Illusione has earned outstanding accolades in its few decades as a “boutique” cigar manufacturer. So far, Epernay is the most decorated cigar offered by the company, at least as far as Cigar Aficionado is concerned (note however that Illusione’s Fume D’Amour is the highest rated smoke ever). Epernay has earned multiple 94 ratings, and was named Cigar Aficionado’s #3 cigar of 2011, and #7 cigar of 2010.
Fitting results, given the name.
For those who aren’t into popping bubbly on the regular, Epernay is one of France’s most famous champagne-producing regions. On the city’s Avenue de Champagne, you’ll find Perrier-Jouët, Moët & Chandon, and so many more illustrious makers of one of the world’s favorite celebratory drinks. We already smell a pairing coming on...
The Illusione Epernay cigar does something quite different than almost any other blend on the market. There’s no ligero! Ligero is the potent tobacco leaf that gives most cigars their strength. Ligero is a top priming. That is, it’s harvested from the top of the tobacco plant, high on the stalk. There, it drinks in rays of sunshine, growing thick and potent, with plenty of nicotine. Blenders typically use one of these leaves in a cigar roll unless they’re seeking high strength, and almost any stick you can find has that mandatory ligero leaf in the middle.
That is, unless you’re grabbing one of these smokes.
Illusione owner Dion Giolito looks at things a bit differently. He’s not experimenting just to be different. Instead, he’s got a close focus on flavor and leaf character, always trying to put together blends that are worth smoking. Sometimes, this effort takes him in interesting directions, as it did with the Epernay cigar.
The resulting smoke, much like a fine champagne, is balanced and elegant. Instead of the usual notes you might expect from one of Giolito’s Nicaraguan puros, this one dials things back on the pepper to reveal more a more subtle flavor profile. There’s leather, for sure, but also floral notes, spiced pear with cinnamon, and of course coffee beans. It’s a medium to full bodied cigar that offers something quite special. You won’t get a smoke like this from just anyone, and we expect nothing less from Illusione at this point.
Please browse our selection of Illusione Epernay cigars at your leisure.