Agile Cigar Reviews replace what we termed “Assessment Updates”. The concept is the same, but the name is different. Agile Cigar Reviews use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or providing a score for a first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Illusione Ultra OP No. 7. We have assessed the Illusione Ultra before, but in different sizes, most recently in the MKULTRA size back in January 2014
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A – TABSA)
OP No. 7: 6 1/2 x 58
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Illusione Cigars’ unveiled a new line extension to the Illusione Ultra line. The Illusione Ultra OP No. 7 introduced a new 6 1/2 x 58 vitola into the line. The 58 ring gauge represents one of the largest ring gauges done by Illusione to date.
Featuring a Nicaraguan puro blend, the Illusione Ultra line is positioned as Illusione’s fullest cigar in terms of strength and body. The line made its debut in late 2011 with the release of the limited production MKULTRA, a 5 1/8 x 42 Corona. In 2012, three additional box-pressed vitolas were introduced. When the Illusione Ultra OP No. 7 was introduced, this would be a parejo – and the line’s first regular production line. At press time, there are plans for a sixth vitola called the Illusione Ultra OP. 8 – a 6 3/4 x 48 Churchill.
The Illusione Ultra OP No. 7 started off with a mix of natural tobacco, black pepper, and black licorice. The black licorice note is something that I had heard was a signature flavor with the other sizes, but this was the first size of the Ultra line where I really picked up this flavor. I found the licorice to be a primary note early on, but it wasn’t an overpowering sweetness. By the second half coffee notes surfaced and became a primary note displacing the licorice.
As for strength, I found this cigar to be medium to full strength, but by the second half this cigar progressed to the full strength. The flavors were medium to full-bodied. Overall when it came strength versus body, I gave the edge to the strength.
Construction-wise, this was a very well made cigar. The burn and draw were both excellent. I found this to be a slow burner – providing a little over 2 hours smoking time. The slow burn provided no adverse effects.
Overall, I really liked the Illusione Ultra OP No. 7 and found this to be the best size in the line to date. It’s worth investing in a box split of this.
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split