After more than a year of development, Illusione and General Cigar Co. have unveiled their collaborative project, Illusione of Excalibur.
It will be offered in a single 7 1/4 x 54 size that is based on the Excalibur #1, a favorite cigar of Illusione’s founder, Dion Giolito. The cigar is made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco, including a corojo 99 wrapper from Jalapa, a corojo 2012 binder from Jalapa and criollo and corojo fillers grown in Estelí. It will be made at AGANORSA Leaf’s Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A. factory, the Nicaraguan factory previously known as TABSA where most Illusiones are produced.
Giolito and STG’s Justin Andrews, business development manager of Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s (STG) North American Branded and Rest of World divisions, are credited with blending the cigar.
The Illusione of Excalibur #1 will have an MSRP of $19.99 per cigar and is limited to 4,960 boxes of 10 cigars. General Cigar Co., which is distributing the cigar, says it will go on sale on July 4.
“When GCC asked me to do a collaboration and offered up Excalibur, I immediately jumped at the opportunity,” said Giolito in a press release. “In college, the Excalibur #1 Maduro was my go-to when I could afford them on a college budget. My buddy George and I would enjoy them after class or band practice. They were a real treat back then, and they still are to this day. For my part, I wanted to make a cigar in the spirit of Excalibur with a bold character and packaging that pays homage to the brand’s origins. I believe this blend really hits the mark.”
This is not the first time Illusione has collaborated with a much larger cigar company to produce a cigar. More than a decade ago, Giolito worked with Drew Estate on a brand called Nosotros.
“Dion Giolito and Illusione’s success in the premium cigar category has been driven by his rigorous standards for tobacco and his ability to create cigars that wow the market,” said Andrews. “So when it came to developing a blend for Excalibur, Dion was our hands-down first choice. I’m very proud of how this project came together. My only regret is that we couldn’t make this a full-time launch.”