Cigar Reveal #139


Cigar Reveal #139

Illusione
GARAGISTE

The most unique cigar company on the planet decided to make a cigar completely unique to their own portfolio of brands. The Garagiste was named after a collection of winemakers in Bordeaux in the mid-1990s producing "garage wines" to oppose the traditional style of Bordeaux wine-making. This isn't the first time Dion Giolito has taken inspiration from French wine, as the Epernay takes it's name from the town of Epernay in the heart of France's Champagne region. But this is a much different smoking experience than the Epernay. 

The blend uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, and corojo and criollo viso wrappers from tobacco fields owned by AGANORSA. It's made in the TABSA factory (Tobaccos Valle de Jalapa SA), who makes some of our best cigars including some for Warped, Viaje, HVC, and Foundation. The result is a strong cigar with dense smoke and dark chocolate and earth flavors. It's not the usual flavor profile from Illusione, but it's a welcome addition to one of the best cigar companies in the world, and an underrated cigar in their line of brands.

Garagiste
Anatomy

  • Nicaragua

  • Nicaragua

  • Ecuadorian Habano

Garagiste
Flavor Notes

First Third

Dark Chocolate

Earth

Black Tea

Dark Chocolate

Earth

Black Tea

Second Third

Oak

Black Pepper

Dark Chocolate

Oak

Black Pepper

Dark Chocolate

Final Third

Dark Chocolate

Leather

Cinnamon

Dark Chocolate

Leather

Cinnamon

Reviews + Notes

Leaf Enthusiast Review

I really enjoyed Garagiste. It’s the best Illusione I’ve had since the Fume d Amour and a fantastic addition to the catalog. Garagiste is a medium-to-full bodied blend that really showcases the flavor that Nicaraguan tobacco can have without having so much pepper and strength that it would turn off folks that don’t like that much heat and intensity. Smoke this one…smoke it often.

  • Prelight: 2/2
  • Construction: 2/2
  • Flavor: 4.5/5
  • Value: 1/1

Total: 9.5/10

Halfwheel Review

Everything about the Illusione Garagiste screams “Not your normal Illusione,” from the somewhat monochromatic color scheme on the band to the obvious strength in the profile. While the blend is not overly complex at any point, the cigar is nicely balanced and obviously well-blended. However, the big story is the strength, which—while well integrated—is very obvious from the first puff. Although it is far from my favorite Illusione release—and not even my favorite Illusione cigar this year—the Garagiste is a very good cigar, and will be a welcome addition to those seeking a stronger choice in Giolito's lineup.

Score: 88

Cigar Dojo Review

Overall I was pleased with Giolito’s foray into the world of Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.  While there was a kick in nicotine in the last third, I found the flavors still remained medium-bodied and it worked quite well with the notes this cigar produced. I am curious to see how this cigar will respond to longer term aging. It’s a cigar I would recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast. I’d also encourage the novice to smoke this cigar. As for myself, this is a cigar I would certainly smoke again – and it’s worthy of a box split.

Score: 91