Illusione Fume D’Amour Lagunas Cigar Review
Ahh yes, the Illusione Fume D’Amour. Finally. I’ve been waiting a while for these bad boys to hit he shelves and wasted no time picking up a bunch of them.
The Good Stuff:
The Fume D’Amour is amongst a slew of cigars released at this year’s IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. While there were many cigars showcased, few created as much buzz as the Fume D’Amour. Some said it was the star of the show. Fume D’Amour is the first full production core line created by Dion Giolito of Illusione in 3 years. Fume D’Amour is translated into “Love Smoke”. The blend is based off the Original Document blend, or the Corojo, using a different wrapper and created using only Nicaraguan Seco and Viso. No Ligero. Normally, Ligero is used to boost the body and strength in a cigar as the Viso and Seco produce more sweeter, milder flavors. That being said, the Fume D’Amour isn’t your average smoke, and actually boasts a much higher body and much more strength during the experience as it does on paper. The Fume D’Amour joins the ranks of blends that Dion is now producing at the Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. factory in Nicaragua. Here is the information on the blend as found on Illusione’s website:
“Illusione introduces Fume D’Amour. Nearly 3 years since our last full brand was brought to the industry, Fume D’Amour is added to the Illusione ‘core lines.’ These cigars deliver the signature olfactory sweetness from Viso Jalapa tobaccos, with the complex mix of spices both in the nose and on the palate from Seco leaves from Esteli. Fume D’Amour is a full-bodied production for the matured cigar enthusiast. Four sizes… more to come. “
The Fume D’Amour will come in four sizes: Lagunas ( 4.5 x 42), Viejos (5 x 50), Capistranos (6 x 56 ) and the Clementes (6.5 x 48) and range from $6.50 to $9.50 a stick. These are just hitting shelves now. I purchased a bunch of these over from our friends at Smokeinn.com.
Size: 4.5 x 42
Pairing: Founders Backwoods Bastard 2013 (Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale 10.2% ABV)
The wrapper on the Fume D’Amour is absolutely stunning, starting with a deep brown, and very orange color. The wrapper color is consistent for the most part with some darker webbing throughout the body of the cigar and darker areas around the cap. The wrapper texture is very oil, with some slight tooth, and very smooth, silky areas. The wrapper feels about average in the density department and the cigar had very little sponginess or soft spots. The Fume D’Amour is finished off with a beautifully round triple cap, and an elegant maroon, gold, and beige band stating “Fume D’Amour” and “Hecho En Nicaragua”. I have always loved the simplicity in Illusione’s band design.
The wrapper on the cigar gives off some soft grassy aromas wrapper around strong cedar while the foot of the cigar carries lots of sweetness and spice with some deep tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw produces some great spice, sweetness, floral, and grassy flavors.
Since this is a smaller cigar, I’m going to go ahead and cut it into halves instead of thirds. The first few draws on Illusione’s Fume D’Amour lead off with some very strong black pepper. The pepper quickly fades away and leaves me with some strong cedar, lots of sweetness, brown sugar, cherry, and deep mossy/grassiness. As I get a bit deeper into the first half I start to pick up a strong floral flavor. Almost tastes like Jasmine. Either way, it’s complimenting the already creamy experience very nicely. The body starts out very strong and the strength is up there as well. The draw is perfect. Every little puff kicks out a huge, thick cloud of white smoke. The burnline is a bit wild, but I haven’t had to reach for my lighter. I finish out the first half feeling no nicotine kick at all.
Into the second half of Illusione’s Fume D’Amour the flavor profile becomes much deeper and bolder. I am picking up a ton of cedar and woodsiness now instead of the grassy notes, lots of cedar, some cocoa, espresso, and lots of sweetness and spice. I took this cigar down until it started burning my fingers and experience no harshness whatsoever. I was actually impressed with how slowly a cigar of this size smoked down. It took me about an hour to reach the nub and I enjoyed every last minute of it. The burnline completely corrected itself after the first half and I never once had to reach for my lighter. The band slipped right off, and the construction was on point.
I said it on twitter, and I said it again. Illusione’s Fume D’Amour is probably the best cigar I have had all year. I smoked quite a few of these and each one makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with the blend (Love Smoke.. eh? See what I did there!!?!). On many occasions I have spoke about how if I had to choose only 1 manufacturer to smoke, for the rest of my life exclusively, it would be Illusione. The Fume D’Amour helps solidify that decision. Hell, everything Dion has come out with recently has backed my choice. The Fume D’Amour hits in all areas. Boasting strong, bold, sweet, balanced flavors with a higher body experience that won’t knock you on your ass. I especially think the blend preforms well in the smaller sizes. The price point is where you would expect it to be and the fact that this is a regular production blend makes me very happy. Pick a few up, this is a boxworthy cigar that will find it’s way into my regular production for a long time to come.
I purchased a bunch of these bad boys last year and have been quietly going through my stock. They are a perfect beer to pair with s bold, strong cigar. Founders Brewing Company out of Michigan produces it’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale during the winter each year. Coming in at 10.2% ABV this beer isn’t for the faint of heart. This sticky ale leads off with some strong sweetness, caramel, cocoa, and grain with a very heavy mouthfeel. The finishing taste is really fruity, oaky, boozy, and spicy. There is quite a bit of bourbon reminisce left in the flavor profile. The spice, sweetness, oak and fruit pair perfectly with the Fume D’Amour while the caramel adds an interesting complimentary note to the pairing. This cigar will pair well with most drinks. Some bold coffee, bourbon, port wine, or Belgian Strong Dark Ale would be on the top of that list.