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Cigar Review: Illusione Pactum

11 Feb 2015

Over four years ago, Florida-based retailer Smoke Inn launched the Microblend Series, a program that commissions custom, limited edition blends from top manufacturers. Today, the series includes Arturo Fuente’s Solaris, Tatuaje’s Anarchy and Apocalypse, My Father’s El Hijo, Padrón’s 1964 Anniversary SI-15, Quesada’s Oktoberfest Dunkel, Room 101’s Big Delicious, and 601’s La Bomba Bunker Buster.

Illusione PactumThe latest (and ninth) addition to Microblend Series is Pactum, crafted by Illusione and offered in a single, lightly box-pressed size (5.5 x 56). It features a Mexican Maduro wrapper around Nicaraguan tobaccos and sells for $44.75 for a 5-pack, or $134.25 for a box of 15.

“This cigar is in-your-face, with full-bodied flavors and loads of white, chalky smoke,” reads the Smoke Inn website. “Using Nicaraguan tobaccos from the upper primings of the tobacco plant, Pactum takes on the strong and oily characteristics of the leaves… This will be one of the most limited production releases in our Microblend Series to date.”

The cigar has a simple band of navy and white that reads “Cigares Privé,” which is French for “private cigars.” It’s the same band you’ll see on another single-retailer Illusione release: the MC Slam (6 x 54) for R. Field Wine Company, a chain of gourmet food, wine, and cigar shops in Hawaii.

Pactum is a dark, dense brick of a cigar with an incredibly oily wrapper that’s textured and toothy. The foot exudes rich pre-light notes of chocolate, and coffee. A straight guillotine cut yields a moderately firm cold draw.

From the outset, Pactum tastes as oily as it appears and feels. The smoke has a silky texture, and the profile reminds me of cocoa, espresso, black pepper, and peanut. Interestingly, the strength remains surprisingly muted from light to nub, sometimes verging on mild-plus. Changes along the way are minor and include the introduction of some earthy notes at the midway point, as well as a minimal increase in spice in the final third.

I smoked two samples for this review—both provided courtesy of Smoke Inn—and each exhibited top-notch combustion qualities. The burn line is impeccably straight, the ash holds well off the foot, and the smoke production is average.

Pactum is an enjoyable smoke with a great aroma and interesting flavors that pair well with a mid-afternoon cup of coffee. I would especially recommend this to fans of San Andrés-wrapped cigars who are looking for a low to moderate level of strength. I’m awarding this Illusione a very admirable score of four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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