Cigar Review: Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1 – Rated 90

It has been a while since I talked about Illusione Cigars. I recently picked up a sampler pack at this years Underground Cigar Shop NFG19 and today I offer my take on the Illusione Ultra, specifically the OP. NO. 1 vitola.

Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1

The Illusione Ultra is available in 7 different vitolas and all but two come packaged in 20-count boxes:

  • ULTRA OP. NO. 1 – 6.75 x 56 – MSRP $12.90
  • ULTRA OP. NO. 3 – 4.25 x 50 (20-count & 48-count box) – MSRP $8.35
  • ULTRA OP. NO. 4 – 4.75 x 48 – MSRP $9.95
  • ULTRA OP. NO. 7 – 6.5 x 58 – MSRP $12.70
  • ULTRA OP. NO. 9 – 5.5 x 56 – MSRP $12.30
  • ULTRA OP. NO. 8 – 6.75 x 48 – MSRP $12.00
  • ULTRA mk – 5.12 x 42 – (25-count box) – MSRP $10.60

Illusione Cigars describes this Nicaraguan puro blend as:

Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99, and finished with a AAA Grade Corojo Colorado Rosado wrapper. Full-bodied and very complex, enhanced by a good amount of Ligero from 2 regions in Nicaragua.


Pre-Light Examination

The Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1 is a soft box pressed cigar that sports a beautiful and glistening, medium brownish red wrapper that is lightly marbled and has a light tooth as you run your finger along it. The cigar is neatly finished with a triple cap. It feels solid in the hand and has a decent weight.

Illusione Cigars keeps the bands simple on their cigars. In the case of the Ultra, a simple, narrow, black and white band adorns the cigar with the word “Ultra” printed in the center.

Taking the Ultra to the next level, I ran it across the nose and picked up notes of mild spice and fermented leaf aroma on barrel joined with earth and fruit off the foot.

I sliced it straight above the shoulder and moved to a few cold draw puffs that I would describe as fairly open and offering notes of butter, earth, and pepper.

So lets burn it to ash and see how it performs. I used a cedar spill to ignite this as I did not want to torch and possible harm the delicate wrapper. The first few puffs graced the palate with notes of peppery spice and a hint of cocoa on the nose.


Cigar Review Notes

Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
  • First puffs offer peppery spice with a hint of cocoa on the nose.
  • The cocoa continues as the spice dials back a notch after the the first half inch or so
  • Citrus note join the cocoa
  • White and flaky ash develops on a thick char line
  • Butter and savory notes enter at the inch mark
  • Strength kicks in early – no surprise here as there is some extra ligero leaf in this
  • Ash falls after inch and half with a perfect burn cone
  • Earthy notes enter along with a spicy nut aroma
  • Keeping my interest, a cinnamon spice joins the mix blending well with the nut and cocoa
  • Mild wave in burn starts to show
  • Cocoa shifts to more of a dry cocoa powder moving through second third
  • Excellent volume of smoke – very smooth deep in the second third
  • Savory notes return along with a touch of salt
  • Wave grows along with a slight inward burn that required a mild touch up
  • Sweet nut flavors enter as the aroma shifts to a maple syrup
  • Spice maintains deep into the second third
  • Touch of sweetness enters midway
  • Burn line is still think a bit wavy
  • Flavors become a tad muted entering the final third with a mellow spice and sweet core through the final
  • Medium to Full in Strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes

Overall, the Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1 was flavorful cigar that offered some intriguing notes of cinnamon, cocoa, and nut. Savory notes shifted in and out through the journey, always giving back to the cocoa, nut, and sweetness. From a construction perspective there was an issue with the early wave that eventually required a touch up. This is still worth picking up a fiver, or a sampler of the whole line. I have some of the other vitolas and will be comparing them as I burn them to ash. I rate this a 90

Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in Burn; (-2) Slight Inward Burn; (-1) Required Touch Up; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-1) Fairly Open Cold Draw

Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1
Illusione Ultra OP. NO. 1

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