Team Cigar Review: Illusione OneOff Corona

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Cigar Details: Illusione OneOff Corona

  • Vitola: Corona
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Dion Giolito
  • Price: $12.95
  • Release Date: June 2017
  • Source:  Illusione

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is light brown with some color variations. There is a network of visible veins, but they are all smooth. The seams are visible due to the color variations on the wrapper while the head is finished off with a well applied quadruple cap. The band is the traditional one for the line which is orangish with a white peace symbol. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and leather while the foot brings more wood along with a faint tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw brings a sweet hay note.

Pre-light Experience

The Corona is firm in hand and has a lovely Colorado Maduro coloring to the wrapper. Nice red clay characteristics and with that a beautiful triple cap. It is firm throughout and sports a few veins that are small in size. There is some tooth present on the wrapper and it is giving off an aroma of sharp spices, sweet barnyard notes and some herbal qualities. The foot is showing a lot more spice, baking spices and with that some rich earth and leather.

Pre-light Experience

The Illusione OneOff Corona has a Colorado Claro wrapper shade showing faint traces of oil content. Bunch and roll is fairly firm, seams neatly hidden, veins well pressed and head finished off with a thick triple cap. Aromas from the wrapper give hay, cedar and subtle white pepper. Nosing the foot gives a larger dose of white pepper and cedar. Cold draw gives hay, nuts and cedar shavings.

First Third

Things start off with some wood, earth and cinnamon. At a quarter inch in, the wood becomes darker and the cinnamon morphs into black pepper. At a half inch in, the wood has lightened up a bit and while the black pepper doesn’t have a bite, it is full and heavy on my palate. The retrohale is a mix of slightly creamy wood and black pepper. At an inch and a quarter, a slight cream joins the mouth draws while the dark wood and black pepper are still quite full and there is some earthiness in the background. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The OneOff Corona starts off rather enjoyably and it delivers a unique flavor profile. I am getting this lovely root beer spice and it is paired with some herbal, cream and damp wood notes. There are some distinct marshmallow flavors as well and it is fantastic. The spice level is very nice, and while it is mellow it has a sharpness to it. I would classify the cigar as being between mild and medium in body and the same goes for strength and flavors.

First Third

With just a few draws in, the profile shows an abundance of toast/bread, cedar and dry red pepper. Further, there is a great deal of dry tannins in the cigar, very reminiscent of a big young Cabernet Sauvignon. Retrohaling gives bolder flavors of both the dry red pepper and toast/bread notes. The finish is very long with the tannins on the rear palate and on the sides of the tongue, as well as lingering cedar. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood gains a toasted note and the black pepper lessens slightly. At a half inch in, the cream ramps up to become even with the toasted wood while the black pepper fades a bit more. The retrohale is a mix of wood and black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the pepper is now very faint with the toasted wood and cream up front. The retrohale now consists of wood and cream. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third of the cigar now and finding this third to show some core profiles of the first while losing some complexity. There are a lot of cedar and cream notes, and it is finished with this light white pepper spice. There are some herbal qualities to it as well, but the marshmallow flavors have faded. It has this barnyard profile as well and it really has this old school vibe to it. I would classify this third as being just below medium in terms of body and strength, and the flavors are right there as well.

Second Third

No changes from the first third to the second third. The profile still gives plenty of tannins, toast/bread, cedar and dry red pepper spice. In terms of strength and body, it is still a dead on medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the cream is now ahead of the toasted wood. At a quarter inch in, the wood loses the toast and gains some char and is even with the cream. At three quarters of an inch in, the charred wood takes the lead over the cream. The same profile is present on the retrohale. At an inch in, the cigar heats up and brings some mintiness to the profile. The strength in this third bumps up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

When I get into the final third of the cigar, I find some transitioning in the flavor profile and softening in the cigar as well. There are some almond and nutty qualities present and with that are some soft cream and wood notes. They are accompanied by the barnyard like quality and it is a soft finish. I would say that the cigar is smoking at that level between mild and medium for body, strength and flavors.

Final Third

Within the final stretch of the cigar, the profile is still for the most part the same as the first two thirds. At times the profile spikes in dry red peppers but overall it is still full of tannins, toast/bread and cedar. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy throughout, but never needed any attention. The ash held on in three quarter inch increments.

Burn

For the most part, the cigar burned well, but I did find that it went downhill in the final third and started to burn uneven and need touch-ups. It smoked cool though and produce a solid charcoal ash that held on firmly.

Burn

Burn performance was overall very good. The only downside was the flaky ashes falling off the cigar at times. Other than that, relatively even burn, sturdy ashes, cool burning temperature and an insane smoking time of about 2 hours.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

Having never smoked any of the previous iterations of this brand, I’m unable to compare it to what it was, but based on this cigar, it was a woody, creamy and peppery profile. Construction was very good and just allowed me to focus on flavor. While the profile was a bit dark, the strength level hovered around medium. It’s another nice cigar added to the Illusione profile and I’m interested in smoking other vitolas, especially the +53. This is well worth tracking down to see what you think of it.

Draw

The draw was perfect throughout the Corona and I found that it offered the perfect level of resistance to my liking.

Overall

Overall, I was not blown away by the OneOff Corona. I thought it had a great start but went downhill in each third that followed. I felt that it lacked a lot of complexity and depth throughout and that could be from the vitola offering. I have heard positive things on the larger sizes and I can see that being the case. Because of that, I don’t know that I can truly assess the OneOff line. I can say that the OneOff Corona is not to my liking. I love smaller ring gauges as much as the next, but you have to have a great wrapper to make the cigar pop and I don’t think the wrapper is strong enough on this cigar to do that. The filler blend inside can’t take it to the next level.

Draw

The draw, although a bit snug, was still very good.

Overall

The Illusione OneOff Corona was an overall good tasting profile but it tasted young. As mentioned numerous times within my flavor experience, with such big young tannins encapsulating the entire palate, just like a fine young cabernet, I believe this needs time to mature into something greater. Not quite ready yet, but this will be something great to have a box of to smoke every few months to gauge its changing potential.

Aaron
Seth
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond ThirdGoodSecond ThirdGood
AverageFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
Good
Very GoodBurnGoodBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery Good
GoodOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.57

Cost/Point

$1.97

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.25

Cost/Point

$2.07

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.92

Cost/Point

$1.87

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Illusione OneOff Corona
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Illusione OneOff Corona

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