Team Cigar Review: Illusione H-Town Lancero

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Cigar Details: Illusione H-Town Lancero

  • Vitola: Lancero
  • Length: 7″
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 98
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo 99
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Dion Giolito
  • Price: $9.95
  • Release Date: January 2016
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Right off the bat I’m thinking that this is a long cigar. It has a medium brown wrapper with a few easily visible, and some thick, veins. There is some blotchiness to the wrapper along with the veins carrying a bit of a darker shade as well. The seams are very smooth, but easily discernible because of the color variations of the wrapper. The caps are very neatly applied. The band is a very deep shade of blue with white lettering and outlining. The band doesn’t add or take away anything from the presentation. I can’t say that I am getting any aroma from the wrapper. The foot aroma is pretty sweet, but not quite raisin like. The pre-light draw carries some sweetness as well, but more like graham cracker. There is also a bit of leather mixed in and I am getting a spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Illusione H-Town Lancero has a Colorado Claro (medium brown) wrapper shade. There is a nice fuzziness felt on the finger tips. The cigar feels well bunched and rolled providing an even and uniform give. The veins are neatly pressed and seams almost invisible. The head is finished off with a neatly applied quadruple cap. Pre-light wrapper aroma gives pungent fresh manure-like barnyard and slight flowers. Nosing the foot gives intense white pepper, cedar and dry roasted nuts. Cold draw tells namely rich cedar, saltiness and tingly white pepper on the lips.

First Third

Initial light brings a warm and spicy cedar. After a few draws, the spice dials down a bit, but is still there. The retrohale is bringing a toasted bread component. About three quarters of an inch in, the cedar has transitioned to oak and is still carrying a bit of the spice from before. At an inch in, the retrohale moves from a toasted bread to a toasted oak. The spice is now super mellow in the mouth with the oak still being the primary with a slight bit of cream as well. At an inch and a half, there is a drop in strength and the flavors really smooth out, as well as the retrohale. The toasty oak is really the experience in the mouth and retrohale. Nearing the end of the third, a bit of char comes in to mix with the oak and the toastiness subsides in the mouth, but remains on the retrohale. The strength in this third started at medium full but became medium near the midway point.

First Third

First thirds flavor profile from first draw begins with delicious sweet, spicy and earthy notes. Notes of burnt caramel, dry biscuits, leather, palate layering black pepper spice, dry roasted cashews, black tea and coffee. Roughly an inch in, hay is introduced into the profile, mixing well with the black pepper and burnt caramel sweetness. Smoking another half an inch or so, the black pepper spice reaches deeper and fuller, caking my entire tongue. On the retrohale, graham cracker, nasal clearing black pepper and rich cedar. The finish consists of dry and creamy biscuits, black tea and black pepper on the rear palate. Both strength and body is at a consistent medium within the entire first third.

Second Third

As this third begins, the slightly charred oak continues, but a fair amount of cream comes in to mix with that. About a quarter inch in, I begin to get a slight nuttiness mixing in with all of the other flavors. At the midway point, it’s primarily oaky, with a little bit of nuttiness and the cream has gone away. About two inches in, the cream comes backs in to help fill up the profile a bit. A bit of minerality is becoming present on the retrohale. As the third comes to a close, the profile really gets a nice mix of oak and cream with that same mix on the retrohale with the addition of some minerality. The strength in this this was a bit under medium.

Second Third

Second thirds flavor profile continues to be one that is namely sweet, spicy and earthy. Further, the profile in general does a better job of melding together. Continuous flavors of burnt caramel sweetness, dry biscuits, leather, hay, dry roasted cashews, coffee and black tea. The black pepper is no longer caking my tongue, instead, it has moved towards the rear palate. About a quarter inch in, the strength ramps up to a medium full, giving me a slight cloudy head. On the retrohale, nasal clearing black pepper, rich cedar and toasted nuttiness. The finish consists of toasted nuttiness, black tea, cedar, airy bread, slight black pepper on the backdrop. By the end of the second third, strength is at a medium plus while body stays at a medium.

Final Third

As this third begins, oak is still the primary flavor, but I am now getting some mustiness in the mouth and the retrohale. About an inch in, the mustiness has increased and takes over the lead from the oak. At the midway point, the oak that is in the background gets a little char to it to mix with the mustiness. The retrohale is primarily musty. A little further in and the oak and mustiness even out. There is some bitterness coming into the profile as well. The bitterness goes away after a few draws and the cigar finishes out with an even mix of oak and mustiness.. The strength in this third was medium.

Final Third

The last thirds flavor profiles complexities dies down, namely providing toasted nuttiness, sharp cedar, leather and palate layering black pepper. The burnt caramel sweetness I loved within the first two thirds is not as distinct, falling by the wayside. On the retrohale, same nasal clearing black pepper and sharp cedar. The finish consists of toasted nuttiness and lingering black pepper spice lodging towards the back of my throat. Roughly halfway through the last third, a charred bitterness weighs on the palate, taking away from the burnt caramel sweetness. Strength and body continues to be medium full and medium, respectively.

Burn

A perfect burn line on a lancero makes for an amazing burn. The ash held on in one inch chunks and never dropped unexpectedly.

Burn

The cigar gave fairly good smoke production. The burn was a bit even at all times, but most importantly, all the leaves burned in unison without ever needing a re-light or touch up. The one inch average ashes was flowery at times but never fell unwantedly.

Draw

The draw was really good. There were some moments where it tightened up slightly more than I prefer, but those were few and far between.

Overall

Overall, the cigar was good, bit didn’t wow me. When I had heard this blend was based off of the Singulare Phantom blend, I knew it had some big shoes to fill, but I can’t say it really lived up to that cigar. The core flavors of oak, cream and mustiness were really all the cigar was about. Not many transitions or wowing moments. This cigar would be easily approachable to any smoker and at any time of day. I suggest trying one if you have access to it, as the performance is top notch and it’s worth seeing if the flavors fit your profile.

Aaron
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Very Good
Good Second Third Very Good
Average Final
Third
Average
Amazing Burn Good
Very Good Draw Amazing
Good Overall Very Good

Draw

There was no issues with the draw. Just the right amount of resistance for this hard to roll (and sometimes draw) lancero.

Overall

When news broke out about Illusione making a lancero based off the blend of the 2010 Singulare Phantom, I was incredibly excited. The Phantom till this day, is by far the best Illusione I have ever had. Needless to say, going into this cigar, I had very high expectations. This cigar delivers what I love about Illusione in general; cigars focusing on flavor and balance. Even though the cigar is great now, I am banking that aging will yield a euphoric experience. I highly recommend picking up a box to smoke (now) and gauge every few months and another box to lay down for the long haul.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.80

Cost/Point

$1.46

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.73

Cost/Point

$1.29

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Illusione H-Town Lancero

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