It’s New Years Eve and at the stroke of midnight most people will be raising a glass of champagne to toast the new year, and what better way to end 2014 than to smoke a cigar named for where some of the best champagne in the world comes from.
According to the Illusione website, “This blend originally debuted in 2008 through the European Cigar Cult Journal 15th anniversary limited release. Since then, Epernay has garnered the most consistent and highest ratings amongst all cigars in the industry. Epernay has been made into 9 unique and exciting sizes with a combination of Criollo and Corojo tobaccos. The cigar is finished with a superior grade Café’ Rosado coverleaf. The Epernay blend treats the palate to hints of coffee and honey, further enhanced through the olfactory with floral notes, and a creamy finish. A very complex cigar.”
Cigar: Illusione Epernay
Size: Matin (6.5 x 46)
Wrapper: Cafe Rosado
Filler: Nicaragua (Criollo & Corojo)
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look: The Illusione Epernay is a beautiful looking box pressed cigar that is long and thin in this particular size. Finding the seam of the roll is difficult to do in this perfectly pressed and rolled specimen. The wrapper is evenly colored and as pristine a wrapper as I have seen. In the hand the cigar is firm with an average weight for its size. The foot is well packed and slightly spongy, while the band is white and gold denoting Eperany in the front and Illusione off to the sides.
The Notes: The nose off the Illusione Epernay has a hit of sweetness to it, while the cold draw serves up some cracker notes. Once the cigar is lit there is some subtle spices with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon in the beginning that slowly fade to reveal a distinct floral notes.
In the second third of the cigar some of the floral notes begin to fade as a creamy note takes over the cigar with a hint of honey. As the cigar progresses past the half way point some spice returns on the retrohale which also introduces some coffee notes and some cedar on the aroma.
The last third of the Illusione Epernay has a focal point of cedar notes with a continued sweetness on the finish that is reminiscent of honey.
The Burn: The only draw back on the Illusione Epernyy is the weak ash, which could be attributed to the size. It does flake some, and drops at less than an inch interval, but it doesn’t take away from the construction. The cigar burned evenly, had a thin burn line and a perfect draw. Most importantly, it stayed lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: The amount of good smokes that Illuisone has put on the market since their inception is quite amazing. The Epernay might be among the most expensive but it is worth the price. The cigar has no lager in it which makes it different than many boutique cigars on the market today. Medium bodied and full of flavor this was a smooth smoking box pressed cigar that delivered from start to finish with notes that were easy to detect and was thoroughly enjoyable.