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Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas

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First introduced at the 2013 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, the Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas is the seventh size for the line, which features a Nicaraguan criollo rosado wrapper over Nicaraugan tobacco used for the  filler and binder. The Marelas Supremas replaced the Marelas in the Cruzado lineup, and combines a classic Cuban-style 109 cap with a gold foil covering in a 6 1/2 x 52 toro vitola. 

Here is what I said in my original review last year:

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Everything about this release clicked with me: the overall presentation, the 109 cap, the construction and the complexity of profile. I have always loved the Illusione brand for what it stands for and what Giolito seems to get out of his cigars: distinct and clean flavors, excellent construction and a wonderful balance, and the Cruzado Marelas Supremas is no different.  I could not hide my disappointment in last year’s Singularé release, but with the Rothchildes and the Cruzado Marelas Supremas, Illusione is back on track.

 

  • Cigar Reviewed: Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo Rosado
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 20, 190.00)
  • Date Released: July 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigar Smoked for Redux: 1

The Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas is visually striking right off the bat, with a 109 cap and gold foil covering about three-quarters of the entire length of the cigar. Underneath the foil, the wrapper is a dark mocha brown that is fairly smooth to the touch, and features a tiny amount of oil. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet nuts, cedar, leather and coffee, while the cold draw brings flavors of hay, wood, cream and fruity sweetness.

Starting out, the Cruzado Marelas Supremas has distinct flavors of creamy leather, earth, oak and espresso, along with some dark cocoa every once in a while. I am tasting a nice raisin sweetness on the finish and retrohale that seems to be getting stronger as the cigar continues and it combines nicely with the white pepper that is also present. While I am getting a bit of spice on my tongue, it is not strong enough to really impact the profile, and I imagine it won’t be around very long. The second third sees a shift in the sweetness from a fruity raisin note to more of a woody maple note, while the rest of the flavors seem to stay close to what they were in the first half. As expected, the spice from the first third is long gone by the halfway point, but interestingly, the pepper on the retrohale has actually increased slightly. A creamy oak note takes over dominance around the start to the final third and really combines well with the maple sweetness and pepper on the retrohale until the end of the cigar.

Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas

Overall, the both the burn and draw are excellent for the entire cigar, with the draw being the standout, featuring just the right amount of resistance for me. Smoke production is quite high until about the halfway point, where it diminishes slightly and remains that way until the end of the cigar. The strength in the blend starts out well short of the medium mark, but breaks through into a solid medium right around the start of the second third, although it stalls out there and does not increase for the rest of the smoke.

91 Overall Score

The Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas was great back when I first reviewed it and it is great now. I love the vitola, the cap, the presentation and most importantly, the combination of cedar, espresso, creamy nuts and raisin sweetness flavors that are present. While not what I could consider extremely complex, the profile changed enough during the smoking of the cigar to keep me on my toes and the retrohale is quite smooth, even with the pepper that is present. Easily one of my favorite Cruzado vitolas and in the top ten of Illusione releases for me.

Original Score (July 2013)
91
Redux Score (October 2014)
91

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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