Illusione Pactum | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Capa Fina Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 56 “Robusto Gordo”
Body: Full
Price: $8.95


Today we take a look at the Illusione Pactum. Available only through Smoke Inn. It was released at the beginning of December of 2014.
Pactum is Latin for “Agreement.”

Only 400 boxes of 15 cigars were released. Smoke Inn reports that this is the smallest release of all their Microblend series.
Smoke Inn has included this blend in their Microblend Series, launched in 2010, and includes cigars from My Father, Padron, Fuente, 601, Quesada, Room 101, and Tatuaje.

I got mine soon after the release and therefore have been in my humidor for around 5 weeks.

First, the wrapper is a real tongue twister. Try that three times fast.

I dry boxed it for 24 hours.

I haven’t smoked one yet because of the miniscule availability. Now it’s down to mooching from your friends.

It is a big honker. And here’s hoping that 6 weeks is sufficient.

The stick is a soft press almost to the point of being oval. I love this type of tobacco packing. It is totally uniform. It is not hard as a rock but it is very firm. The perfect give when gently pushed. Tight and invisible seams. Only a modicum of tiny veins. The triple cap is a tad sloppy. The others aren’t but I’ve already dry boxed this one so no matter. Especially due to its size, it will definitely see the downside of chomping and disappear into the morning mist.

The wrapper is a mottled chocolate/chestnut color. There is a slight sheen of oiliness but it tends to be more of a matte finish. Depends on my lighting.

I got that new Daylight fluorescent bulb yesterday and it was broken in the box. The cat broke two on the stand and now one arrives broken. The Cosmic Muffin is sending me a message. The manufacturer, Cowboy Studio, graciously shipped out a new one right after my email and told me to keep the broken one. Sure. I will use it to chew on next time the cat does a slant run on the light stands.

This is an impressively looking large cigar.

I clip the cap and find aromas of bittersweet baking chocolate, spice, sweetness, earthiness, nuts, and leather.
Time to light up.

The draw is great. Giant billowing clouds of smoke fill the room. On comes the fan.

The other flavors that emerge early are chocolate, sweetness, a slow build of red pepper, some mustiness, very nutty and toasty, earthiness abides, and leather.

And then the spiciness rips my toupee off. The cat runs off with it. That’s OK. I can’t get another one for $19.95. (But wait! There’s more).

The strength hits medium/full immediately. By the end of this wooly mammoth, my head will be spinning like Linda Blair’s. From the nicotine, of course. Hold the guacamole.

The char line started out perfect and then a “V” made a run for it. A touch up was required.

The flavor profile begins to blossom at the 1” point.

There is a smooth creaminess, milk chocolate, and that illusive “IT” Factor that I always have so much trouble with. I read one review in which the reviewer said he tasted chalk and flour. Man, that guy has some friggin’ palate. I have no idea of what chalk tastes like since kindergarten was a long time ago. And barium doesn’t count. Flour is a very subtle flavor. I taste neither. Sorry.

The char line is on the money now. That is a huge relief. I didn’t want to be chasing the burn line for the rest of the review.

Peanuts. Hazelnuts. Almonds. A nice trifecta of nuts on the palate.

A strong butter rum appears. Not caramel. Butterscotch. My grandfather, on his twice a year visit from Pittsburgh, always carried a roll of Life Savers Butter Rum. Right through my early 20’s, the first thing I did after giving my grand pop a big hug and a kiss was rummage through his sport coat for that opened roll of Life Savers. It became our ongoing “in” joke between us. I had a special bond with my father’s father. He passed when I was 29 at 83. He was the only Kohn that was smart enough to read the writing on the wall after WWI and get the hell out of Hungary and head for Ellis Island. The rest of the Kohns were consumed by the Holocaust. And my father was an only child. So, no family.

Back the Illusione Pactum.

In the blink of an eye, complexity moves in. Wonderful nuances of the original flavors splinter off into their own little universe like a small version of an alternate reality. The chocolate goes from being dark cocoa to milk chocolate, chocolate truffles, and other forms of upscale chocolate flavors.

Well, dry boxing was a stupid idea. The wrapper cracked. It runs vertically from the foot for about an inch or so. Damn!

If these cigars weren’t such a precious commodity, I would switch cigars but I’m not wasting a good, and elusive, stick for Godamm review. Fingers crossed that the crack just burns away.

The second third begins.

The flavor profile is stunning. I don’t care what anyone says about my overuse of the term Flavor Bomb. If a cigar deserves that title, then so be it.
At the same time, this is not an unusually flavored cigar. The Mexican wrapper and the Nic fillers bring the typical flavors to the table as many other cigars of that ilk.

The only difference is that the Illusione Pactum is pumping them out like a concrete truck pouring at a construction site. Massive quantities. And the specialty seems that the flavors splinter off into different versions of themselves; therefore, becoming a broad spectrum of flavors contained in only a few main flavors.

And those main flavors are: Creaminess, chocolate, butterscotch, earthiness, and toasty nuts…with the red hot pepper hanging tough.

The Illusione Pactum is one of those rare cigars that its tobacco is an impactful flavor. The cheese stands alone.

The strength changes up a bit by becoming closer to medium than medium/full. Dion Giolito has this knack of providing a common thread in all of his cigars. It is something you taste in the back of your throat. And is indescribable.

I reach the halfway point.

I was expecting a much longer smoke time. I’m guessing I’ve invested about 40 minutes in the Illusione Pactum. Based on its girth, I thought this would be a two hour cigar.

The price point.
There are two factors at play here. The first is the limited availability. The second is it is a premium boutique blend.
Giolito and Smoke Inn could have charged much more than $9.00 but both Smoke Inn and Giolito have their feet planted firmly in reality. They made this $9 buck smoke accessible to anyone that could get their hands on them. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had gone for double digits. Kudos to SI and Illusione.

Fortunately, the crack did not travel. And I’m close to burning through it.

There is something relative to this blend not being fair. Only 400 boxes. I can only imagine that it sold out in days. Yeah, I get the thinking behind blending a Microblend. But a few hundred more boxes wouldn’t have been out of the question or fucked with the Microblend concept. Now I will have to treasure the last four sticks.

I check the SI web site and they are no longer out of stock. You can buy a box or a 5 pack. I checked yesterday, I believe, and there were none to be had.

This is a flavor bomb. Snigger at me if you wish. But it oozes big and bold flavors.

The last third begins.

Either time has sped up or the Illusione Pactum is a fast burner.

I’ve had many cigar blends in which this exact same flavor profile was present. What makes the Illusione Pactum superior to those other cigar is uniformity and consistency.

There are no lulls in the building of the flavor profile. It is a steady climb upwards adding complexity and balance as it burns down. This can only be done by a master blender.

I’ve burned past the crack and all is hunky dory. Even with a sort of funky cap, it has withstood the Katman drool and no clips were necessary. The char line, after that initial run for the border, has maintained a near perfect crisp line.

I have no criticisms. If I were a rich man, I’d buy up all the boxes SI has left. You just aren’t going to find a cigar of this quality for only $9.00.

I’ve only reviewed the Fuente Solaris from the Microblend Series. If I remember correctly, the Illusione Pactum is the most wallet friendly of the group and I just couldn’t manage the price point.

The Illusione Pactum finishes with the strength making a quantum leap to full body. Flavors are smooth but bold. The balance is wonderful. And throughout the burn, it has had a nice long chewy finish.
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