Illusione Cruzado Robusto

Illusione Cruzado Robusto

Rank: 6
Rating: 93
Price: $9.80
Made By: Aganorsa Leaf
Factory Location: Nicaragua
Dimensions: 5 1/4" by 50 ring gauge
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua

The Cruzado line from Illusione has been overshadowed a bit by newer releases from the company, but this year, it stepped into the spotlight when the Robusto gave us the brand’s most impressive performance.

Cruzados first came out in 2008 and were presented as a less full-bodied alternative to the core Illusione line, which is quite strong. Then, in 2016, brand owner Dion Giolito gave Cruzado a makeover, changing the packaging and the blend. He even changed the factory, moving production from Honduras to the TABSA factory in Nicaragua (now called Aganorsa Leaf). What we have today is a cigar that’s more focused and detailed than it ever was before. The blend also serves as a stellar showcase for the Nicaraguan tobacco grown by Aganorsa. Illusione tends to rely heavily on Aganorsa’s tobacco, an element that Giolito prefers regardless of the brand. On full display with Cruzado is the Corojo wrapper that the company classifies as being “rosado” in shade and color.

In typical Illusione fashion, the boxes and bands are encoded with mysterious markings and curious symbols. Giolito is tight-lipped about the meanings behind the packaging design. Perhaps there’s something subliminal in the logo that suggests the cigar’s up-front notes of espresso, hickory and black pepper, as well as its refined layers of nuts and cocoa powder. Or maybe, it’s just the tobacco.