Gary reviews 10 “Top Shelf” Maduro cigars: If you love the natural sweetness and savory aroma of Maduro wrapper, these dark discoveries are sure to please cigar smokers at every level of experience.
My Weekend Cigar: Illusione “888 Necessary & Sufficient”
You would think that a cigar smoker with all my industry connections and so-called “experience” would have smoked at least a few Don Giolito Illusione cigars by now. However, I’m embarrassed to admit I never smoked one until this past Sunday, and I have my good pal and coworker Hayward Tenney to thank for it. He offered one of his Illusione “888 Necessary & Sufficient” to me in trade. In turn, I gave him a Winston Churchill “Marrakesh.”
Before I write my glowing review, let me get the downside out of the way. Despite the wonderful flavor this cigar produced from its 6″ foot down to the 1-inch nub, I had to do about six touch-ups. This surprised me since the draw was effortless and the packing was firm all the way up. I have to give this cigar the benefit of the doubt as it could have been a result of my office humidor, which for some reason has been showing average RH levels of 78% the past week or so.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the cigar: From the perfect cut of the cap, to the earthy pre-light draw, to the first few puffs, this cigar was dead-on delicious. The smoke was ultra-smooth, creamy, and perfectly balanced. The flavors were primarily earthy and toasty with nutty accents, subtle spicy notes, and an appealing sweet tobacco taste on the tongue. Plus, despite all those touch-ups, the flavors never wavered which speaks volumes about the integrity of this cigar.
Since I’m now adding the Illusione “888 Necessary & Sufficient” cigars to my all-time favorites list, I’m now sorry I never took the time to meet and greet Mr. Giolito at last year’s IPCPR show, or even at prior shows.
Thanks Don, and thank YOU Hayward. It was the perfect ending to a great weekend.
If you’d like to chime-in on your Illusione cigar experiences, please do.
~ Gary Korb