When I heard that Dion Giolito was releasing a cigar for under $4 per stick, I had to order a few to try out.

The Cuchillos Cubanos is Illusione’s budget smoke, much like the Tatuaje Series P or the Padron 2000. Each cigar is a 60/40 blend of long and medium filler, albeit is still hand rolled, and is available in four different vitolas:

  • ~40~ 5 1/4 x 40 (comes in a pack of 5)
  • ~42~ 4 3/4 x 42 (comes in a pack of 5)
  • ~46~ 4 1/2 x 46 (comes in a pack of 5)
  • ~47~ 7 x 47 (comes in a pack of 4)

First, the packaging on this cigar must be discussed. The sticks come in a very nicely built and package box (5 to a box for the 45 and 46, 4 to a box for the 47),and to be honest, I was blown away by the look, a stark black letters on a white box that is very attractive. Inside, each cigar is wrapped in cello, and is sans band.

Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~ 1.png

Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~ 2.png

  • Cigar Reviewed: Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 7 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 47
  • Vitola: Churchill
  • Est. Price: $4.50 (Boxes of 4, $18.00)

When I smelled the cigar after taking it out of the cellophane, a stench of what I can only describe as barnyard hit my nose. Not a bad smell at all, but very distinctive. I spent some summers on a farm with horses and smelling this stick brought back a lot of memories. The cigar itself is fairly large, and the wrapper has quite a few veins present, almost to the point of distraction.

Immediately after lighting the cigar, I was assaulted by a blast of what tasted like black pepper, but unlike with some other sticks, like Tatuajes for example, there was no spice included. It was to be a theme throughout the entire smoke.

The final third was all about the aforementioned pepper. It did get overwhelming at times, and almost drowned out any other flavors that were there. I did taste some cedar, but it is tough going. The burn was fairly uneven, but the draw was excellent.

Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~ 3.png

During the second third, the pepper calmed down quite a bit, and some notes of cedar dominated. I also tasted some brown sugar, but not that much of it, and it was there and gone almost before I could identify it.

Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~ 4.png

The pepper returned during the final third and alternated between that and the cedar notes. It started to get hot at the end, and I had to put it out with a little left.

Illusione Cuchillos Cubanos ~47~ 5.png 

Final Notes:

  • There was not a whole bunch of smoke with this cigar, despite its size and despite the last photo. I was a little surprised at that, but the small amount of smoke remained constant throughout the smoke.
  • This stick was one of the fastest burning cigars for it’s size, I was done with it in one hour and two minutes
  • The cigar was very one dimensional, going from pepper to cedar and back to pepper, but it was a nice, quality smoke that I enjoyed nonetheless.
  • The cigar got harsh in the middle for a bit, but not long enough for me to quit smoking it. The harshness at the end was another story.
84 Overall Score

It is a good smoke, especially for the price, but one that I will not be going out of my way to purchase in the future—unless it goes on sale. It would be perfect for the golf course.

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.