by
The first third reminded me of why I enjoy the Epernays line so much: flavors of cream and cafe au lait, medium-bodied and of medium+ strength.
The second third introduces notes of earth and leather that reminded me of the regular Illusione line, whose rather monotonous flavor profile of leather and gritty earth (two flavors which I normally enjoy) never did much for me, however now that they're complemented by notes of cream and cafe au lait it's a different ball game altogether. Medium-bodied still, though strength jumps to medium-full at this stage bordering on full by the midpoint, at which point the smoke also develops a sour component which I personally find is working quite well, and which would make this stogie a great complement to a lightly roasted Ethiopian coffee.
The last third brings the leather and earth at the forefront, joined by a touch of white pepper as the smoke becomes a bit drying.
Ends medium-bodied and full strength at the nub, with soft flavors of coffee.
Lasted me for 100 minutes.
92-93 points
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My 100-point Rating Scale (based on Robert Parker's Wine Advocate):
Extraordinary = 96-100
Outstanding = 90-95
Very Good to Excellent = 85-89
Good = 80-84
Average = 75-79
Below average = 70-74
Avoid = 50-70
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