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Cigar Review: Illusione Singulare 2012

24 Jul 2012

The original Illusione Singulare 2010 known as “Phantom” is one of my favorite cigars of all time, a cigar I bought four boxes of before the the 1,000-box run was exhausted. I remarkably still have half a box left. If ever I’m pressed to give my hypothetical “desert island cigar” (a single cigar that would be the only one you’d smoke for the rest of your life), Phantom is always in consideration.

That makes the 2011 and 2012 Illusione Singulare cigars some of my most anticipated smokes of the year. Both were shipped to stores last week together in boxes of 15, selling for $170 (around $11 per cigar). Boxes apparently randomly have eight of one blend and seven of the other. The two blends can be easily identified because the 2012 comes wrapped in tissue paper and the 2011 doesn’t.

More obviously, the 2012 features a San Andreas maduro wrapper, while the 2011 features a natural corojo wrapper that looks more similar to the original 2010 version. Both have a similar combination of Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Notably, these are the first Illusione cigars to be made in Nicaragua at the TABSA factory operated by Eduardo Fernández, who also owns the Honduran Raices Cubanas  factory where all the previous Illusione cigars have been made.

The Singulare 2012 (along with the 2011) is a toro (6 x 52). The San Andreas wrapper is dark brown, nearly completely vein-free, and it has just a touch of oils, but not much sheen. It’s a well-made cigar with a bit of give and an effortless open draw.

The cigar features a combination of dry chocolate, roasted flavors (peanut and pecan), slight cedar, and some black pepper. Towards the second half, it develops a mouth-watering tannic edge, similar to the original Phantom, and the pepper ramps up too.

It’s balanced, medium-bodied, and produces voluminous, dense smoke that coats the entire palate. The burn on each of the three cigars I smoked was perfectly even and the ash held for at least an inch.

I’ve only had one of the 2011 version but, based on that limited sample, I think the 2012 is the standout of the new Singulare 2011/2012 releases. In fact, based solely on this cigar, I already ordered a second box.

The initial 2010 “Phantom” was a cigar that got better and better with age. (In fact, if I reviewed it again today, I’m sure it would earn a perfect rating.) I suspect this cigar might benefit similarly. Still, it’s already an excellent, balanced, complex, and interesting cigar. I just hope it’s not two more years before we get to try the next “annual” Singulare cigar. That’s enough to earn the Illusione Singulare 2012 four and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

7 Responses to “Cigar Review: Illusione Singulare 2012”

  1. Chris S Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I'm so mad at myself that I haven't had an Illusione yet. Maybe this weekend will be the time.

  2. Tomas Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    This sounds great, I can't wait to light one up.

  3. Patrick S Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm #


    Thanks to Brooks at who pointed out that I misidentified the Singulare 2011/2012 as 6×50, when it's actually 6×52. The original 2010 size was 6×50.

  4. Thorne Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    If the maduro is any better than the corojo I'll be amazed. Looking forward to it tomorrow. Smoked my first '11 tonight and it is easily in the top several cigars I've enjoyed this year. Dion never disappoints

  5. Ron Steele Friday, August 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    I just smoked the 2012 maduro Illusione. At first I thought it was going to be a bit heavy for a morning smoke but it settled down fairly quickly and was a enjoyable stick.

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