Nearly a week ago, retailers across the country began taking delivery of the latest cigar from Illusione, the ~eccj~ 20.

It’s a follow-up to the Illusione ~eccj~, which was made to honor European Cigar Cult Journal’s 15th anniversary. Illusione was one of a handful of manufacturers that made special cigars in 2008 for the anniversary and its release was without question the most popular. So popular that Illusione would go on to introduce a whole line—Epernay—based on the blend.

Things have changed over the last half decade: the magazine is now known as Cigar Journal, Epernay is now a family of vitolas diverse enough that Giolito has announced he will no longer be adding any additional regular production sizes and most of the new cigars from the company are being made at TABSA in Nicaragua as opposed to Raíces Cubanas in Honduras.

While the magazine’s anniversary was technically last year, the Illusione ~eccj~ 20s were essentially not seen nationally until last week, except for an appearance at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. It was there that Giolito explained to us that the 6 1/4 x 48 cigar would use a Nicaraguan corojo 99 wrapper and Nicaraguan criollo 98 and corojo 99 fillers. Production was said to be around 75,000 cigars with the cigars sold in 15-count boxes and pricing appears to be in the $12-13 range.

Of note, Cigar World/Tabac Benden, a large German retailer, lists the ~eccj~ 20 for sale, indicating Illusione is now offered—at least in some capacity—in Germany.

Giolito did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.