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

Wrapper: Cafe Rosado                     Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua                                 Strength: Medium

Flavor: Medium                                

Illusione Epernay CigarsIllusione Epernay from Dion Giolito was released in 2008 in honor of the 15th anniversary of the European Cigar Cult Journal. Similar to, but lighter than the original ECCJ release, Epernay was created to pair with great French champagnes. Giolito stated, “I named it after a region in France that made this grape famous.”  

Envisioned as more suited to a “European palate,” Epernay is an all-Nicaraguan cigar made of a combination of Criollo and Corojo tobaccos enfolded in a slightly reddish shade-grown Corojo ‘99 wrapper leaf of superior quality. Don Giolito was seeking-- and has apparently found-- more refined, sweeter floral notes that perfectly blend with the delicate flavors found in French champagne. 

Giolito’s dream aside, the Illusione Epernay is a vision of beauty.  The wrapper has minimal veins and has that glistening sheen of oil to its surface. This traditionally classic cigar has a flat, Cuban-style triple cap, and a decent heft to it. Totally lacking in soft spots, this cigar is so well-crafted it is nigh impossible to find the seam in the roll.  

As one would expect, the cigar band bears a strong resemblance to the ECCJ cigar with its white and gold band. From head to foot, this cigar is an aficionado’s dream. A pre-light draw reveals honey and cedar notes intermingled within the Epernay—a great beginning for an accompaniment to fine champagne. 

As one would expect from such a fine wrapper and artisanship, the Epernay cigar has a perfect burn that is even and consistent from start to finish.  The ash is salt and pepper, although it is heavier on the pepper, which seems to be a bit weak at times. The draw on this Epernay is perfection—with just enough resistance for the relaxation that true aficionados seek. 

After lighting, the Epernay tastes like a holiday feast with some amazingly defined flavors throughout the cigar. The first third is a symphony of apple cinnamon spice. A mild flash of cinnamon and spice fades into notes of apple with some floral, roasted nuts, and wood tones as well.  

This refined burst of delicate flavors in the second third is where Don Giolito’s homage to France’s Champagne is most evident. Just before the final third, the Epernay becomes fuller bodied as a creamy honeyed coffee flavor with undertones of pepper and cedar emerges and then remains to the end.  The spice in the aftertaste accelerates near the finish of this fine cigar. 

When all is said and done, the Illusione Epernay is a delicious smoke with a complexity of flavors, both sweet and piquant in a medium-bodied cigar that cries out to be paired with an elegant French champagne, good companions, and relaxing conversation. Patrick Semmens of the Stogie Guys website claims to have skeptically paired his Epernay Le Elegance with a favored Cava champagne only to find… that Don Giolito has done what he set out to do, or in Patrick’s words, “I found that the crisp, lively bubbly was an excellent accompaniment.” Cigar smokers everywhere are the beneficiaries. La vita dolce!

Our Cigar Shop is located in Houston Texas, however we also service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., El Paso, Texas, Dallas TX DFW, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Raleigh-Durham NC, WashingtonC, Albuquerque NM, Huntsville AL, Fayetteville AR, N Dorfolk VA , Madison WI.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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