Illusione Singulare 2011

The Illusione Singulare 2011 has been a cigar release that has been long awaited by cigar enthusiasts and Illusione fans.   In today’s assessment we take a look at the Illusione Singulare 2011.   Overall, I found this to be an excellent cigar, and a nice addition to the Singulare series.

Here is some background information we put together when we assessed the Illusione Singulare 2012.  The 2012 version does play a role with the background of the 2011.

The Singulare series was introduced two years ago.  It uses the limited release concept of one size and one blend.  It is a true limited concept because once the cigars are gone, they are gone.  Illusione fans embraced the original Singulare offering (the Illusione Singulare 2010 Phantom) and were anxiously awaiting a the 2011 version.   However, there were some delays and Illusione Founder Dion Giolito made the decision to push out the Singulare 2011 and package it with the Singulare 2012.  The two Singulare each have been given the name Singulare 201x Vimana – with Vimana referring to the name of the vitola.  In today’s assessment, we look at the Illusione Singulare 2011.  Overall, I found this to be an excellent cigar, and a nice addition to the Singulare series.

Back in March, Giolito mentioned back-orders in tobacco were much of the reason for the delays of the 2011 Illusione Singulare.   While the 2011 Singulare was delayed, Giolito was already at work onthe 2012 version. As we said earlier, Giolito made a decision topackage both the 2011 and 2012 together in the same box. The two Singulare blends are also different. The 2011 Singulare features a CafeRosado Corojo wrapper, while the 2012 Singulare features a San Andres Maduro wrapper. The maduro cigars are tissue-wrapped. Both the corojoand maduro cigars are arranged in an alternating fashion in each ofthe cigar boxes. There will be 15 cigars packaged per box and production will be capped at approximately 1200 boxes.

Illusione Singulare 2012  -wrapped (Top),
Illusione Singulare 2011 (Bottom)

 

Illusione Singulare 2012 (Top), Illusione Singulare 2011 (Bottom)

Without further adieu, let’s break down the Illusione Singulare 2011 and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

First up, the 2011 and 2012 are not identical blends with a different wrapper.   Giolito has said these are different blends.  As mentioned the 2011 uses a Cafe Rosado Corojo wrapper.  The cigars are made at  Eduardo Fernández’s TABASA factory.  This is a change as most Illusione cigars are made at Fernández’s Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras.

Wrapper: Cafe Rosado Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

The Illusione Singulare 2012 Vimana is available in a single vitola – a 6 x 52 Toro.

A note on the name Vimana – which was given to the 2011 and 2012 releases.  Vimana has its origins in Sanskrit.  Cigar Aficionado reported the term was a Sanskrit term for UFO (Unidentified Flying Object).  The Vimana refers to the vitola name.

Appearance

The rosado corojo wrapper definitely gives the Singulare 2011’s wrapper a reddish almost clay-like tint.  I would categorize the wrapper as having a silky complexion, but it also has some bumps on it.  There are some visible veins, but for the most part the wrapper seams are well-hidden.

The band of the Illusione Singulare 2011 is the same band seen as on 2010 and 2012 editions.  The band has a silver and white color scheme.  It features the text “Singulare” in a gothic silver-colored font.  To the left and right of that text is the text “illusione” – in a smaller gothic silver font.   On the back there are two gothic letters in black font – “E and L”.  I’ll infer that these letters mean “Edicion Limited”.   There is also a silver stripe across
the top and bottom of the band.

Gothic font E and L on the back of the Singulare band

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my cigar experience with the Illusione Singulare 2011 Vimana, I went with a straight cut into the cap.  I then proceeded to start the pre-light draw.   There was a lot of cedar from the dry draw notes.  The cedar tended to be more of a sweet flavor, but I could also detect some cedar spice as well.  Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw.  At this time, it was time to toast the foot of my Illusione Singulare 2011 and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

The one thing I have noticed is that each of the Illusione Singulare blends have had a very unique profile.  The Illusione Singulare 2011 is no exception.

The start to the Illusione Singulare 2011 continues with the cedar sweetness I got on the pre-light draw.  I also detected some cream as well.   By the five percent mark of the smoking experience, some black cherry notes entered the equation.  None of the flavor notes had an advantage over the others.

As the smoke of the Illusione Singulare 2011 progressed through the first third, a spice component surfaced in the background.  It has both cedar and pepper-like characteristics.

Toward the end of the first third, the black cherry sweetness became more of a classic citrus sweetness.  The citrus sweetness joined the cedar sweetness and cream in the forefront making for a very interesting mix.  These flavors still had a very “tobacco-like” quality to it as well.  Meanwhile, the cedar/pepper notes remained in the background.   This flavor profile held throughout the second third and into the final third.

In the last third, the cedar component takes center stage from both a sweetness and spice perspective. The citrus notes could still be detected from time to time.  Overall, I found the close to this cigar to be excellent.  The flavors were not harsh and the resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.

Burn and Draw

The Illusione Singulare 2011 scores very well in terms of burn and draw.  This is consistent with the 2010 and 2012 blends as they have also scored very well.  The burn line remained straight for the majority of the cigar experience – requiring very little in the way of touch-ups.  There was one instance I had where the cigar tunneled, but this was minor and it might have been because I was smoking this outdoors.   The resulting ash was white and firm.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

The draw was outstanding.   This was a great cigar to puff on from start to finish.

Strength and Body

From a nicotine perspective, the Illusione 2011 Singulare had some more pop than I originally anticipated.  Overall I assessed this to be medium to full in strength.  Toward the end of the smoke, the strength did cross into the full range.   The flavor notes had some nice depth to them and I assessed the Singulare 2011 to be medium to full-bodied.  Overall, the strength and body balance each other very nicely from start to finish, although the increase in strength at the end of the smoke gives that attribute an edge over the body.

Final Thoughts

Since the Illusione Singulare 2011 and Singulare 2012 are both packaged together, the big question becomes which cigar is better? In a way its not a totally fair comparision as the two are very different blends.  However I personally had a preference for the Illusione Singulare 2012 as I thought it was one of the best maduro cigars to come out in some time.  However, this should not discount the Illusione Singulare 2011 as this is still a very good cigar.  I probably would recommend this cigar to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast over a novice as this cigar does have some strength to it.  As for myself, despite my preference for the Singulare 2012, the Singulare 2011 is one I still would smoke again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full (Full toward end)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish Excellent
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, Tennessee.