Wrapper: San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo/Criollo
Filler: Nicaragua Corojo
Size: 6″ x 54
Strength: Medium – Full
Price Range: $10
Dion Giolito, owner of Illusione Cigars unveiled a Maduro line of the Illusione at IPCPR 2011. This line comes in four sizes cg:4, 888, 88, and mj12. Dion Giolito takes an interest in conspiracy theories and that is reflected in the names of most of his cigars. For instance the mj12, The Majestic 12, is the supposed code name of a top secret committee form in 1947 by an executive order of President Harry Truman composing of military leaders, scientists, and government officials. This committee set out to investigate UFOs after the events of Roswell. Rumor has it that The Majestic 12 is still in operation.
In keeping with the alien theme, the original mj12 is stylistically wrapped in silver foil. The silver foil alludes to the silver foil found at Roswell in 1947. In contrast, the maduro version is wrapped in a black paper.
Illusione cigars made a splash with the Natural version of the mj12 and now adding a maduro version has yet again made a fantastic leap into the proverbial pool. The mj12 Maduro has changed the changed the game by adding a great twist on the maduro concept. What comes to mind to when thinking about a maduro cigar? Got it? Well I’m guessing home baked spiced gingerbread did not come to mind. This cigar oozes rustic home cooking and it works fantastically well. Enough of making everyone crave gingerbread snaps, lets get to the smoke.
At first look the Illusione mj12 has a very inviting coloring of gold tones mixed in with a brown spectrum. It is quite firm to the touch and does not compress when slight pressure is applied. The aroma coming from the cigar before being the lit up consisted of a very pleasant and oddly comforting light barnyard and hay mix.
With Lake Superior just feet in away of me I lit the foot of the cigar and commenced on a very relaxing smoke filled journey that believe it or not did not involve aliens. The first thing that is noticeable is a warmth that is emitted form the cigar with underlying flavors that would need some coxing of a couple more draws. From this coxing one could pick out spices most notably allspice wrapped in wonderful warmth. The finish had much more flavor to it. Spiced gingerbread and tones of cinnamon was residing toward the back of the mouth. The draw though was decent and the burn was slightly wavy. This was a good start to the Illusione mj12 Maduro.
With the coming of the second third the flavor profile added smooth bitterness of black pepper, adding more of a bite to the cigar. The finish of gingerbread and tones of cinnamon seemed to tone down but, this may be due to the flavor of the draw coming closer to fruition. The draw which improved became a quite solid. The burn became less wavy evening out. Over all the second third was fairly consistent with the the first third. Which even though not changing incredibly a lot it was still very good considering the unique flavor profile coming together so well that it has to keep your interest.
Transitioning into the final third the flavors intensify. The Illusione mj12 Maduro is still quite smooth, keeping the flavors of the previous two thirds but with the addition of wood tones. Complementing this nicely the finish resurged with a welcomed vengeance of toasted allspice, cinnamon with the expected spiced bite that comes with those classic flavors. The draw opened up quite nicely, producing a good amount of smoke. The burn remained fairly even. One has to smoke the Illusione mj12 Maduro all the way through. It would be a shame not to experience the greatness of the final third of this cigar.
Over all the Illusione mj12 Maduro is a fantastic cigar. It oozes the essence of home baking that is very much welcome as the weather starts to cool and, for this reason The Illusione mj12 Maduro is fittingly November’s Cigar of the Month. Illusione really hit this one out of the park by adding such a unique and unexpected spin on the maduro concept. Hopefully this cigar starts a flavor revolution in the cigar industry, going for the unconventional and bring us cigars that we will never expect but never forget.