The IllusioneEpernay line first came out in 2009 as a line extension to the Illusione ~eccj~ which came out in 2008. This blend was lighter and meant to pair well with Champagne. Epernay is part of the Champaigne region in France. The first Epernay was a 5 5/8 x 46 corona gorda and only 300 boxes of 15 cigars were made. Since then, there have been many iterations and sizes.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.
This latest release is a special tweak on the blend meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the line and in a new size, d’Aosta, which is a toro measuring 6 x 50. The Epernay line is rolled at the Raíces Cubanas factory in Danlí, Honduras. It uses a Nicaraguan wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and fillers from Nicarauga and Dominican Repbulci. The name d’Aosta comes from a region of Geneva where wine is famously made using Fumin and Cornalin grapes.
Vitola: Toro Length: 6″ Ring Gauge: 50 Country of Origin: Honduras Wrapper: Nicaragua Binder: Nicaragua Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. Blender: Dion Giolito Number of reviewers: 4 – Alan(Eulogy) Ryan H.(Ryan H.) John A.(Bostoneo) Mickey T.(irratebass) Price: $12.00 Age: 4 Months Release Date: October 2019 Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
“It looks very well made until you really starting eyeing it. The seams are a little wrinkled in spots, there’s a small patch near the cap, and the middle of the cigar is soft to the touch. It’s still very attractive and the wrapper and triple cap both look good.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“Upon sampling the cold draw, a balanced profile of soft and warm leather with a slight sweet note on the aftertaste provides for a relaxing mixture to come. On the nose, scents of milk chocolate brownies dominate with a cane sugar lingering note.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
Flavor: 93 Strength: Mild-Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“Cigar is light medium in strength. After draw leave a clean palette. Draw is tighter than I would like. Draw is filled with baking spices and white pepper. As a whole it reminds me of creamed tea with added spices. One draw back is it seems to have a tangy metallic aftertaste.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“Let’s light er up! Initial flavors post light include an amazing array of medium bodied notes of cedar, leather, and good old natural peanut butter; what a treat! Ghost white ash forms as I move into the main portion of the cigar, picking up even more nutty flavors, think nutter butter cookies. The sweetness tones down on the back end as the peanut butter flavor keeps going and going and going; a good thing!” –John A. (Bostoneo)
Flavor: 93 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“The flavors continue to be very good, the notes are much richer than the last third, and the smoke has picked up in body. The bad news is that I’ve done seven touch ups, two outright relights, and the burn is still very wavy. There’s a lot more making spice now, leather, cedar, tobacco, and enough pepper to let you know it’s there. Around the halfway point it gets even more plugged and unless I start puffing like a chimney it won’t stay lit or produce any smoke.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“As I dig into the second third, a peanut buttery medium profile continues, with hints of white pepper in the background. Midway in, a transition to more of a leathery flavor, almonds, and white pepper continue to arouse my senses. This profile continues throughout the portion and are quite the delight for a relaxing experience.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
Flavor: 84 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“I’ve stopped counting the number of relights and touch ups at this point. If I wasn’t doing a review, I would have trashed this long ago but here I puff. The flavors are mostly hot leather but I think it’s due to how hard and often I’m puffing just to keep it lit. The smoke is thin, the draw is so plugged that I can’t even use a poker to ease it, and it’s very overheated due to the cadence I need to keep it lit.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“The dryness has returned…..I hope it doesn’t stick around. The peanut butter flavor did leave though…..sadness. I am now getting lots of earthy flavors….cream is gone….just earth and wood notes. Cigar has gone out again……DONE!” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“About the only negative thing about the cigar, tight draw” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“There’s only a handful of cigars I can think of that burned this uneven and had this much trouble staying lit. I stopped counting after ten touch ups and five relights and I wasn’t even halfway done.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“The burn and draw issues have to be from the construction. There was a large soft spot in the middle and I thought that would cause it to draw too lose or burn funny there but the problems started at the beginning. The wrapper looked well applied and the cap was nice though.” –Alan (Eulogy)
Overall Strength: Medium Overall Body/Complexity: Medium Experience Overall: 86
“I think I’m more bitter about this cigar then one that just has bad flavor. It tasted good at the beginning but the draw, smoke, burn, and constant relights just took me out of a relaxing experience and made it feel like work. I’d actually like to try another and see if this was just a fluke and I hope it was because there was a lot of potential.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“Great cigar very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Would buy many boxes of this cigar.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“Overall, this was a very very good medium bodied smoke that anyone could enjoy with an awesome first two thirds and a decent last third that wasn’t as impressive as the first two. The natural peanut butter flavor is what sold me on this cigar, who doesn’t like the great taste of a natural creamy peanut butter oozing with oils and deliciousness? While probably not the top tier of sticks I have had, it did make quite an impression with me and is deserving of more in the future.” –John A. (Bostoneo)
“Sadly this cigar was a PITA to smoke. Draw closed up on me even after I re-cut it. Burn was all over the place and too many relights, which is a bummer, because there were moments when i was enjoying it to an extent. There were nice moments of cream peanut butter (??), roasted peanuts, wood and earth. This cigar had too many issues, I would not smoke again.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
"Overall, this was a very very good medium bodied smoke that anyone could enjoy with an awesome first two thirds and a decent last third that wasn’t as impressive as the first two. The natural peanut butter flavor is what sold me on this cigar, who doesn’t like the great taste of a natural creamy peanut butter oozing with oils and deliciousness? While probably not the top tier of sticks I have had, it did make quite an impression with me and is deserving of more in the future." -John A. (Bostoneo)