|Illusione Fume D’Amour Clementes|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Illusione Cigars showcased a new regular production line called Fume D’Amour. The name Fume D’Amour translates to “smoke of love” The Illusione Fume D’Amour is a Nicaraguan puro being launched in four sizes. A key point about this blend is that it does not incorporate ligero into the blend. Instead brand owner Dion Giolito has opted to incorporate the lower priming viso and seco leaves. Earlier this year, Giolito told Cigar Insider that the tobaccos used for this blend are more robust as a result of more abundant sunshine. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Illusione Fume D’Amour in the Clementes (Short Churchill) vitola. Overall, I found this to be one of Illusione’s best core lines and one of the better regular production lines released in the cigar industry for 2014.
In addition to being a Nicaraguan puro, the Fume D’Amour is also going to be Nicaraguan-made cigar. The Illusione Fume D’Amour is made at the TABSA factory in Nicaragua. This has been an on-going trend by Giolito’s company as he has shifted existing production from Honduras to Nicaragua.
As mentioned above, the Illusione Fume D’Amour is a Nicaraguan puro.
The Illusione Fume D’Amour was launched in four sizes. Each comes in 25 count cabinet style boxes except the Lagunas which is a 50 count box.
Lagunas: 4 1/2 x 42
Clementes: 6 1/2 x 48
Viejos: 5 x 50
Capristanos: 6 x 56
The Illusione Fume D’Amour Clementes has a medium brown (almost caramel) colored wrapper. The surface of this wrapper was on the oily side. There were some visible veins and there were a few visible wrapper seams. Overall I found this to be a smooth wrapper.
The banding to this new brand is different than anything Illusione has done before. The band itself is red in color with gold trim. The band features a pale yellow oval with thin gold trim sitting on the red background. On the oval is the text “FUME D’AMOUR” in large gold font with the text getting larger toward the center of the phrase. On the upper portion of the oval is the text “HECHO EN” in red font. On the lower portion of the oval is the text “NICARAGUA” in red font. On both the left and right of the band exists an elongated pale yellow oval with thin gold trim. Each of the elongated ovals feature the text “ILLUSIONE” in gold font. There also is a small pale yellow circle with gold trim next to each of the elongated ovals.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I typically do, I went with a straight cut to start my cigar experience. After clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw was very unique. There was a combination of cream and floral notes. I picked up some light spice, and almost a subtle cherry sweetness. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Illusione Fume D’Amour to be very good. At this point, I was ready to light up this cigar and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Fume D’Amour started out with a combination of black pepper and a sweetness that was almost marshmallow-like. Both notes were in the forefront early on, but eventually the sweetness moved into the forefront. As the cigar progressed through the first third, the marshmallow flavor almost became more like a toasted marshmallow. Meanwhile the pepper was in the background, it was more subtle through the retro-hale.
Toward the end of the first third, I found the complexity of this cigar had increased. First a cream note surfaced in the background and joined the pepper spice. This was soon subsequently joined by a caramel note. Meanwhile a nutty flavor joined the toasted marshmallow sweetness in the forefront.
At the start of second half, I saw the spice increase and by the start of the final third, it was on par with the toasted marshmallow and nut flavors. The caramel still remained in the background, but the cream had dissipated. While the Fume D’Amour wasn’t transitioning much with its flavor profile, it was delivering excellent flavor. This is the way the flavor profile remained until the end. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Illusione Fume D’Amour Clementes performed extremely well. The burn line remained straight from start to finish. It did need some touch-ups, but nothing that I would consider an abnormal amount of touch-ups. The ash remained on the firm side with only some very minor flaking. The ash itself was a medium charcoal gray color. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature of the Fume D’Amour were ideal.
|Burn of the Illusione Fume D’Amour Clementes|
I also found the draw to perform quite well. It was one that was low maintenance to enjoy this cigar from start to finish – not too tight and not too loose.
Strength and Body
Given the Fume D’Amour was constructed from lower primings, I was expecting the cigar to be more on the milder side. From a strength perspective, I was a little surprised. While this wasn’t a nicotine bomb, it also was not a cigar I considered mild in strength. I assessed the Fume D’Amour as being a medium strength cigar – which seemed to be the ideal place for this cigar’s flavor profile.
The body to this cigar was a little bit more surprising. Even though I had known these leaves were exposed to more sunlight, given there was no ligero I wasn’t expecting too much body. The Fume D’Amour started out medium bodied, but by the second half it had progressed to medium to full-bodied. This also seemed to be ideal considering the specific flavors produced for this cigar. Anything more or less would have been less than ideal.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body to have the edge – particularly in the second half.
As I mentioned up-front, this is one of the best regular production releases for 2014 by a cigar manufacturer. It also has impressed me as one of Illusione’s better core lines. I probably would rate the cigar has falling somewhere in between the Illusione Epernay (a milder profile) and the Illusione Original Documents (a medium plus profile). The Fume D’Amour isn’t going to be a cigar that emphasizes strength over flavor, but what makes this cigar even more special is that it delivers plenty of unique flavors. This blend also worked extremely well in the Clementes (Short Churchill) format. This is the type of cigar I would recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this rates as a box worthy cigar.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy