Cigar Review: Illusione Epernay Le Ferme
Kasey: I love when a new post goes up and I get to read Will’s perspective on some of the smokes we carry. Whenever he can get more than one stogie, I’m usually begging him for it, and today was my lucky day. Half joking, I suggested that Will should ask Travis to let me smoke an Illusione Epernay Le Ferme, too; I mean it got a 94 percent rating and made it into Cigar Aficionado’s top 10. I was in the humidor when Will presented with my smoke, as well as the catch: I would have to help him with the review. I work in the accounting department here, not marketing; I do numbers, not blogs. I do, however, know how to enjoy and appreciate a good smoke, so here goes.
Will: I’ll start out with my first impression just based on looking at the stogie—the wrapper is a flawless Nicaraguan Café Rosado that has very few veins. Inside is Nicaraguan binder and filler, and to my surprise, no ligero tobacco was used. Usually Dion Giolito’s smokes are powerhouses (like the original Illusione line), but this medium-bodied stogie wasn’t off putting. After all, not every cigar I smoke needs to kick me in the teeth. The roll is almost seamless with a sturdy triple cap, and the filler was evenly packed throughout the cigar. After close examination, we punched each cigar with a Xikar 009 and went to work.
Kasey: The pre-light draw was easy, and creamy. We light up and almost immediately I knew that this cigar was going to be good. With our notebooks handy we exchanged a few speechless “wow” grunts back and forth. Every flavor that came up was immediately replaced with some other note or tone that was so seamless, yet totally unique. The spicy flavor was like those crushed red pepper flakes, which would then smooth out and morph into dark cherry and cream, only to be replaced with another less fiery hit of red pepper. I also got some very subtle floral notes that reminded me of edible orchids you’d get at a fancy restaurant. The smoke rolled over my tongue and let out some really complex and muted caramely tones.
Will: I definitely see what you mean about the red pepper—I felt that a lot on the roof of my mouth about halfway through the smoke, though it never got harsh. I also got that caramel sweetness, along with a woody flavor that I can only compare to fresh cut wood, rather than the traditional aged cedar taste I’m used to. It made me think of my last job, finding and chopping wood for my landlord’s wood burning stove. This, like the Gurkha Vintage Shaggy Torpedo Natural, gave me some legit nostalgia.
Kasey: This was the first cigar that I have ever smoked down to only about an inch. It was very hard to put down. It was truly a pleasure to smoke; it really combined the sweet, salty, spicy, and tart flavors that come together really well. This cigar reminded me of that first sip on a Saturday afternoon, when you know it’s too early to be drinking but you’re drinking anyway and it’s so delicious.
Will: If only we were allowed to drink at work. I think I’ve complained about this in all but one or two of my reviews. I think the cigar would pair really well with good aged bourbon or rum, or maybe a really good IPA, maybe Dogfish Head 60 Minute—the subtle flowery notes would really complement a well made hoppy beer.
Kasey: The construction of this stogie is exactly what one should expect form a cigar out of Danli—as Will already pointed out, it was well constructed and burned that way, too. My punch was slightly off center, but the cigar still burned evenly and smoothly, and the ash was dark and tight with almost no flaking. This cigar definitely makes it onto my own personal top ten list.
Will: I’d go as far as to say the construction on this stogie was perfect—the ash held on for a good two inches at a time before breaking off, which is more than I think I’ve ever seen. I know I’ll definitely be buying a bunch of these as soon as we get more in stock. Anyway, thanks to everyone who voted for helping to give us the privilege of reviewing these delicious stogies—smoke lots and enjoy the weekend!
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