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Cigar Review: Illusione MJ12

1 Aug 2011

After finishing my first MJ12, I couldn’t help but think how much I would like another. Though I didn’t light one up immediately, not having another two hours or so to spare, I have had several since that initial experience. And all have been excellent.

This thick, oily cigar from Dion Giolito’s Illusione brand is rich in flavors, complex, and balanced. Beginning with peppery spice befitting its Nicaraguan tobacco, the cigar evolves as it slowly burns down the six-inch length. I’ve picked up leather, cedar, floral notes, coffee, and a tobacco sweetness that blends nicely with various spices.

Overall, I’d rate the strength as medium- to full-bodied. There’s considerable power but little of the nicotine punch that can mar a powerful cigar.

I could find little about the MJ12 on the Illusione website, but a number of online retailers list it as a Nicaraguan puro. There’s also lots of chatter about the meaning of the name, which you can easily explore if you’re interested.

The other oddity is the silver foil encasing the 54-ring gauge stick instead of cellophane. Looks a little odd, but it does make the MJ12 stand out on the shelves. Prices run to about $8 per stick—very reasonable for a cigar of this size and quality. The draw on some has been nearly perfect, a little loose on at least one. But the only real problems I’ve encountered were an occasional erratic burn and the necessity of having to relight.

This is a cigar not to be taken lightly. You should be prepared to spend the time necessary to truly enjoy it. If you do, the MJ12 will repay you in spades. It’s awfully close to a five-stogie stick, but I can’t go quite that far because of the burn issues. But it’s no slouch at four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

One Response to “Cigar Review: Illusione MJ12”

  1. CdJ Monday, August 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    I echo the comments about some burn issues…and if history is any example, really the cigars should not have the…issues. However, one of my favorite and a great review. Love the foil and this size.