium and the strength is average.
Flavors: The Illusione hl has a nice smooth cedary core with notes of almonds and coffee. The finish is my favorite part of this cigar and is similar to a nice dark tea. In the second third the cigar becomes a bit sweeter and earthier. The final third is the same as the second third with just a touch more body.
Final Thoughts: Wow what a great lancero. I absolutely love the flavors of this cigar but the one that stuck out the most is the dark tea flavor. I can’t get enough of it. I don’t know what else to say about the Holly Lance besides Holy Shit go get you some. I highly recommend this cigar.
April 9, 2013
The hl natural, or the 88 natural…I’m hearing different opinions on which is better, and I’m trying to place my first order for some illusiones. Thinking maybe its just a personal preference, but I do love thin RG smokes.
October 9, 2009
I’ve probably smoked close to fifty of the HL’s and many many more 68′s, 888′s, and 88′s. Dion is a master in all things cigar related and has yet to make a bad cigar in the Illusione line.
October 5, 2009
I too am a fan of Illusione cigars and the 88 is my favorite.My experience with the “hl” wasn’t as positive as yours Matt.It actually was the least complex I have tried of the brand and while it was a good cigar,it lacks the “ump” to send it over the top rating.Of course YMMV
October 2, 2009
Nice review Matt. Ive been smoking quite a few Illusiones lately, especially after my meet up with Dion last week! The Lancero is a fantastic cigar. I might have to light something up from Illusione now after reading this review, hahaha
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