Cigar: Illusione Cruzado                                                  Size: 5.75 x 40 (Le Elegance)

Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo                          Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras                      Strength: Medium

Flavor: Full                                                         

 Illusione Cruzado CigarsThe Cruzado line of cigars is another premium line conceived and blended by master tobacconist Dion Giolito, who also created the famed Illusione cigar lines. Released in mid-2008, it is a medium to full-bodied cigar with complex flavors, soft spices atop leather, earth, and a delectable creaminess.  

The flavor and potency of the Illusione cigars was moderated for the Cruzado line by replacing the robust ligero tobacco with the milder Viso, which is the priming right below ligero on the tobacco plant. The overall taste of the Cruzado is uniquely Nicaraguan, with strong Cuban influences in evidence. 

In an interview with Blog of the Leaf, Dion Giolito remarked, "Whereas Illusione is a Corojo blend with one component of Criollo, Cruzado is a Criollo blend with one component of Corojo. Illusione exhibits an earthy sweetness in the olfactory sense.  The profile of Cruzado is more forward on the palate with leather and spice." 

With a timeless medieval look, the nearly café rosado brown wrapper of the Cruzado is primitive-looking and firm to the touch with no soft spots—just what you’d expect of a cigar named after the Crusader knights of old. The font on the band even gives the impression of having originated on an ancient coat of arms with its argent, or silver, background.

The Cruzado has a nice, oily sheen and a rounded triple cap. An appreciative sniff of the cigar yields a rich chocolaty aroma with a delicious hint of spice. The foot of the Cruzado exudes a leathery scent (no pun intended) with some underlying notes of nutmeg. After a clean cut, the initial cold draw, though a bit labored, is quite spicy, with notes reminiscent of German pastry.

The draw starts out a little tight, then opens up and becomes effortless in the second third of the cigar. The burn also starts well, and then gets slightly wavy in the first third.  By the second is burning true with no further problems. The noticeably dark ash is not really flaky, nor packed either.  It reaches a respectable 1½” before giving way.

Immediately after lighting, there is a nearly spontaneous burst of pepper followed by a panoply of other flavors: bread, oats, the German pastry once again, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and leather. Notable is the earthy creaminess of the Cruzado cigar which gives “full-flavored” a whole new meaning.

The tantalizing aromas and medium body of the Cruzado also make it an excellent retro-hale (or snorking) cigar, though the bouquets don’t seem to linger for a protracted amount of time.

In the second third of the Cruzado, the flavors are still holding strong, though the pepper is no longer evident. Remaining are more of the delicious spice, vanilla, oats, and bread notes.

The Cruzado’s finish is très smooth --with none of the nicotine feel that sometimes mars a medium to full-bodied smoke. This enjoyable cigar finishes off with a wonderful vanilla coffee creaminess with undertones of oak, leather, and a mild hint of pepper.

The splendid flavors and incredibly smooth creaminess of the Cruzado are sure to maintain its popularity as a premium full-flavored, medium-bodied smoke for all palates, and make it particularly well-suited for novice and casual smokers.

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POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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