I recently received a care package from Bonita Smoke Shop down in Florida and one of the cigars I got was the illusione 88. I was surprised to see that I have yet to review this cigar here on the site when I have easily smoked over 100 of them.
There have been many rumors of what the numbers stand for on illusione cigars. According to Dion, 1988 is when he made that fateful decision to leave Oklahoma for Reno to attend College. “Robust” was just something different than Robusto. It speaks more for the body of the cigar than the nature of its size.
Cigar: illusione 88
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Rosado Oscuro
Appearance and Construction: Before you start questioning the wrapper I listed, I checked with Dion first and he informed me it comes from the same “capa” just a different priming. The result is a stronger thicker looking oily wrapper that holds up better in drier climates with only the thinnest of veins. The roll of the stick is a true masterpiece. Trying to find the seams was impossible. The flat cap gives the stick a Cuban like feel to it along with the simplistic black and white band. Well packed with no soft spots this hefty beauty is dying to be smoked.
Flavor & Notes : The prelight draw I was treated to some rich tobacco and graham. The foot revealed similar notes of rich tobacco with some subtle sweetness. Once lit the cigar is wonderfully rich with notes of nuts and coffee with some earth thrown into the mix. The second third of the cigar is where the 88 really begins to shine. Some sweetness emerges that reminds me of black cherry with a slight chocolate and leather. The final third of the cigar has some chocolate, leather and a touch of spice.
Smoking Characteristics: This slow burning cigar has a crisp straight burn line throughout the cigar. The dark ash holds on admirably with only the slight bit of flake. The draw was ideal and the cigar produced a nice volume of smoke. When a cigar is this perfect that is only so much you can write.
Conclusion: My favorite size of the illusione is the CG4, but this comes a very close second. The wrapper has changed slightly over the years but the cigar remains to be one of the best cigars on the market today. A boutique blend that is losing that moniker as it grows in popularity but continues to remain true to itself. Run out today and buy a box or two of these it is well worth the purchase.
Price: $39.00 a 5 pack @ Bonita Smoke Shop