Illusione Cigars have created quite a buzz among cigars smokers, and any connoisseur will tell you how truly unique the brand is and how colorful of a character the person is behind it. Dion Giolito’s mission when he created the concept of illusione Cigars was to introduce a brand that would re-create the taste profile of cigars coming out of Nicaragua before the Sandinista take over in 1979. The Jalapa Valley and Estelí regions of Nicaragua were growing some of the best tobacco at that time, and the cigars that came out of this area were strong, bold, clean and aromatic. For two decades prior to the political unrest, which characterized the reign of the Sandinistas, Nicaragua was certainly in the midst of its hay-day when it came to producing some of the finest tasting cigars in the world.
Sadly the legacy of these verdant plantations was nearly lost during Nicaragua’s turbulent years from 1979 to 1990. However, a “dream team” of master growers and famed Cuban agronomists assembled to cultivate and regrow these modest Somoza fields, allowing them to yield to their fullest potential once again. The illusione cigar is a product of that effort and delivers a flavor and quality of smoke that is rare in today’s market.
Dion Giolito, self proclaimed “Dark Overlord of the Leaf”, and sometimes known as vudu9 on some forums, is quite a personality. He has a certain view of world control, which is reflective in the name of his cigars. According to Dion, “We are fed the ideas that certain countries and heads of state are in control and run things. That’s the furthest from the truth. They’re smoke and mirrors, puppets, figureheads, ‘illusions.’ The real power is far deeper and, much darker than we see.” Conspiracy theorists would get a kick out of Giolito’s thought processes that gave rise to the naming of his brand.
Giolito owns his own cigar shop, named Fumaré in Reno, Nevada. Although he had been in the retail business for 15 years prior, it wasn’t until he opened his own shop that he considered doing his own line several years ago. Giolito has vowed to keep his productions limited, never to exceed 500 thousand in a year. His focus is on quality and not quantity, which is characteristic of all boutique brands. Every illusione cigar is Honduran-made with Nicaraguan puros and wrapped in grade one Café Colorado wrapper. The seeds are all Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 and each vitola is triple capped.
One unique fact about the illusione brand is that unlike other cigars that offer the same blend in different sizes, Giolito’s blends are different in each vitola. He also code dates each of his cigar boxes and says that illusione cigars are constructed to have a life of 10 years inside the box. Each cigar is banded with a thin black and white band with gothic lettering which are reminiscent of the dark overtones of conspiracy theorists world wide. Even their names are in Giolito’s special code that reflects what each one means to him.
These guys are definitely an interesting bunch. And who knows, if the world does come to end as we know it in 2012, illusione cigars will live on tucked safely in their boxes to be enjoyed ten years down the road by all the lucky cigar smoking survivors out there!