Illusione OneOff Corona. A cigar that was released in the early 2000s but is a part of the Illusione book of cigars since 2017. The owner of the La Casa del Habano Milan had been trying to get a custom made cigar line from Cuba. After many attempts and just as many negative responses from Habano, he tried Nicaragua. Plasencia created the OneOff brand for him, with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. Since then, the rights to the brands were sold a few times. And in 2017, Dion Giolito acquired it.
He moved the production to Tabacos Valle de Jalapa aka TABSA. It’s a factory in Esteli, Nicaragua where most of Illusione’s cigars are made. The factory is owned by Eduardo Fernandez from Aganorsa Leaf. Of course, the blend changed as well. OneOff is now a Nicaraguan puro, and available in many sizes. Brian Motola from Illusione gave us this 5½x42 Corona after the Intertabac trade show 2019 when we met for a cigar at Cigaragua in Amsterdam.
The first thing that stands out is the ring. Orange, with the international peace sign in white. No name, no mention of Illusione anywhere. Nothing. Just that white peace logo on an orange ring. Mysterious. It tickles the curiosity. The Colorado colored wrapper looks fine. The construction feels good. The cigar smells a little acidic, even though it has been stored for almost a year in our humidor. Hay and ammonia, medium strong.
The cold draw is fine. With a spicy hay aroma. Once lit, there’s leather, coffee, soil, gingerbread spices, and a mild black pepper in the retrohale. The sweetness gains some strength with the leather and pepper as base flavors. The leather remains, but wood is joining the palate with hay. The sweetness is gone. There is still a hint of pepper, but it’s faint. There is also a faint milk chocolate flavor. The chocolate slowly grows. The cigar is smooth, balanced, and easy-going. The final third has pepper, leather, and that lingering milk chocolate. Some licorice shows up too. A spicy, salty yet minty flavor appears too.
The draw is great. This cigar produces a lot of beautiful white smoke. The burn is good, there was a minor issue at the beginning that was auto-corrected. This is an easy-going, smooth, and balanced cigar. Not a lot of character, but very pleasant. The smoke time of this medium-bodied, medium-full flavored cigar is two hours and twenty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Illusione Rothchildes, which are more budget-friendly as well.