Size: 4.5 x 44 (Le Petite)
Wrapper: Sun Grown Corojo
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: Around $6.00 a single
Behind The Stick:
In my seemingly never ending quest to find a great smoke for my car ride home from work and my overwhelming preference of smaller ring gauges my search directed me towards this Epernay line by Illusione. I was able to do some research on the line, and one thing that surprised me was that this line was actually directed towards ‘the European market’, a combination of corojo-criollo blended tobaccos from Nicaragua fuse this creation. My thought, since European’s usually (not always so don’t ball bust me) smoke Cuban cigars I am wondering if this line may have a more refined, smoother and maybe even more flavorful delivery than we normally associate with Nicaraguan tobacco.
I spoke with a few people on twitter about the line and this size in specific (being one of the smaller sizes it fits my 45 min drive perfectly) so I decided to order a few – I was planning on letting them rest from shipment for a week or so when I was told by a few others, Dion included, to go ahead and give it a shot right out of the gate. I don’t want to give away too many hints of the review – so here it is!
I can not speak highly enough about the construction of these things. Yeah, they are smaller and may not require the refined skill that some of the more abnormal sizes and shapes, but consistency is still key. Out of all the ones I have smoked to date I only had an issue on one, and it fell victim to my all time pet peeve, the band, which on one was stuck to the extent where I was worried if I removed it that it would cause a tear in the wrapper – and at this size, we can’t afford mistakes.
Evenly packed from head to foot with little to no give at the end, the triple cap had been placed perfectly – a great start. Although there were a few decently sized veins that ran about half of the length of the stick, they added a rugged offset to the elegant white and gold band that seemed to just hug the wrapper, making the reddish tint of the wrapper that much more apparent. As I said before, I can not say enough good things about the construction and consistency.
Starting off, this shorter stick began to deliver a nice cedar undertone to the natural Nicaraguan tobacco flavor, the smoke itself containing a light but buttery feel, easily coating my taste buds. Once the cigar had a chance to warm up I was reminded of the other Illusione blends – the semi spicy hit of pepper and ‘cooking spices’ mixed with an ever so light touch of coco (like the Hershey powder mix) reinforcing the flavor change after the first ash. Up until the band the Illusione Le Petite held these flavors throughout, a light ‘sweet’ taste I was unable to pick out kept sneaking in, keeping my interest above the already well blended flavors.
Dion Giolito, not only a well known and respected brand owner – he’s a pretty decent guy even outside of the cigar world – haha. Now granted, our short conversations usually fall into the category of ‘things that go bump in the night’ or a quick DM on twitter of ‘hey, did you hear about ____’. That being said, the previous reasons are what directed me to this 4 1/2 by 44 Le Petite Epernay, my search to find a cigar I could consistently smoke on my way home from work – a 45 min drive from downtown St. Louis while listening to some of my ‘crazy talk’ on Coast To Coast AM. I think I might have found what I’ve been looking for! These last me about 30-45 min but I also smoke them a bit faster than maybe I should, but come on, its my car gar!
So – long story short – I simply think these are amazing. I purchased a 5 pack and have already gone out and bought another 10 if thats any indication of my thoughts. This smoke really hit my flavor profile, even though I thought that this small cigar would be a more one dimensional type blend, I was quickly corrected by the great flavors and changes the Illusione Epernay Le Petite brings to the table. If you have not tried one yet I highly suggest you give them a shot, this is one of those cigars I’d recommend starting with a pair or more… yeah, that good.
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory