Illusione – Sin Cinta Cigar Review – Fox Cigar Bar Exclusive
Another absolutely beautiful spring weekend was upon us here out west. While most of the country is still under inches of snow, El Paso was enjoying 85 degree weather and mostly clear skies. I love the changes in season and strive to spend as much time as I can outside. That being said, I celebrated a wonderful weekend with a Fox Cigar Bar Exclusive, Illusione Sin Cinta.
The Good Stuff: Sin Cinta, meaning “No Band” is a blend created by Dion Giolito of Illusione exclusively for Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert, Arizona. The cigars are manufactured at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua. The Sin Cinta features a Jalapa Corojo Wrapper, Dual Corojo 99 and Criollo 98 binders (both from Jalapa), and Jalapa & Esteli Viso fillers. The Sin Cinta comes in only one size, a 6 x 52 toro and will be boxed in 50 count cabinets running $7.99 a stick. The only place you can get this cigars is Fox Cigar Bar in Arizona. I verified with Fox this weekend and they still have a few cabinets available and you can order yours by calling them directly at: (480) 917-3117 and placing your order. This isn’t the first shop exclusive that Fox Cigar Bar has carried. Last year Ortega Cigar Company produced the Fox for them to celebrate their annual FoxToberfest celebration, Boutique Blends created an exclusive Swag for the same event, and La Flor Dominicana created an exclusive cigar for the same event as well.
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Jalapa Corojo
Binder: (Dual) Corojo 99 Jalapa / Criollo 98 Jalapa
Filler: Jalapa & Esteli Viso
Pairing: Great Divide Orabelle (Tripel 8.3% ABV)
Prelight: One thing I have always loved about Illusione’s cigars is how much character their wrappers carry. The Sin Cinta is not exception carrying a very rustic looking, medium brown wrapper with dark and orange splotches throughout the leaf. Natural looking cigars like this really showcase the character the leaves carry. The Sin Cinta’s wrapper is a bit toothy, a bit oily, and seamless as the leaf lays over itself showing off only minor veins. The longest of which only goes about half the length of the body of the cigar. The Sin Cinta is polished off with a beautiful round double cap. The Sin Cinta feels very firm and very heavy while the wrapper feels a bit delicate and thin. There are no signs whatsoever of damage and the only soft spots seem to be concentrated around the foot of the cigar.
The wrapper on the Sin Cinta gives off a light tobacco aroma with some crazy floral scents while the foot of the cigar carries lots of cedar and sweetness. The cap cut clean and easy using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw carries some of the slight floral flavors I picked up from the wrapper alongside a lot of spice, cedar, and tobacco.
First Smoke: Illusione’s Sin Cinta starts out with a nice black pepper blast that only lasts through the first few draws. After the pepper faded out the Sin Cinta showcased lots of upfront spice with a bit of cedar, earthiness, citrus, and a some slight floral flavors tossed in there. The draw is spot on, each little puff pumps out a good amount of thick, white smoke. The burnline has a few slight waves while the ash is a mixture of bright white and medium gray. The ash is semi-compacted and held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Halfway There: The first third of the Sin Cinta was very cream, and smooth but the flavors/body of the cigar really starts to ramp up into the second third. The cedar flavor has become pretty dominant with an awesome tartness moving in while the earthiness and spice stayed solid and floral flavors have completely dropped out of the experience. The retrohale really helps show off the strong cedar flavors and actually introduced a bit of sweetness that isn’t too evident through the Sin Cinta’s smoke. The burnline still carries some slight waves but I haven’t had to touch it up at all while I am feeling nothing in the nicotine department.
Finish: More of the natural tobacco flavors are starting to shine through in the Sin Cinta. That’s one thing I like about Corojo/Criollo based blends. The tobacco flavors are front and center and seldom get muffled by the overall experience. The spice and cedar are still rocking while the citrus, tartness have taken a backseat to the floral flavors who snuck back into the party towards the final inch. The burnline was a bit rigid the entire experience but I never once had to reach for my lighter. The Sin Cinta took about an hour and half to take down and I experience absolutely no harshness, even into the final inch. I was actually impressed with how balanced the cigar finished off.
Overview: I ended up passing one of these over to Jeremy for his thoughts. You see, I can be a bit of an Illusione whore and I really enjoyed this cigar and his thoughts were right in line with mine. The flavors are solid, the construction is flawless, and best of all the price is probably quite a bit under what I would pay for this cigar. Usually Illusione cigars are in the upper $8 – $10 range, which I would gladly pay, but with the Sin Cinta and last year’s release of the Rothchildes Dion is proving that you can offer world-class cigars at less that world-class prices. The Sin Cinta starts off smooth, hits you in the face with some great, bold flavors, and then finishes bold and balanced. You really can’t ask for more in a cigar. Luckily for me, Fox Cigar Bar is only a few hours away and my wife and I take trips out that way at least once a year so you better bet I will be loading up the next time I find myself out there.
Pairing: I have always been a fan of Great Divide’s brews. I recently picked up a six pack of their Orabelle which is basically an 8.3% ABV Tripel Belgian style ale. It’s the first time that I had seen this beer and I was glad I picked up a sixer and promise that I will pick up more. I’m a sucker for Tripel’s in general but Orabelle is a top notch Tripel featuring a very strong spice, citrus, and sweetness while finishing with a bitter kick with some interesting vegetable flavors. It’s a perfect winter/spring transitional beer and the spice and mellow body pairs incredibly well with just about any spicy Nicaraguan cigar.