Ilja van Horssen was an important man for the Dutch longfiller society, together with his brother Sasja he started The Longfiller Company, which is now the biggest independent cigar importer in The Netherlands with Fuente, Oliva, Ashton, Padron, Don Pepin Garcia, La Flor Dominicana, Tatuaje and many other brands in its portfolio and later opened a cigar shop in The Hague and bought a second. Without Ilja the longfiller wouldn’t be as popular as it is nowadays in The Netherlands. A couple of years ago Ilja died at age 36 from cancer and since then his brother Sasja honors him by releasing 36 numbered boxes of hard to find cigars as the “Ilja van Horssen edition”. This years Ilja cigar will be the Opus X shark, a really hard, almost impossible to find Opus X. The shark is a pyramid, 5¾x54 with a round top and a completely square foot end. The cigar is made with the Opus X blend with a rosado binder and wrapper.
The wrapper is chocolate brown with a lot of oil and a big vein running over it. I smell speculaas, a Dutch cookie with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. The construction feels good, the predraw is just fine and I taste some raisin.
I taste leather, herbs, pepper and the cigar is quite spicy. After a quarter of an inch the cigar gets a bit of caramel sweetness, pepper, herbs and wood. I also taste some chocolate. After half an inch I taste sweet cedar with a herbal aftertaste. The sweetness is still caramel like. Soon after I taste spicy herbs with some caramel far on the background. I also taste some wood. After an inch I taste herbs with a little bit of citrus and some chocolate.
Halfway I taste spicy herbs with some pepper and some leather. I also taste something sweet and sour on the background and in the aftertaste. I also taste some chocolate on the background. The flavors change to hazelnuts with a little bit of a salty flavor. After two thirds I taste nuts with some herbs and a little bit of pepper. Near the end I taste more herbs and pepper.
This cigar lasted me for two hours and five minutes. The draw is great and I got a lot of smoke. The light colored ash is compact and firm. The burn started a bit crooked but corrected itself. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? HELL YEAH!
Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 9 / 10
Aroma first part: 9 / 10
Aroma second part: 9 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10