Cigar Review: Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

Illusione Epernay

It’s contest time! (contest closed) Leave a comment at the end of the review to win a 5 pack of Illusione Epernay smokes. This is a quick contest. The winner will be announced on Sunday July 19th. According to the Illusione website the Epernay debuted through the ECCJ 15th limited release. From that blend the cigar was made into 4 sizes. The Le Petit, La Fern, La Elegance and the Le Grande. Named for an area in France known for it’s Champagne this cigar is definitely complimented by a glass.

Cigar: Illusione Epernay
Size: 5.75 x 40 (Le Elegance)
Wrapper: Cafe Rosado
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium

Appearance and Construction (20/20): It looks like a Cuban. That is the first impression of this cigar from Dion over at Illuisone. The cigar features the gold and white band that was found on the ECCJ. As for the stick itself. Flawless. The flat triple cap is exquisitely placed. The roll is nice and seamless. The wrapper has some minimal veins, but it also has a very slight tooth to it and some oils visible. Cigar manufactures should make note of how this cigar looks. The boutique blends are far superior then those cigars that are mass produced.

Flavor & Notes (28/30): Prior to lighting up this stick one picks up some sweet honey notes on the draw. Once lit the cigar has a little but of spice, but it quickly fades and the notes of apples emerge with some wood as well. As we approach the second third the homage to champagne is evident. The cigar remains with notes of apple, but there is also a floral note along side. The cigar has a gorgeous flavor profile to it, and I implore you to smoke one with a glass of bubbly. Just prior the the final third some coffee notes are introduced as the cigar takes on a slightly more fuller body. The final third of the cigar has a nice creamy finish.

Burn/Ash/Draw (24/25): The cigar burns like a dream, with a smooth crisp edge. It is perfect all the way through. The ash is salt and pepper in color, with more pepper then salt. Despite the thin ring gauge it holds on very strong. The draw is perfect as well with just the right amount of resistance to make this a relaxing cigar.

Overall (24/25): As the year progresses I realize the crop of cigars coming out this year are going to make it difficult to crown cigar of the year. The Illusione Epernay is a candidate right now, and at worst it is #3. At best, it is #1. This Sunday I will list my top 5 cigars of the year to date. Until then I will have many sleepless nights, because the field is strong.

Rating: 96
Price: $8.00

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  • JoseFloresJr

    great review, i have one of these in my humidor. glad to see it was worth the buy, can’t wait to smoke it

  • tim

    Great review my curiosity is piqued man! Sounds really interesting cant wait to try.

  • Brooks Whittington

    Great review, I need to pick a few of these up….

  • Kurt

    Nice review! Sounds like a great cigar you can pair up with your favorite spirit and a baseball game.

  • Jon (Wingfan13)

    I have been smoking a lot of cruzado lately. I love Dions stuff.

  • Matt

    I have been wanting to try these cigars and after reading your review I’m going to make the purchase. Thanks and keep up the great blog.

  • Calestus

    Is that a Le Grande, or are you just happy to see me?

  • regularron

    That review just made my mouth water Barry. Hopefully will be trying one soon myself.

  • Hoss

    I love these hope im the your review..Think when I win these im going to slow roast a cajun butter injected pig, new potatoes, a nice green salad, and this cigar will be my desert

  • John Brooke – The Weekly Cigar

    Great review. I need to bite the bullet and stop being cheap and buy a few of these.

  • Lee

    I am patiently waiting for these to arrive at my local B&M. The Illusione cg:4, f9, and 68 are some of my favorite smokes out there right now.

  • Reverend Mike

    I was telling The Wineauex about this and her eyes lit up.

  • Steve

    Thanks for the review. Now I need to find out if the shop I frequent has them.

  • BradinBuffalo

    Great review, awaiting your top 5…

  • Nick the Greek

    Sounds nice. Havent yet paired a smoke with champagne, I think thats now on my list for the weekend. Great review.

  • Dave C

    Great review Barry, as always. Keep up the great work!

  • Ryan C

    Awesome review! Had my first one a couple of weeks ago and now I’m working on getting some more. If you are a fan of the CG:4 this is right up your alley.

  • Danny

    These are great smokes! Not too many retailers around me that carry the line, but these are wonderful smokes!

  • DJ

    Great review. I haven’t tried these yet.

  • JoshK

    Can’t find Illusione in the 2-3 stores I frequent … will have to expand search parameters (especially so I can try the cruzado).

  • MJfrog

    Nice review!! The Epernay is an awesome smoke and the La Grande and the La Ferme are my two favorites in the line. Hope I win some!!

  • Robert

    I love the Epernay line. Great cigars. Your comment comparing its look to a Cuban seemed spot-on to me. I also find they have the smooth, complex taste that Cubans have (I’m not saying they taste like Cubans, but that they have some similar qualities to them). Dion makes great stuff! Looking forward to your list of the top 5 so far. It has been a great year for new releases.

  • c_jackman

    Great review! I’m looking forward to trying this in the near future (perhaps after I win this contest).

  • J.A.S.

    Looks like those have to be found and tasted; great review!

  • jledou

    Definately going to have to pick some of these up. Sounds like they are a must at that price point. Thanks for the review!

  • stinkie

    Great review. I really need to break down and pick up any Illusione. Might have to start with this one….

  • Andy Klueber

    I hope I win.

  • Michael Hainline

    Very nice review. My friend is a huge fan of the Illusione and has got me wanting to light one up in the near future.

  • David

    Sounds amazing, I recently got myself a large humidor and am faced with the dilemma of filling it all up… These look like they’ll help. =]

  • Dan

    Sounds good. I enjoyed a mk several months ago. Will have to keep my eye out for one of these.

  • Keith1911

    This sounds like something I’ll have to try! Maybe I’ll win them and can try them that way!

  • patrick sherer

    (soxnfinsfan) Great review,sounds great ! give me some!

  • Hyland

    sounds like a great cigar should be a must for every humidor.

  • beezer

    Outstanding contest! Outstanding review!

    Gotta say this review site has taken the tops of my favorite cigar blogs! Outstanding job…love the layout and the reviews are fantastic.

    Thanks and keep it coming!

    Semper Fidelis,

  • Steve731

    Great review can not wait to try one myself.

  • steve


  • xjv

    I have only had a couple Illusiones, but they were both great. Looking forward to giving this one a try.

  • Dk_fxn

    great review barry! Smoked my first epernay tonight and I thought it was a great smoke! Keep it up man.

  • Rustmeister

    Haven’t run across this one yet, but I will.

  • Adam – APnWI

    Nice Review! Dion is the second coming of Pepin. Dion in 2012!!!!

  • Alex from Detroit

    Great Review! I’ve been hearing alot about these so i’m definitely hoping to get my hands on some soon. I wonder what champagnes would pair well with the smoke?

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  • Charlie Rocky Hawaii

    Hopefully my B&M will get some of these in soon. With the new tax though may only be able to afford one or two haha. Great review as always.

  • leo

    Wow! What a gorgeous looking cigar. Upon reading your beautifully descriptive review I immediately called my local shop only to find out, alas, that they do not carry this smoke. I will have to do some online shopping for this one. I am relatively new to cigar smoking and have been enjoying trying different cigars and the learning process. I purchased a 50 count humidor a few months ago and realize already that it is too small. I currently have a box of Padron 1964 Principes and some Fuente Hemingway Classics and Short Stories in it. Now I’m thinking I would love to add some Epernay’s into the mix.
    Thanks for the great review, I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of site.


  • Chas

    Fantastic review! I love the Illusione line and can’t wait to try this one. Such a great flavor, just wish they were more affordable at this time. thanks again for the review!

  • Stew


    I figured I throw my hat in the ring for these babies! Great review.

  • Joshua Warwick

    It does look like a cuban.


    Not usually a fan of the smaller, corona-size cigars, but such vitolas do seem propular with Pete and Dion. Still, this 40 size ring verges on a cigarillo. These smaller cigars are certainly cheaper to produce (although you can’t tell due to the exorbitant retail prices of most of their brands).

    Anyway, cigars like these are impossible to find anywhere close by (midcoast Maine) and not easy to get on the internet, either — so here’s my shot at grabbing that 5-pack.

  • Ryan


    Nice review. I wish I could find these at my local B&Ms :(

  • cj

    Fantastic smoke, just finished my 1st of 10 I ordered! At first, I wondered if you had it right in your review. It only took a few minutes to get that amazing flavor. Great cigar, and thanks!

  • Barry

    CJ thanks for the testimonial!

  • Murf24423

    Absolutely loved it! Thanks Barry, for turning me on to it. I may be coming to see you on Saturday, looking for more!

  • Steve

    Thanks for the great review! I read that this cigar pairs nicely with champagne (!) which is pretty unusual, since normally cigars pair well with whiskey, cognac, and rum. A definite must-try.

  • Jose

    Where can i find this? I don’t think FUME has it.

  • crystal wine glass

    Sup, just thought i should say that your website is the best!I’ve written it down so I wont forget it!

  • Cigar Coop

    I’ll be honest, this cigar was one of the most disappointing ones I’ve had in 2010. To be fair, I trust your opinion in your reviews – so based on this, I will give this another try.


    Great smoke! Well made, great mild finish!

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