Illusione Singulare Miserere + Screwpop Ashtray Review
Now that the IPCPR trade show is over, we’re back at it with a new review. This week I take a look at the new Illusione Singulare Miserere paired with a bottle of The Bruery’s Mischief.
The Good Stuff:
The Singulare series is a “one and done” annual run created by Illusione. It’s one that I look out for every year (you can read a past review of the first Singulare the “Phantom” from 2010 here). Dion Giolito’s newest addition tot he Singulare line is the Miserere. The Singulare Miserere is a Nicaraguan puro composed entirely of Aganorsa tobacco. The blend includes a Nicaragua corojo wrapper similar to what you find on the Epernay, Nicaraguan binder, and criollo 98 and corojo 99 fillers from the Esteli and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua. The cigar is produced at Tabacos Valle Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Esteli, Nicaragua. The Singulare Miserere comes in a single 6.75 x 48 format packaged in boxes of 15, running $13 a stick, with only 900 boxes produced. I picked these up over at Smoke Inn and last time I checked they still have them in stock.
Size: 6.75 x 48
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo 98 / Corojo 99
Pairing: The Bruery Mischief (Belgian Strong Ale 8.5% ABV)
The Illusione Singulare Miserere starts out with a beautiful, consistent, medium brown wrapper that carries an interesting orange tint, and a whole ton of oil. The wrapper’s texture is very smooth and very oily with one some slight grit while the wrapper is very firm, yet thin. The wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself exposing some very mild veins running through the cigar’s slender body leading up to a perfectly round triple cap. The cigar feels very heavy, and is packed very tightly which I hope doesn’t present draw issues down the road. The cigar is polished off with the standard silver and while band we’ve grown to expect from this line, with the standard “Singulare” crest embossed on the front and “EL” for Edition Limitada on the back.
The wrapper on the Illusione Singulare Miserere gives off some honey, cedar, and natural tobacco aromas while the foot of the cigar carries much more spice, grain, and earthiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. The cold draw leads with a ton of honey and cedar backed by some oat and grain, spice, and natural tobacco flavors.
The Illusione Singulare Miserere starts out with a good amount of black pepper which quickly fades out after the first few puffs revealing great honey, cedar, citrus, a ton of spice and sweetness of some great natural earthy tobacco flavors. This cigar does remind me a the Epernay with a nice little twang to it. The draw is perfect despite being packed so tightly. Each little puff kicks out a great deal of thick, white smoke which hangs around for quite some time before dissipating. The burn line is razor thin, and dead even leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of thick white ash which held on for a bit over an inch before falling into my ashtray.
As I venture into the second third of the Illusione Singulare Miserere the cigar really starts to showcase how complex it is. The dominant flavors are cedar, honey, and spice backed by some fruit, molasses, oak, and lots of natural tobacco. I’m really big on both the dimension and the body of this cigar while the strength is still in the medium category. The retrohale really brings out the spice and cedar. The burn line is still absolutely perfect as I close out the second third with really nothing in terms of a nicotine kick.
As if the Illusione Singulare Miserere wasn’t already firing on all cylinders, the cigar really ramps up in both body and strength in the final third. The flavors are still leading with honey and cedar, lots of spice and fruit backed by oak and sweetness while the strength has now entered the medium/full category. It took me 2 hours to take this cigar down to the nub and I loved every second of it. The cigar produced no harshness, and no extra heat while requiring absolutely no extra love from my torch the entire time. The Miserere left me with only a very small nicotine kick.
I’m all about bold, full-bodied cigars that don’t need to compensate in strength and this cigar delivered. The Illusione Singulare Miserere is easily my favorite Singulare blend to date. The fact that it resembles the Epernay probably has a lot to do that as thats probably one of my favorite cigars of all time. The flavors are great, and the cigar is pretty complex while the price point is a bit high, it’s well worth it. I picked up a 5 pack of these and will definitely be picking up a box while they are still available.
Yes, another Bruery beer. I can’t get enough of them. Just wish I could get them locally. One day.. Anyhow, this Sunday’s selection is their Mischief. Mischief is a 8.5% ABV Belgian Golden Ale brewed at the Bruery’s facility in Placentia, California. Mischief leads with a bit of apple, a splash of citrus, a ton of spice and a bit of grain with a nice soft hop and a very light mouthfeel before finishing crips with more citrus, a bit of honey, spice, sweetness, and oak. Most of these flavors are present in the Illusione Singulare Miserere so the pairing was an easy choice. The citrus and apple also really helped pick up some of the same flavors in the cigar that I otherwise would have missed. This cigar would pair great with any Belgian Golden or Strong ale, a hefty Tripel, or even a nice sour.
Screw pop Ashtray:
Most of you should be familiar with Screwpop by now. The company makes lots of neat little tools for tons of different situations including cigars, and beer drinking which makes them a perfect pairing with Casas Fumando. Their latest product, the ashtray is probably my favorite item they’ve made yet. Here is what the company has to say about it:
Introducing the world’s first “cigar centric” ashtray!
Screwpop™ Ashtray keeps your cigar in the spotlight and your stogie in the sweet-spot for a most unique and pleasant cigar smoking experience!
By simply orienting the cigar perpendicular to the smoker (longways facing), the Screwpop Ashtray showcases the stogie in “presentational form”. You can now admire, enjoy and monitor your stogie between puffs: tobacco leaf, label design, burn, ash and rising smoke.
Geared for a single smoker (but don’t be fooled), its compactness allows for several Screwpop Ashtrays to fit comfortably on a table. Ideal for casual group smoking, parties and business meetings… it’s sure to impress!
The Screwpop Ashtray includes an ingenious “ash knocker” (for clearing the cigar-foot before relight). It also offers a well-placed tapered slot (shown front) for cigarillo enthusiasts alike. Even use the Cigar Rest as a place to put cutters, punches or lighters after smoking a gar.
Made from ultra durable matte-finished (solid) melamine, the Screwpop Ashtray is sure to be your new favorite cigar smoking accessory!
That pretty much sums it up. Honestly, I love how compact, yet sturdy this thing is. You can basically carry it around in your pocket if needed, yet it’s not something you’d lose, or something that the wind would simply kick over. The canal that holds your cigar is very long for once, so I don’t have to worry about about my cigar tipping into the ash, or falling out of the ash tray. Once ash does fall of the cigar the little ramp carries it away from my cigar. I also dig the smaller channel for my cigarillos. I probably won’t use the ash knocker too much, but it’s convenient. All in all this is a solid product. If you want to pick one up for yourself follow this link. They normally run $19.95 a pop but as of today, they are on sale for $14.95.