Sunday, August 10, 2008

Illusione MK


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The Illusione MK, also known as the "Teachin Machine", was once only available during Illusione sponsored events at B&M's. Now, you can purchase them on-line as singles ($6.45) or by the box ($161.25). This corona sized cigar is indeed a great teacher of what Nicaraguan cigars must have tasted like before the Sandinistas took over in 1979. "Strong", "bold" and "clean" are adjectives used to describe the tobacco grown in the Jalapa Valley and Esteli regions of Nicaragua. Illusione cigars contain first generation Corojo 99 and Criollo 98 tobacco.


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The wrapper on the Illusione cigars are somewhat rustic looking. They look a little veiny but actually feels quite smooth. One of my MK's had some small light colored spots (water marks?) throughout, but that seemed to be the exception rather than the rule. The color on these oily wrappers is a dark reddish brown. The MK's seemed to differ from my other Illusione vitolas by having a dark mottling throughout. The cap on these cigars are triple layered but not in a neat fashion. The feel of the cigar is spongy but packed with tobacco. I chose to Palio cut my cigar and the resulting draw was nice and clear without being too loose.


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The taste of an Illusione cigar is quite distinctive in that it is so rich and full of flavor. Your taste buds are awakened immediately by the flavor of rich dark coffee, cinnamon and blackstrap molassas sweetness. The full bodied smoke envelopes your mouth with long lingering flavor. Whenever I feel the need for a rich smoke, I always reach for one of my Illusiones. This cigar starts off earthy and builds to a nice creamy body with a nice sweet finish. It's difficult but you have to really try to smoke this slim cigar slowly to prevent it from over-heating and turning bitter. The second half of the cigar develops a more leathery profile but still maintains it's creaminess and sweetness. I did have to re-light the cigar in the last third. However, I think the burn problems would go away with adequate resting in a humidor to allow the oily wrapper to dry out a little.


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Overall, this is a full flavored smoke without the full strength to give you headache. If you want more heft, you can buy the Illusione MK Ultra which probably contains more ligero. For me, I prefer not feeling dizzy while smoking my cigars, so the regular MK is just right. I even smoke them some mornings because I know they don't give buzz. I highly recommend this cigar. The MK is the perfect size to appreciate this brand's rich flavor.

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