Illusione Haut 10

Size: 5.5 x 52

Vitola: Robusto Extra

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Factory: TABSA

MSRP: $15.95

Cigars smoked for review: 3

Cigars for review provided by: Purchased

Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system

 

Prelight: At first glance, this is a gorgeous cigar.  A beautifully smooth, extremely evenly colored medium-brown wrapper that is free of any major veins or imperfections, finished with a perfectly applied fantail cap.  The cigar is adorned with a somewhat understated band. It’s reminiscent of the simple band on Illusione’s core lines, but has a color scheme that stands out among the rest of Illusione’s portfolio, and is just a bit flashier.

Smoking:

The wrapper smells like a well aged pilón.  Slightly sweet, a touch of ammonia, and a peppery spice, with a sort of bready undertone.  The cold draw is a mix of roasted nuts, and sweet tobacco with a little white pepper on the finish.

The first draw is full of a mix of black and white pepper spice with a creamy, slightly sour and a spicy, yet very nutty finish.  Very peppery retrohale, with hints of leather and cedar.  After a quarter inch, a bitter espresso note works it’s way in, as well as the signature ‘sweet umami’ flavor that I always get from AGANORSA tobacco, and the spice starts to settle down.

 

An inch in, the ash drops on all 3 samples, and the spice has calmed, but is still very present.   The bitter espresso is still present, with a spicy nutty finish.  While there’s a lot of flavor, there’s almost no heaviness on the palate, resulting in a very pleasant finish.  Nearing the end of the first third, the strength lies firmly at medium.

 

Starting the second third the spice starts to ramp up, and the nutty flavors take on a meaty, savory component, along with a brown sugar/molasses sweetness.  The retrohale now has a very strong white pepper note.


In the final third, the spice is steadily declining, while the bitter espresso ramps up.  The primary flavor in the second half of the final third is raw almonds, while the finish is closer to roasted almonds.

While the burn was a bit jagged on any of the 3 samples I smoked, but I never had to touch up the burn.  The flavors were fantastic throughout, but it should be noted that this cigar is always ready to slap you on the wrist with bitterness if you smoke a little too fast.

The almost $16 price point is a tough sell for most, but the experience certainly lives up to the price.  A complex mix of rich flavors, the smoke practically begs for your attention.  The strength never quite hits full, and the flavors never weigh on the palate, so I could absolutely see this as either an after dinner cigar to celebrate, or the cigar to kick off an evening of herfing.

Tripp's Rating:  95 AKA "Box Purchase"

Views: 193

Comment by Sam C. on February 17, 2017 at 7:09pm
Awesome review, Trent. Another HAUT fan on the books. I need to revisit.
Comment by Stefan Lindblad on February 20, 2017 at 2:47pm

I smoked 2 right after they were released, and that was enough for me to buy a box. I've smoked another half dozen (given away a few, too), and I am ready to purchase another box. 

When you were smoking these, did any pairings jump to mind? I've tried a few different spirits, but am curious to hear what you think.


Assistant to MFCEO
Comment by Trippopolis on February 20, 2017 at 2:54pm

in my mind, the best pairings for these would be coffee, a less sweet/smoky bourbon like Angels Envy, or a fruit forward Scotch like Glenlivet French Oak, Aberlour, or  Yamazaki 12(yeah, I put it in with Scotch).

Comment by Stefan Lindblad on February 20, 2017 at 2:57pm

I've never had the Yamazaki, but I had a glass of the Suntory Toki this weekend, and immediately thought the flavor profile would pair quite well with this. The two best pairings I've had were Glenfarclas 10 and Elmer T Lee. 

Comment by Ky70 on February 20, 2017 at 4:35pm
Nice review!! I enjoy these but they don't hit my palate all the way
Comment by Jeff M. on February 21, 2017 at 7:18am

They are gorgeous, especially with that classy looking band.

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