At IPCPR 2016, Dion Giolito unveiled a new look for his Cruzado line of cigars. The cigars which were once packaged in the retail friendly 4 rows of 5 cigars has been replaced by a more traditional sized box with two rows of 10. Also gone is the cross on the box, replaced with hands bound together, with Cruzado above and an upside down Illusione beneath.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo ’99 Rosado
Ring Gauge: 56
The Look: With the design change of the box mentioned above its time to focus on the cigar itself. The gorgeous Coroho wrapper has a slight reddish-brown hue to it, and is rolled to perfection. The new band is thin like the tradition Illusione black and white band. The colors are reverse with a black background and white text with a slight gold to it and like the box, the word Illusione is upside down. In the hand the cigar is firm with no voids with a well packed foot.
The Notes: The aroma of the cigar is a rich flavor bomb and right in my wheel house. There are notes of mocha, cedar, and hay. All of which are easily identified. As for the cold draw it adds a rich cherry syrup that is joined by a subtle cedar on the finish. Needless to say I can’t wait to light this one up.
Smoking the first third there is a pepper note through the nose that is subtle with a hint of mocha and cinnamon over a base of cedar. As the first third of cigar comes to a close a graham cracker note develops that has me salivating.
The second third of Cruzado sees the cedar remain as a base note as the cigar develops a leathery aroma. On the palate here is an abundance of flavors including some cherry notes, cinnamon and touch of coffee on the finish.
The last third of the cigar continues to serve up notes of cedar. While the mocha remains its much more subtle in the last third as some nuttiness becomes dominant especially on the retrohale with some continues leather on the aroma.
The Finish: I like the way the new packaging comes together right down to the subtle gold of the band which may or may not be a reference to the gold foil that once wrapped the cigar was it was called the Domenicos Extra. While for me the brand had some issues when it was made at another factory it seems to be fixed as Dion has turned to Tabacos Valle de Jalapa aka TABSA. The result is a cigar full of flavor that restores Illusione to the brand I once had a love affair with.