Today we will be reviewing the Illusione Allegria, a brand which has quite a backstory and history. The original OneOff brand was started by Andrea Molinari 2001. In addition to the cigar brand, he also owned a La Casa del Habano retail shop, the Cigair lounge and restaurant, and Lauda Air S.p.A., an Italian airline. Molinari set out to have OneOff rolled in Cuba, but had to pivot after realizing that could not happen. He eventually connected with the Plasencia family and their Segovia Cigars S.A. factory, now called Plasencia Cigars S.A., in Nicaragua to make the cigars. Years later, the brand was purchased by Cuban Crafters, a Miami-based retailer who made their version of the cigar for almost a decate. Then, in 2017, Dion Giolito of Illusione bought the brand. The following year, 2018, Illusione released their new vision and blend of the OneOff line having it made at Aganorsa Leaf’s Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) (which is now called Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.) factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. That blend used all Nicaraguan tobacco.
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. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
At the 2021 PCA Trade Show, Giolito started teasing a “sister brand” to OneOff named Allegria, which translated from Italian to “Joy.” As with OneOff, the Allegria brand was created by Molinari, only a few years later and the trademark was included when Giolito purchased the OneOff trademark.
The blend for Allegria is also a Nicaraguan puro that uses specific farm lots of corojo 99 and criollo 98 tobaccos and is also rolled at the Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A. (formerly TABSA) factory. Illusione Allegria comes in five sizes: Robusto (5 x 52), Corona (5 1/8 x 42), Gordo (6 x 56), Lonsdale (6 1/4 x 44), and Churchill (6 3/4 x 48). All come in boxes of 25 and started shipping this past July.
Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 44
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A. (formerly TABSA)
Blender: Dion Giolito
Number of reviewers: 4 – Mickey T. (irratebass) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) Alan (Eulogy) Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: July 2022
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
Initial Impressions – Illusione Allegria Lonsdale
“Nice Lonsdale-sized cigar. The wrapper has a few medium-sized veins running the length of the cigar but is almost seamless. The triple cap is well applied but maybe a touch undersized. I like the medium dark chocolate wrapper with molted spots running throughout.” –Alan (Eulogy)
” Did someone say rodeo? With straight notes of leather and barnyard, one could easily close their eyes and think they’ve been transported to watch some cattle wrestling.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“The draw is very nice but the smoke output is still a little thin. Notes of wood, leather, baking spice and stone fruit make up the bulk of the profile. The retrohale has a nice blast of red pepper and kind of wakes up the senses. ” –Alan (Eulogy)
“The first flavors of this cigar are awesome! Initial puffs are full of leather, earth, and compost-like flavors. Through the nose, the smoke is very peppery and is forcing me to moderate my retrohaling.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The draw is still snug, but it does seem to be opening up a bit. I am picking up leather as well as more of that spiced cookie flavors. Floral notes continue on the retro. An uneven burn is happening…I am going to see if it will correct itself before touching it up. Lots of leather and oatmeal with that spiced cookie on the finish…..very nice!” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“The warmth of caramel and cinnamon bread is a delightful transition. If this keeps up, things are really looking good for me” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“This cigar continues with the oatmeal, leather, and spiced cookie……..no complaints! I want to add that the ash is really holding…up to 2 inches at one point! Strength is picking up slightly bringing this to a medium. Getting a little bit of black pepper on my palate. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“Smooth notes of baking spice and cedar provide a really creamy end to the cigar. The other notes haven’t really changed from the first third with notes of leather, pepper, and stone fruit. ” –Alan (Eulogy)
Overall Impressions – Illusione Allegria Lonsdale
“Slightly tight the entire time with a slightly snug draw. Didn’t really affect the smoke output too much or cause any problems.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“Good burn, It did get uneven at one point, but I held off and it worked itself out.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“Wonderfully made with tight seams, well-applied triple cap, and solid body. There is little to nitpick about the creation of this cigar.” –Alan (Eulogy)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 91
“This was a very good cigar. A lot of interesting flavors in this bad boy….let’s go down the list: Spiced cookie, Leather, Oatmeal, Floral, Walnuts, and Black pepper. This cigar burned cool, started out as a mild to medium, and finished at a medium. I would absolutely smoke this again. I say at a minimum pick up a fiver and judge for yourself.”-Mickey T. (irratebass)
“I really couldn’t be happier with this cigar in regard to performance and the flavor profile. It was never overpowering but had the fuller flavor profile that I prefer. I paired this with a barrel-aged stout (2022 Black Tuesday) and it was a perfect match. I would gladly recommend it to any of my cigar-smoking friends, and I will absolutely seek out more when I find out what this is! Very good cigar!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Very enjoyable from beginning to end. The transitions kept me engaged even though the flavors were consistent. If you enjoy a well-rounded cigar with just enough punch and baking spice this is a winner.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“With a menagerie of flavors, this cigar worked quite well for me. I really enjoyed how the espresso notes started things off and were followed by some delicious cinnamon bread. To finish things off, everything came together for the big finish. Salud!” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 115
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.