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Cigar Review: Illusione Singulare Rose Croix LE 2013

8 Jul 2014

One of my very favorite cigars ever was the original Illusione Singulare 2010 Phantom. It was excellent when I first reviewed it, and it has only gotten better as I’ve smoked through four boxes in the past few years.illusione-sq

Illusione-Singulare-2013Because of that, I’ve always looked forward to trying new Singulare cigars—even if sometimes they’ve come out well behind schedule. Maybe the Singulare 2010 Phantom is unfair standard, but it’s only natural to compare an annual release to its predecessors.

While both the 2011 and 2012 Singulare cigars were very good, neither were quite as exceptional as the original. (Of the two, the 2012—which has a Mexican wrapper—came closest to that very high bar.)

Prior Singulare cigars all came in a toro format (with either a 50 or 52 ring gauge). The 2013 Singulare Rose Croix (French for “pink cross”), on the other hand, comes in a format that’s slightly narrower than a traditional Churchill size (7 x 46).

Like the 2012 Singulare, Rose Croix was made at the TABSA factory in Jalapa, Nicaragua. Prior to 2012, all previous Illusione cigars had been made at Raices Cubanas in Honduras. Since then, new Illusione projects (including *R* Rothchildes) have been going to TABSA.

The Nicaraguan puro features a reddish-brown wrapper with numerous visible veins. Of the three I smoked, one was marred by a seriously uneven burn. Otherwise, construction was without incident, although the ash was at times less sturdy than you’d expect.

The Singulare 2013 is dominated by wood and leather notes with just a bit nutmeg and clove spice. There’s also a slight metallic-vegetal tinge that I can best describe as bell pepper-ish (it took a while to identify, but once I did I couldn’t shake the description). This sensation was particularly pronounced in one of the three cigars I smoked.

At it’s strongest, it’s a medium-bodied cigar, although a very balanced one. The finish is notably short and clean.

The inconsistency in construction and flavor is worrisome, but I still think this cigar has good aging potential. As for what the cigar demonstrates today, it has some real question marks you wouldn’t expect from Illusione (especially for a cigar that runs almost $13). It still earns three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

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