Cigar Reviews

Illusione Nosotros by Jonathan Drew and Dion Giolito

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Yes I am on vacation this week and in true non-slacker form I am posting yet another review. The Moosi? are not attacking down here and the weather is great in Florida. Although the Pelican’s had me running a few times! Now only if a certain someone would learn how to be a non-slacker like me instead of trying to bash me while I’m out of town! hehe. So now onto “The Good Stuff” (yea that’s right, I stole it from Tony!) …

The Nosotros cigar line bears the Illusione label but Dion Giolito had some help with this blend from Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate Cigars. They collaborated to come up with a completely new cigar. One side of the simple but very attractive band says “Dion” and the other side says “Drew”. This cigar had a lot of hype around it and due to that I’d say many people had very high expectations for it. Judging by the reviews and comments from others, it seems the reactions to this cigar are fairly mixed.

I want to give a mention to the source I got these cigars from. I placed the order from Jason Shepard at “J Shepherd Cigar Boutique and Gentlemen’s Accessories” in Louisville, KY. He is a great guy who gave me excellent customer service, friendly chats, great selection and even better prices. I found him on twitter, his name is @cigarsource, or check out his website at http://www.jshepherdcigars.com

After reading initial reviews I decided to let these cigars sit for a little while before lighting them up, hoping some age would do them well. I’ve had them for about two months now, so lets see how they fared.

Cigar: Illusione Nosotros
Drink: Chimay Premiere (Dark Red Label)
Vitola: Robusto (5 x 50)
Wrapper: Corojo ’99
Binder: Connecticut Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: About $8 – $10
Burn Time: 1.5 hours

Construction:
• Very even and symmetrical
• A couple medium sized veins but nothing that looks to cause burn issues
• Wrapper is a nice golden brown, slightly dark
• Wrapper is a bit oily and very appealing
• Cleanly applied triple cap
• Even firmness throughout, a little bit of give but a perfect spring back
• Foot looks to be well packed
• Cut was smooth and even, no mess
• Draw is perfect, just enough resistance

Burn:
• Toasting took a bit of extra time to get the whole foot glowing nicely
• Burn line is slightly wavy for the first couple inches
• Having trouble staying lit in the first couple inches, needing extra attention
• Burn improved after first ash, staying lit better now
• Cigar started burning a little hot but after a small touch up it seemed to even out

Smoke & Ash:
• Good amount of smoke, maybe a little less than expected
• Resting smoke is minimal and has a strong woodsy aroma
• Ash is splitting down the middle but holding fairly steady
• Although the ash appeared fairly messy, it still held on for an inch or so each time
• Made a bit of mess when I ashed it

Tasting Notes:
• Wrapper aroma is mostly of a soft hay/tobacco smell with some spice and earthiness to it
• The foot introduces some nuttiness and a more prominent spice, also a bit of floral aroma
• Pre-light draw focuses mostly on the nuttiness, spice and floral. I’m excited to light this up at this point and discover what else it might give me
• Initial draws are primarily toasted cedar and nuttiness
• The cigar is very dry on the back of my throat
• This cigar is starting in the medium range for body, I expect it will get stronger as I smoke it down
• Retrohale has a nice bite to it a good woodsy finish
• Some floral notes and a bit of cinnamon spice started making an appearance just past the halfway mark but were not very prominent
• Body is definitely ramping up to full in the last 2 inches, already feeling a slight nicotine kick
• The last two inches of the cigar did not turn harsh but they did lose most flavor and I was left with a strong tobacco flavor

Final Thoughts:
The beginning of this cigar left me wanting more. The flavors were not bad by any regard but a little less than expected from such a powerful duo of blenders. The cigar opened up a bit around the halfway point and start burning a bit hotter, this in turn affects the flavors making them slightly harsher. I tried to slow down time between draws but the cigar began going out. After a small correction we were back on track though and some new flavors came in. I wasn’t blown away by the flavors here but they were still enjoyable. New cigar smokers need not apply here, these will likely be above your tolerance range.

I can’t complain about the pre-light construction here, all my sticks were excellent although they did take a few extra draws to keep lit and burn was fairly wavy. I tried to let these rest a bit before smoking them but I just had to light one up and see for myself. I think these definitely need some age, they have some great potential that seems stunted by their youth. I will keep a couple of these sticks aging and re-visit them in the future.

Pairings:
Chimay Premiere (the dark red/burgundy label) is a strong ale brewed by monks in Belgium. The sales from the brew actually contribute to assisting the Trappist Monastery in their charitable works. A feel good purchase that does not disappoint. This ale checks in at 7% alc/vol and is bursting with some great hoppy flavors with just a slight bitterness. It definitely doesn’t feel like a strong ale, until after you’ve downed a coupe pints! It paired very well with this cigar for the most part until it got a lot stronger and was drowning out the brew. I think this cigar would pair much better with a scotch, port, strong coffee/espresso.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

7 Comments

  1. Victor

    July 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Daniel, Great review. You hit it right on the spot. I had a Nosotros just this weekend and I have to agree with you on how appealing the wrapper looked, plus the ash held it’s own very well. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the re-lighting of the cigar. I found myself having to re-light the cigar and at one point had to rid of the ash in order to re-light. Besides the re-lighting, I have to say that I personally did enjoy the cigar and would go out and buy some. By the way, I took this one from Tony as well.

    • Tony Casas

      July 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

      Just glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Dalamscius

    July 22, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for the comment Victor. Seems Tony hooked you up with some qualitry smokes! I REALLY think these need some age, hoping the few I have left will turn into great smokes in a few months

  3. thetobaccophile

    July 23, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Another great write up. I will probably try this cigar at some point, but the reviews I have read so far don’t make it a ‘gotta have’ yet.

  4. Victor

    July 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Tony’s awesome. Super nice guy, glad to have met him.

  5. Tony

    July 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Great review.

    I came to the same conclusion, these stick need some age…

    And at their current pricepoint, I find them to be a little overpriced.

  6. DaByrdman33

    July 25, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Enjoyed the review, Daniel. Definitely try these after they have some age. The one I reviewed was a stick that Dion gave me back in November. I really enjoyed it.

    -DaByrdman33-

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