Illusione TAA Exclusive 2021 Cigar Review
Founded in 2006, Illusione Cigars are not the industry standard, but then again neither is brand owner Dion Giolito. In his early days he developed a cult following and today his cigars are enjoyed by cigar passionado’s everywhere. Now as the company celebrates its 15th Anniversary they have released their first ever TAA cigar in celebration. Limited to only 80 or so retailers across the USA, only 3,500 boxes of 10 cigars were made, this 6.25 x 54 box pressed cigar is part of the Cigares Prive line and is a Nicaraguan Puro made at AGANORSA Leaf.
Cigar Review: Illusione TAA Exclusive
Ring Gauge: 54
The Look: Packaged in 10 count boxes, laid out in one row the Illusione TAA is as basic as they come in terms of packaging. The box pressed cigars feature a dark mottled wrapper that is loaded with oils and features two bands, the primary being blue and white the TAA logo, and a secondary band denoting Cigares Prive. In the hand the box pressed has no voids of tobacco and a hefty weight to it.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Illusione TAA Exclusive sends my palate into overdrive. There are notes of black cherry, figs and prunes along with a subtle raspberry. It’s easily the most complex cold draw I have every come across since I began smoking in 1998. The foot of the cigar is a polar opposite as there really isn’t much of anything going on outside a very subtle sweetness.
Once the cigar is toasted and lit there are notes of black cherry and pepper with the later waking up the sinuses within the first couple of puffs. There is no hiding this cigar comes from Aganorsa, especially with that burst of pepper to start. As the cigar settles down notes of figs, rum and black cherry dominate the palate. I could only imagine how incredible this would pair with Ron Zacapa XO. As the first third comes to a close some notes of caramel begin to develop in the background.
As we move into the second third the sweetness begins to fade as a salty pretzel rod note begins to emerge becoming the dominant flavor profile. There is still some subtle black cherry sweetness but that becomes more of an afterthoughts especially after the half way point when some leather notes begin to take hold. The retrohale serves up a subtle pepper and caramel on this cigar that features a long finish.
The last third of the TAA Exclusive from Illusione sees notes of earth and leather become dominant with a hint of coffee beans and cedar. Some black cherry tries to hold on until the last inch of the cigar where it returns for one last hurrah. The finish is still long, and the retrohale despite being loaded with black pepper has a touch of creaminess to it as well.
The Finish: The cigar started out wonderfully complex with rich notes and a nice sweetness which isn’t what I expected, but the cigar slowly progressed into a nice strong cigar with continues complexity. I am curious to how this cigar will age, especially on the second hand of the cigar. These is a wonderful cigar that has the potential to become even more. Even if you don’t choose to age these they are one of the better TAA cigars I have ever smoked and perhaps my favorite from the brand.
Price: $15.19 / $149.99