Illusione cigars were designed to recreate the classic taste of pre-Sandinista Nicaraguan cigars. First generation Corojo '99, Criollo '98, are wrapped in either grade one Cafe Colorado wrappers or Candela wrappers, grown in fertile fields that had once fallen into neglect. Many sizes and shapes are available, all triple-capped, and each has a unique story to tell. In fact, if ANY brand demonstrates how shape informs taste and aroma, it's Illusione. This is absolutely a must-try cigar.
My long time favorite cigar has been the CAO Maduro l'Anniversarie (aka "red label")in the carona size. I like the smaller ring gauges. Sometimes these CAOs can be hard to find so I'm always on the lookout for a comparable fall back smoke. I think I found it. The f9 has the same smooth, opaque smoke that the CAO has. A great rich taste, and even burn. I had to relight a couple times in the last half of the cigar. The draw was a little tight. I do like tighter draws on my cigars though. I don't like to feel like I'm just sucking on an empty drinking straw. And to boot the CAO and the f9 are within 25 cents of each other at my local shop. After trying this one in the shop, which does carry the l'Anniversarie CAOs, I took some f9s home for my humidor.2 0