Earlier this year, Rocky Patel opened up Burn by Rocky Patel in Naples, Fla. It’s a 3,000 square foot lounge, which can hold over 200 people.


As one of the many features, Rocky Patel has asked other cigar makers in the business to produce specific blends that will only be sold at the lounge. There are nine planned releases, including those from Arturo Fuente, Ashton, CAO, Casa Fernández, Drew Estate Illusione, La Flor Dominicana, My Father and Padrón. All of the cigars from these manufacturers will be Burn Exclusives, and only sold at Burn by Rocky Patel, much like Casa Fuente cigars.

The Illusione Burn is the first blend to be released, and comes in four different vitolas with only 50 boxes of each vitola released.

Illusione Burn Churchill 2.png

  • Illusione Burn Robusto (5 x 52)- $9.75
  • Illusione Burn Toro Gordo (6 x 56)- $10.10
  • Illusione Burn Torpedo (6 1/4 x 52)- $10.80
  • Illusione Burn Churchill (6 7/8 x 48)- $10.60

When I first heard about these cigars, I asked Giolito about the blend, and he replied, “The blend is a prototype, made with a good amount of Aganorsa Criollo ‘98x'”

When I asked him which vitola he liked best, he said the Churchill, so that is the vitola I am using for this review.

Illusione Burn Churchill 3.png

  • Cigar Reviewed: Illusione Burn Churchill
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa & Estelí)
  • Filler: Nicaragua Criollo 98 (Jalapa & Estelí)
  • Size: 6 7/8 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Vitola: Churchill
  • Est. Price: $10.60 (Boxes of 25, $265.00)
  • Number of Cigars Released: 50 Boxes of 25 Cigars (1,250 Total Cigars)
  • Date Released: 2010
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4

The cigar itself is a wonderful specimen with astounding construction. It is gorgeous to look at with a red-brown wrapper that is totally smooth and seamless. It is quite hard when squeezed, just short of rock hard. The first thing I thought when I smelled the wrapper was that this smells just like a Viaje Double Edged Sword. A combination of leather, citrus, spice and chocolate. The cold draw has sweet cedar, coffee and chocolate notes, with a bit of spice.

The first third starts with the ideal amount of spice on your tongue, along with flavors of aged oak, leather and nuts. The spice dies down to the background fairly quickly and the profile turns more creamy right before the end of the third.

Illusione Burn Churchill 4.png

The second third continues the creamy trend along with cedar and leather. There is also a nice sweet graham cracker flavor that creeps in. The spice is almost gone, although there is still just a bit left on the retrohale.

Illusione Burn Churchill 5.png

The final third is still quite creamy and sweet, but less of each, however, the flavors remain pretty much the same.

Illusione Burn Churchill 6.png

Final Notes

  • While the Illusione Burn was neither as mild, nor as complex as the Singularé Phantom from earlier this year, it was still fairly mild. Think of the Burn blend as a cross between the Singularé and the Epernay.
  • Between all of the vitolas, I liked the Churchill the best in terms of flavor and complexity with the Torpedo as a close second. The Robusto was definitely in last place. All four vitolas exhibited the exact same amazing construction, draw and burn.
  • As mentioned earlier, the only place you can find this blend is Burn by Rocky Patel. When I called, they indicated they would not ship any orders. On a related note, thanks to Scott for picking my samples up for me.
  • The burn wavered back and forth a bit, but nothing major, and the perfect draw more than made up for it.
  • The final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes.
86 Overall Score

While the Burn blend is quite flavorful, I was honestly hoping for bit more spice and complexity in the profile. It is a good cigar and a great-looking cigar, but the question, is it substantially better than the cigars Illusione has out already on the market will be met with an answer of “no.” Having said that, I think it is pretty cool that the Burn has its own Illusione. Pick some up if you can, and you won't be disappointed.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.