Bite Size Review: Illusione Fume D’Amour
Just about any cigar that Dion Giolito and Illusione Cigars creates, we’re going to add to our “to smoke” lists. And not because of accolades or social buzz, but rather Giolito’s reputation and meticulous nature of creating something unique. And because its usually really, really good. Sometimes it IS tough to ignore the buzz of a pending release or the critical acclaim that usually follows one of their new products. But, if ever there was this notion of a “sure thing” in this business, the Reno-based provocateur might have a hand in it. Literally.
Only one of Illusione’s blends has made it to these pages (Garagiste), but it’s something we plan to rectify and with a robust number of lines, it’s a target-rich environment. In reviewing his portfolio, one of Giolito’s lanceros caught our eye. Previously reserved for the Original Documents line, the 2015-released lancero vitola was added to the Fume D’Amour marca, which was launched the previous year. The Fume D’Amour line has garnered a bucket load of praise including a high-flying 95 rating from Cigar Aficionado.
A bit longer than a typical lancero, our Fume D’Amour (translated “smoke love affair”), is uniformly solid and offers a semi-smooth texture. The nice cap and seamless roll allow the eye to focus on the elegant lines of the oily, golden brown Corojo wrapper. The easy, cold draw offers just enough resistance while coating the palate with juicy raisins. While not terribly fragrant, a chocolatey essence pervades the air.
Post-light highlights include a sweet and savory core of wood punctuated by a light spice and notes of nougat, red pepper, leather and vanilla. The draw is rife with toasted oats and there are hints of dark chocolate on a luxurious finish of baked bread and wood. Transitions feature rich, salty wood and earth profiles with a balance and complexity that is simply delicious. Combustion is spot on throughout and the Fume D’Amour produces a strong 1” ash. This line was launched after a three-year drought of new products, but man, it sure was worth the wait. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 1. Boxworthy
Did you Know: The tobaccos used to craft the Fume D’Amour were meticulously sourced from Aganorsa Leaf for the desired palette and strength.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Juniperos [Lancero]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 7.5″x40
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $10.51
- Humidor Age: 10 mo.
- Box: 25
- Other Vitolas: Lagunas [4.25″x42], Viejos [5″x50], Capistranos [6″x56], Clementes [6/5″x48]. Concepcions [5.63″x46]
Smoke Time: 1:16
Draw: Effortless (just enough resistance)
Construction: Nice cap; oily; rich, golden brown corojo wrapper; minimal veins; seamless; uniformly solid; semi-smooth texture; holds 1″+ ash.
- Wrapper – Figs, chocolate
- Foot – Cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – Raisins
- Initial: Sweet and savory woody undertones; notes of nougat, leather, vanilla and red pepper; light spice on tongue; notes of baked bread and dark chocolate on finish; toasted oats on draw; finish becomes more woody.
- Transition: Woody nucleus with dominant cedar and caramel intonations; residual leather notes carry over; hearty finish of black coffee; slight uptick in spice; adds hints of milk chocolate and graham cracker on retro; edgy texture.
- Transition: Overtly sweet and salty profile; hints of candied nuts and graham cracker on retro; profile adds more body and earthy notes; cedar notes on draw with a return of the baked bread finish.
Touch ups: 0
Recommendation: 1. Boxworthy
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead