One month ago, it came down the cigar grapevine that Illusione Cigars was releasing its first limited edition cigar, the Singularé Phantom. It is a 6 x 50 Nicaraguan puro rolled at the Raíces Cubanas factory in Honduras and comes in boxes of 15 cigars, limited to 1,000 boxes.
Word is that Illusione will release a new limited edition every year, but each will be a different sized cigar.
Incidentally, Illusione has now released four new cigars in the last month or so. Three of the releases were additions to existing lines, and one is a brand new release. The additions to existing lines are the Holy Lance Candela , the Holy Lance Maduro and the Epernay Le Matin. There is also an ~888~ Candela that is not yet for sale, but has been banded.
The boxes for the Illusione Singularé Phantom look like this.
- Cigar Reviewed: Illusione Singulare “Phantom” (LE 2010)
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRO: $12.00 (Boxes of 15, $180.00)
- Date Released: 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 15 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The cigar itself is obviously extremely well-constructed, almost Padrón-esque, and everything about it screams quality. The wrapper is a medium brown color, smooth as silk and the wrapper smells of leather, tobacco—imagine that—and just a little bit of mint. It is quite firm when squeezed.
The first third starts off with some slight spice on the tongue, but quick fades as flavors of sweet cedar, tobacco and a nice earthiness develop; not gritty at all, fairly mild, and a great start to a cigar.
The second third picks up where the first third left off. The cedar becomes quite dominant, and there is still a sweet earthiness that is present, but there is also a very interesting floral undertone that is hard to describe for pretty much the entire third of the cigar. There is also very little spice for most of the second third, but it does start to increase substantially as we move into the last third.
The final third changes dramatically, as the spice that was present in the first and second thirds ramps up dramatically. The basic flavor profile is the same, sweet earth and creamy cedar, along with a slight honey flavor, and the increase in the spice really made the other flavors that much more enjoyable. It did get a bit harsh at the end of the cigar, most likely because I smoked it too far down to the nub, but that will diminish with some age.
- The date is from when the cigars are boxed, not sold, but I really wish that more cigar manufactures would adopt the practice.
- The bands on the Phantom are quite different than the normal Illusione bands, as they should be, being an limited edition. The text is silver on white, instead of black or gold on white, and there is an extra “EL” in script font, which supposedly stands for “Edition Limited.”
- The smoke coming off this cigar was extremely spicy, a stark contrast to the sweetness of the cigar flavors.
- This was not the strongest cigar in the world, but the strength it did have, it displayed wonderfully, and I would put it solidly in the medium plus range.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes.
I have always been a fan of Illusione—the ~mj12~ has long been a go to cigar for me—and I have to tell you, this is a slightly different profile from most of Giolito’s cigars. The complexity was great, with flavors fading in and out all the time, and it is definitely the mildest smoke in the Illusione line, but with a great spice that just made everything better. Add in the amazing construction, burn and draw, and this is a winner in my book. An almost perfect example of how a cigar can combine spice, flavor and strength effectively. Honestly, I liked the Singularé Phantom just a bit more than the ~eccj~ 15th, and I can only imagine how these are going to taste with a few years on them. I am extremely glad I got a box to put down for a while.