Illusione PIV Robusto – Jeremy Piven Collection
I keep saying that I am trying to squeeze in reviews before we experience actual winter weather here in El Paso, yet that weather never comes. In fact, it’s in the 70’s right now and I am loving it. This week I take a look at one I’ve been anticipating: Illusione’s Jeremy Piven Collection PIV Robusto paired with a Holy Mountain Deadfall barleywine.
The Good Stuff:
Jeremy Piven, film and movie star, and cigar passionado, met with various cigar manufacturers this year on a quest to find a match for a line of cigars he would like to have created and releases. Ultimately, Piven and Illusione felt it was a natural fit for his cigar line, the Jeremy Piven Collection. The first release, the PIV Robusto, is just now hitting shelves. The blend features a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers. What’s unique about this cigar is that is uses a new varietal of Corojo, Corojo 2012 which is grown at the Aganorsa farms in Nicaragua. Produced at the Aganorsa factory the cigar is offered in a single 5 x 52 format which comes packaged inboxes of 10 running $14.95 a stick. I picked mine up from our good friends over at Fox Cigar who surprisingly, still has some in stock.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $14.95
- Pairing: Holy Mountain Deadfall (Stock Ale 9% ABV)
The Illusione PIV Robusto starts out with a rustic looking medium brown wrapper which carries scattered areas of darker and yellow-ish spots splotched throughout the cigar’s body. The wrapper itself feels very thin and a bit brittle while the cigar as a whole is nicely packed with no soft areas found throughout. The wrapper’s texture is very smooth with loads of oils while the wrapper itself carries only very minor veins and webbing as the cigar leads up to it’s round, triple-wrapped cap. The cigar is then polished off with a very elegant looking white and gold band, colors we find on a lot of Dion’s blends, with the “JP” Jeremy Piven crest on the front as well as a secondary band with the cigar’s name “PIVROBUSTO” embossed on it.
The wrapper on the Illusione PIV Robusto gives off lots of honey and spice aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more earthy with notes of grass, musk, and earthiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces lots of grainy, oaty flavors over loads of earthiness.
The Illusione PIV Robusto starts out with some great honey, musk, leather, and coffee flavors which transition into more grain, caramel, and a subtle yet amazing spice. There is some lingering saltiness that stays on the lips for a bit after each draw. Speaking of the draw, each little puff kicks out a huge cloud of thick, white smoke which takes quite a bit of time to dissipate while the cigar releases only a minor amount of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is pretty wavy, but nothing too concerning leaving behind a mixture of tightly compacted light and dark gray ash which held on for almost an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Illusione PIV Robusto and the flavors became a bit more balanced and creamy leading with the honey and musk over lighter notes of caramel, leather, coffee and grain. A light pine flavor keeps popping in and out of the experience. The spice has completed dropped off at this point, yet it’s still very potent in the cigar’s retrohale which I find myself doing quite often. The burn line is much cleaner now without any help from my torch. I close out the second third with nothing in terms of nicotine kick.
Into the final third of this Illusione PIV Robusto and I am loving every minute of it. The final third really ramps up in both body and strength. The flavor profile is still pretty similar with honey and musk at the front backed by loads of caramel and leather and lighter notes of coffee, grain, pine, and some great floral flavors. It took me a little over an hour and a half to smoke this cigar down to the nub and I didn’t want to put it down. No harshness, no extended heat, and after about the first inch the cigar burned flawlessly without any help from my torch. I close out with only a minor nicotine kick.
I’d be curious to know just who Jeremy Piven met with before ultimately deciding to do this collaboration with Illusione. Why he chose Illusione, well that’s pretty obvious. As my boy Drew would say, “Cause he is the king of Corojo!”. The PIV Robusto carries some great, deep, yet very balanced flavors. While a few of the cigars we reviewed recently by Illusione tend to be a bit of a departure from his normal style, the PIV Robusto is a great representation on just how well Dion knows his way around Corojo. This is a perfect afternoon smoke when you are craving something with a good amount of flavor that won’t overwhelm your palate yet still deliver.
Brewed by Holy Mountain brewery in Seattle, Washington, this 9% ABV Old Stock ale (Barelywine) is aged in oak barrels. The beer leads with caramel, toffee, raisin, date and vanilla over light notes of tobacco and malt with a very light mouthfeel before finishing with more toffee, date and raisin, and a very light hop on the aftertaste. The is an extremely flavorful, balanced, and easy-drinking barleywine which made for a perfect match with the new Illusione Jeremy Piven Collection PIV Robusto.