This is my review of the Illusione Epernay Le Monde (6.25 x 52) which was Reddit /r/cigars December cigar of the month. This cigar was generously bombed to me from LostAbbott while I was visting Seattle for an NFL football game.
I picked up barnyard and cedar. The nose was quite subtle.
The Epernay is solidly constructed. Unfortunately in the travels back home the foot was damaged a bit in transport. The band is white with a dull gold edging.
This was a pleasant combination of spice and chocolate. Neither flavor was too strong or overpowered the other. I picked up some coffee at the back of my throat on exhale. A few minutes in and some sweet creaminess started to break through. After about 20 minutes in just before it moves into the middle I'm already thinking I need to pick up a box of these.
The middle starts out quite earthy. The strength of this cigar is starting to take hold. The spice comes back in the middle third but it's more of a background note than anything. Overall I enjoyed the first third much more than the second third. Not a lot of flavor complexity here.
The last third is a combination of earth, spice and the coffee that barely present in the first third. After about 10-15 minutes a nice rich tobacco sweetness.
A nice even burn from start to finish. Draw hit that sweet spot. Total smoking time was almost exactly 2 hours 15 minutes.
A single Illusione Epernay Le Monde ranges from $8 - $11, 5 packs around $55 and come in boxes of 50 for $362. At the lower end of the price point this represents a good value.
The Illusione Epernay is not a 'blow you away' cigar but very tasty. The highlights for me were the first and last thirds. I'll be picking up a 10-pack of these on my next order and I'd definitely suggest you pick up a few to try yourself.