Cigar Reviews

Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas

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It’s been a while. Finally I’ve felt well enough, the weather was perfect, and I found time to rest and relax with an Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas and a bottle of 2017 Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine. By the way, its way too early for us to be hitting 100 degree weather already!

The Good Stuff:

Originally released in 2013 the Marelas Supremas as the sixth addition to the Cruzado line. Fast forward a few years and the entire Cruzado line become scarce, and until a few years ago pretty hard to find. Now that Illusione has re-released them into the market the Marelas Supremas has become a rare, event-only format which I was lucky enough to get over from our friends at Fox Cigar Bar. The 6 1/4 x 52 cigar features a unique Cuban-Style 109 cap, a Nicaraguan Criollo Rosada wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.

  • Size: 6 1/4 x 52
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo Rosado
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Body: Full
  • Strength: Medium/Full
  • Price: ~$10
  • Pairing: Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine 2017 (Barleywine 14.4% ABV)

Prelight:

The Illusione Cruzado Marelas Suprema starts out with a rustic-looking dark brown wrapper with lighter brown and orange areas scattered throughout the cigar’s wrapper. The wrapper’s texture if pretty toothy and gritty with a decent amount of oils coating it. There are a few larger veins and lots of natural webbing in the tobacco leaf leading up to that tapered, Cuban-Style 109 cap we mentioned before. This all lives underneath a gold foil which covers about 2/3 of the cigar along with the old-style black, silver and gold Cruzado style band.

The wrapper on the Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas gives off a very musky, barnyard aroma while the foot of the cigar gives off very grainy and earthy aromas. This is a terrible smelling cigar which in most cases is a good sign. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces notes of bold musk, dirth, and earthiness.

First Third:

The Illusione Cruzado Marelas Suprema starts out with aa rush of cayenne pepper which left my lips tingling for a bit, but quickly faded allowing the cigar to release heaps of musk and earthiness over caramel, cashew, black tea and soft spice. As I start to get into the middle of the first third an awesome floral presence slipped into the mix. The draw is absolutely perfect as each little puff kicks out the desired amount of thick, white smoke which dissipates rather quickly while the cigar releases very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is sharp, but pretty wavy. I haven’t had to reach for my torch to touch it up though so no points taken there. The ash it leaves behinds is semi-compacted and very dark gray while it held on for almost an inch before falling into my ashtray.

Second Third:

Into the second third of the Illusione Cruzado Marelas Suprema and most of the flavors remain the same. The musk and earthiness lead the charge backed my light caramel and floral flavors and a good amount of black tea. The retrohale really brings out the black tea and a lot of the spice that I otherwise no longer pickup at this point. The burnline is still a bit wacky, but again, no touch-ups needed. I close out the second third with only a very minor nicotine kick.

Note: The tiny cracking you see is due to user error. I *almost* dropped the cigar while I was smoking it causing me to crush it a bit as I juggled it. Nice save though! Too bad no one was around to see it.

Finish:

Into the final third of the Illusione Cruzado Marelas Supremas and not a whole lot has changed, and I’m totally ok with that. The flavor profile has been pretty consistent from start to finish. Musk and earthiness are the dominant flavor backed by black tea, floral, cashew and caramel. It took me 2 hours to take this cigar down to the nub and I didn’t want to put it down. I experienced no harshness nor extended heat. I closed out the cigar with online a very slight nicotine kick. One important note is that, while the burn line was a bit uncontrolled, I never once had to reach for my torch to touch up or relight the cigar.

Overview:

I remember how much I loved the Cruzado when it originally came out, and much of that love still remains the same. I experience was flawless, and the flavor profile was enjoyable without being too complex. If I had to complain bout anything it was just a bit dry, but that dryness fit the flavor profile perfectly. I’m glad I have quite a few of these stacked in my humidor.

Pairing:

Yup, another Bourbon County pairing. Tired of them yet? Me neither. I swear, they were maid with cigar pairings in mind. This week I take a look at the 2017 Barleywine version. Brewed at the Goose Island brewing in Chicago this 14.4% ABV Balerywine starts with a whole mess of malt, sweet caramel, cherry, vanilla, hop and a great bourbon bite with a very sticky mouthfeel before finishing with loads of toffee, vanilla, brown sugar and more bourbon. The Illusione Cruzado Marelas Suprema is very dry and the Bourbon County Barleywine carries loads of sweetness which really helped push the complexity of the experience over the top making for a ridiculously awesome pairing.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

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