PreSan Industries, known for the full-bodied Illusione brand, is toning down the strength with a new cigar line called Cruzado.
"Conceptually it's a different cigar than Illusione," said brand owner Dion Giolito, owner of the Fumare cigar shop in Reno, Nevada. "It is not as strong. Full flavored, but medium bodied."
Giolito said the Cruzado brand was originally slated to be produced by the maker of Joya de Nicaragua in the Tabacos Puros de Nicaragua S.A. factory in Estelí, but, according to Giolito, he was told in March that a recent surge in production at the factory meant that the capacity to make his cigar was no longer available. As a result, Giolito moved the project to Raices Cubanas, the Honduran factory where his Illusione brand is made.
Unlike Illusione cigars, which have dark wrappers, the Cruzado's lighter shade will fall between what Giolito calls a café claro and café rosado type of wrapper. The Cruzado blend comprises Criollo wrapper from Nicaragua, Nicaraguan binder, and filler from both Nicaragua and Honduras. When developing the blend, Giolito calibrated Cruzado's flavor profile and strength by omitting the powerful ligero tobacco found in his Illusione brand and using the milder viso tobacco instead.
For more on this story, see the May 20 issue of Cigar Insider.