Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux
This week’s review is one I’ve been really looking forward to. The elusive Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux paired with a bottle of Horus Aged Ale’s Push the Boundaries.
The Good Stuff:
The MC Slam was the first release that carried the blue and white “Cigares Prive” (which translates to Private Cigars) band back in 2014. “MC” stands for Marvin Chang, who runs R. Fields Wine Co.’s cigar operations. The original release consisted of only 200 boxes and was only available at R. Fields. Fast forward to 2021 and Marvin announced the triumphant return of the cigar dubbed “MC Slam 2 Redux” which would again, only be available from R. Fields Wine Co., would only consist of 200 boxes, and would sport the same blend which consistent of a Mexican San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The main different is the price tag. Due to inflation, taxes, and likely demand the new version will run $10 a stick vs. the $8.50 price tag from 2014. Another shoutout to my boy JG for hooking it up with a few of these from his personal stash.
- Size: 6 x 52
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $10
- Pairing: Horus Push the Boundaries (Imperial Stout 14.8% ABV)
The Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux sports a beautiful soft box press format. The wrapper is a very consistent deep-dark brown with only a few darker areas around the cap. The wrapper itself feels very hard and dense while the cigar as a whole seems relatively well packed with no soft spots to be found. The wrapper’s texture is very gritty and toothy with only slight oils as it’s laid beautifully over itself showcasing only minor veining as the long body leads up to the cigar’s triple wrapped cap. The cigar is topped with the elegant blue and white “Cigares Prive” band we expect on these limited releases.
The wrapper on the Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux gives off pepper and dark chocolate aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more earthy with spice and natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces some chocolate and raisin notes of earthy, dirt-style flavors.
The Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux starts out with a very minor black pepper punch which almost instantly fades allowing the cigar to release tons of bold dark chocolate, pecan, black coffee, and spice over lighter notes of vanilla, coconut, raisin and musk. The draw is absolutely perfect as each little puff kicks out copious amounts of thick, gray smoke which linger for a considerable amount of time while the cigar itself releases a ton of stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of white ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux and it’s still pouring on the flavor. The dark chocolate, pecan, and raisin are now leading the pack backed by vanilla, coffee, and spice with some great little floral undertones. The retrohale is great as it brings more of the spice and raisin to the front of the smoke. The burn line is still flawless as I close out the second third with nothing in the nicotine department.
Into the final third of the Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux and the dark chocolate, pecan, and musk are owning the experience. There are some lighter flavors underneath consisting of raisin, vanilla, coffee and black cherry. I really enjoy this profile. The cigar burned flawlessly from start to finish as it took me about an hour and a half to smoke the MC Slam 2 Redux down to the nub. I experienced no harshness, nor any extended heat and never once had to reach for my torch to touchup or relight the cigar.
First of all, I loved this cigar. Secondly, it’s not what you expect from most of Dion’s blends. Instead of being more natural tobacco and spice forward the MC Slam 2 Redux carries more sweetness, pastry undertones, and scaled back strength. It’s quite a changeup, but showcases the depth Illusione has. The flavors are extremely balanced, so much so that you could easily miss some of the more nuanced ones if you aren’t paying attention. Its a perfect cigar to just sit back, relax, and smoke when you are looking for something with a ton of flavor that won’t make you think too hard about it.
Push the Boundaries is a collaboration between Horus Aged Ales and Toppling Goliath. The beer is a 14.8% imperial stout brewed with chocolate, almost, coffee and vanilla. The beer leads with a ton of VERY sweet vanilla, coconut, and chocolate over lighter notes of coffee, cinnamon, and roasted malt with an extremely heavy mouthfeel before finishing with even more sweet vanilla and chocolate with an awesome almond aftertaste. I’ll likely need to check my blood glucose after drinking this one. The coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and coconut flavors in the Illusione MC Slam 2 Redux were all prominent flavors in the beer’s profile. As soon as I lit this cigar up for the first time I was almost certain this was the beer I was going to pair it with.