Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars has released La Grande Classe, an exclusive for Fumare in Reno, the store that he also owns.

Fumare’s home page was changed recently to indicate that the cigars are now on sale, though little is known about their specifics. Fumare is selling them only by the box, which contains 25 cigars, and comes with a price of $149.75, which includes shipping but not Nevada sales tax for those making in-state purchases. Fumare is limiting sales to the United States.

La Grande Classe is a 5 1/2 x 52, and was described as a Toro Gordo vitola by a Fumare employee.

On the site, La Grande Classe is described as follows:

Like many rareities in gem market, so is La Grande Classe Cigars – an exclusive of F U M A R E . Each batch of exquisite cigars will be a limited run of sizes and blends created by lauded blender Dion Giolito. All tobaccos will be personally chosen from the finest fields in Nicaragua, graded and aged for superior performance.

La Grande Classe gives the client unprecedented access to a true small-batch run of cigars made with superior grade tobaccos in both unique sizes, and different flavor profiles. Le Grande Classe is an extremely rare product at the highest caliber of performance, flavor and construction. (sic)

The logo for La Grande Classe is tagged with the Latin phrase pauca sed bona, which means ‘small but good.’ Whether this refers to the cigar’s size, its limited production or possibly something else remains a mystery.

Production on La Grande Classe is limited to 470 boxes, for a total cigar count of 11,750 sticks. Dion Giolito was not immediately available for comment on the blend and other aspects of La Grande Classe.

UPDATE: Shortly after this article was published, additional information about La Grande Classe was made available on Fumare’s website. The blend is comprised of a San Andreas wrapper from Mexico and Nicaraguan tobaccos for the filler and binder, with three Aganorsa farms supplying the leaves: Chilamate, San Nicolas and Buenos Aires. It is described as being “full, rich and spicy” and comes with a pairing suggestion of Bruichladdich Organic whisky.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.