This cigar requires some explanation. Ilja van Horssen was a well known man in the Dutch cigar society, he was one of the founding members of The Longfiller Company, distributer of a lot of Non Cuban brands in The Netherlands like Oliva, Don Pepin Garcia, Tatuaje, Fuente, Padron, Liga Privada and more. He left The Longfiller Company to start the Cuesta Rey cigar shop in The Hague and later he bought the shop and brand G. de Graaff, also in The Hague. A few years ago Ilja was diagnosed with cancer and at the age of 36 he lost the battle and he is still missed by many. The shops in The Hague are still run by his widow Yvonne. Ilja’s brother Sasja, current owner & CEO of The Longfiller Company honors his brother with a limited release hard to find cigar dedicated to Ilja and the proceeds of the cigar goes to charity. The first Ilja cigar was an Opus X A in a handmade box of Italian leather, the second release was an Opus X double robusto, last year the Ilja III was an Oliva V maduro (not in regular distribution in Europe back then) and this year Ilja was remembered with a Padron 80th anniversary maduro, a cigar that never made it to Europe too. Only 36 boxes are released, as Ilja died at that age. The bands on the cigars carry Ilja’s portrait.
The cigar has a beautiful dark wrapper, like dark chocolate, with a stylish band. The wrapper is quite oily and I don’t see any real veins. The shape is pretty, a box pressed double perfecto with a great construction. The cigar is 6¾x52 long and thick. The predraw is fine, I taste a spiceless tobacco.
I taste a sweet coffee, smooth, with a hint of chocolate. The flavors are full but smooth. After half an inch I also taste some herbs. The cigar slowly gets a bit spicy while the coffee disappears. The chocolate gets stronger and tastes like dark chocolate.
I love what I taste and I don’t mind that the flavors don’t develop much. I mean, any development would only destroy the close to perfect flavors. Slowly I also taste some spices, not spicy or peppery though. The balance of the flavors is fantastic, chocolate, herbs and spices.
This cigar lasted me for an hour and forty minutes, and if it was up to me, it would have lasted eight hours, what a cigar. The draw was fantastic and the burn was great. I got a lot of thick white smoke. The ash is light colored, almost white and very firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? I am looking for a job, my first paycheck will be spend on a box of these
Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 9 / 10
Draw: 9 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 9 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 9 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10