A medium brown wrapper with a couple of medium sized veins protruding. The seams are nearly invisible and there are three very well applied caps. There is a very simple, thin brown band with white lettering and borders that has the company and line name. The wrapper aroma is a bit barnyardy. The aroma from the foot is a light tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw is a faint mix of leather and hay while there is a slight spicy tingle on my lips.
The Illusione Garagiste Robusto has a rich and oily Colorado Maduro shade wrapper. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. Bunching and roll feels well executed as there is a nice uniformed give throughout. The parejo head is finished off with a well applied thick triple cap. Nosing the wrapper gives cedar and fresh barnyard. Nosing the foot gives mixed dry nuts, natural tobacco sweetness and a touch of white pepper. Cold draw tells namely cedar.
Initial draws bring a light mix of well aged wood and cinnamon. After a few draws, the fullness of the wood and cinnamon increases. At a half inch in, the aged wood gains a creaminess which thankfully doesn’t change the cinnamon level at all. At an inch in, the cream goes away and the aged wood transitions to a general wood note while the cinnamon has mellowed just a bit. At an inch and a half, the aged wood note comes back. The retrohale has been a mild cinnamon. As the third comes to a close, a bit of cream rejoins the profile. The strength in this third was just below medium.
Initial flavors brings forth a mixture of dark cocoa, dry earth, musty meatiness and sweet creamed mixed nuts. There’s an oiliness to the profile caking my entire palate. A leather component joins the aforementioned flavors a quarter inch into the cigar. Also at this point, I feel the effects of the strength, quickly ramping to a medium-full. The retrohale has a bounty of black pepper, creamed mixed nuts and leather. The finish lingers with faint dry nuts, leather, baking spice and palate layering black pepper. Body is at the medium mark.
As this third begins, a slight bitterness joins the creamy aged wood and cinnamon. The retrohale has now transitioned to just the aged wood note. At an inch in, the cinnamon goes away and the bitterness increases slightly while the creamy aged wood is at the forefront. At an inch and a quarter, the wood note becomes more defined as oak. As the third comes to a close, the bitterness increases some more and becomes even with the oak. The strength in this third is right at medium.
The second third has deeper notes of dry earth, dark cocoa, leather and sweetness coming off the creamed mixed nuts. The profile also gets a nice oily cinnamon note, highlighting the other flavors very well. The retrohale remains unchanged still giving pronounced black pepper, creamed mixed nuts and leather. The finish results in cinnamon, dry nuts, leather and balanced palate layering black pepper. Strength and body remains medium-full and medium, respectively.
As this third begins, the cream comes back in a good dose and dilutes the bitterness quite a bit. The retrohale consists of a slightly charred oak. At three quarters of an inch in, the char makes its way into the mouth to enhance the oak a little bit. There is still a slight bitterness in the background. The cigar warms up as it gets near the end with the slightly charred oak and slight bitterness. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
The last third continues it’s stride of providing distinct dry earth, dark cocoa, cinnamon and leather. Halfway through, the black pepper spice ramps up to the same levels as the first third. Further, the dark cocoa dies down, leaving me namely with dry earth, leather and slight wood bitter tones. The retrohale loses it’s sweet cream nuts, now giving elevated black pepper and leather. The finish is now comprised of tapered black pepper, leather and dry wood. Strength and body continues to be at medium-full and medium.
The burn was perfect the entire way with ashes holding on in about inch and a quarter increments.
Burn was very good. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 50 minutes. Burn line although never razor sharp, allowed all the leaves to burn in unison with no re-lights or touch ups. Ashes held on tight with minimal flowering, averaging one inch increments.
The draw was great at the beginning and then slowly tightened up as the cigar went along and was fairly snug by the end.
A great start to this cigar with very appealing aged wood and cinnamon notes, but as the first third came to an end, everything left but the wood and things became pretty average. Strength was right around medium, so that shouldn’t turn most smokers off, but I had high hopes with how things started and felt a bit let down by the end. I’ll definitely revisit this cigar hoping that the profile from the first third can carry on and that the draw issue was just a one off experience.
|Average||Second Third||Very Good|
The draw was perfect. I cut in line with the ring gauge of the cigar, which yielded the perfect draw.
After smoking through many Illusione corojo and criollo centric cigars, and now the new Connecticut shade and Equador Habano, it’s right and safe to say that Dion is a superb master blender. He just doesn’t miss. While the Garagiste isn’t my favorite of the Illusione profile (Original Documents is), this is a solid, typical Illusione style of flavor focused cigars.
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