I am so happy that spring is in full swing across the country. The two best parts of spring in my view is baseball has started and we can start enjoying our cigars outside. Of course I live in Florida you may say, but I travel all over the world and I love this time of year where I can sit on my hotel balcony and enjoy a good smoke and not freeze. My Red Sox have started slow but are gaining some steam, we shall see if they are the Gigantes of MLB this year. Heck, I have a lot of cigars riding on them, but it is a long season so we shall see.
Today I am sampling the Illusione Gigantes cigar as I watch my Red Sox battle the Toronto Blue Jays. It is a beauty of a cigar; rich dark brown in color, with a sweet-smelling foot. By the look of it, the Gigantes is a well constructed cigar with a tight seams and minimal veins. It is finished with a perfectly applied triple cap. This cigar weighs in at a perfect 6.5” X 56. The Illusione Gigantes is wrapped in San Andres leaf that encases dual binders; a Criollo ’98 from Esteli, Nicaragua and a Corojo ’99 from Jalapa, Nicaragua. The filler is Aganorsa Nicaraguan.
The band is simple, white, blue, and gold; the center of which has the words “ILLUSIONE GIGANTES” in white on a blue background. The sides of the band have the country of origin, Nicaragua, imprinted in blue on a white background.
Slicing the cap, and giving it a cold draw, the Gigantes has a decent draw and a kind of spicy note that tingles the tip of my tongue. I want to say it is licorice with a sprinkle of black pepper.
I choose a single torch lighter to warm the foot and get this stogie started. My Red Sox need a little start-up as they are losing today game against Toronto.
I have selected a Harp lager to pair with this experience as tomorrow is Patriots day in Boston, a day where the Boston Marathon is held and as always an early 11:00 AM Red Sox game to watch. I also like how the colors of the Harp lager bottle match up with the band of the Gigantes.
The initial smoke has a sweet aroma coming off the foot and the palate picks up a dose of pepper to start that helps to open up the nose on the retro-hale. The draw is perfect and the burn line solid with no wave. The smoke production is medium at this point.
The pepper quickly fades after the first inch and the spice and sweetness takes front stage. The ash is salt and pepper in color.
The draw is opening up slightly as the smoke production has increased at the inch and half point. A coffee bean note enters the profile to add to the spice as the sweetness diminishes some.
The ash fell around the start of the second third. I like how I put it down for a few minutes and the Gigantes was still ignited. As it flowed through the second third, the Gigantes opens up to more flavor with notes of fruit and citrus along with a woodsy aroma. The sweetness remains in the background and the flavor lingers on the palate between puffs. This has been a delightful smoke so far. I will have to stop by my local B&M – Jimmy’s Cigar Lounge – in Melbourne, Fl to pick up some more. At an $8.00 price point it is a no brainer.
The flavor is so perfectly balanced and the smoke is smooth with no bite. It is one of the smokes that you almost want to ingest but I refrain. The strength has been medium throughout. The burn has been impeccable and the ash picked right up where it fell.
As the Illusione Gigantes transitions into the final third, there is a rich cocoa powder flavor that enters the profile enticing my palate making me wish it was able to last more. But the end is the end, I will just have to purchase some more. Oh yea, the Red Sox lost, but there are more games to watch just like there are more cigars to smoke.