The Illusione Singulare Phantom was released in 2010; as a part of the Singulare series, a limited edition line by Dion Giolito (owner of Illusione), who prides himself on personally selecting the leaf and blend. The amount of cigars released is entirely dependent on the quality of tobacco that Dion finds. He believes in creating the best product not the best sales (in my opinion the way all cigars should be made).
The cigar is beautifully constructed with a deep brown leather hue. The wrapper has very little vascularity which is amazing considering the Nicaragua wrapper, binder and filler; a hint of oil and smooth as silk. The construction is as good, if not better then Padron. A bold statement indeed! The nose is full and bold, lots of aged leather and tobacco present.
First Third: This cigar has a decade of age prior to this review and has aged very well, however a bit slower than epected. There is light hint of spice on the front and a wonderful sweetness right away that the age of the cigar has uncovered. The subtle earthiness is silky smooth. Age has mellowed the flavors in such away that the subtly is apparent.
Middle Third: The mouth feel of the smoke is wonderful, while the cedar predominate, they slowly begin to recede. The earth and mineral notes are soft, complimented by the floral sweetness front and center. The burn line has been consistent and needing no attention or touching up. The ash is a little on the soft side which requires ash-ing a bit more then usual. The strength has kicked up a notch and now sits just over the medium point. The spice is soft, and more enjoyable without any sharp edgfes or harsh overtones.
Final Third: Heading into home base this cigar takes a change for the worst. The basic flavor profile is still present however barely; the sweet earth flavor which was so good has fallen completely flat. While the honey and graham cracker flavors which were just starting to show up, left early and didn't pay the check. I found the final third to be hollow and flat. This is most likely due to the cigar not having finished its second maturation cycle; the oils haven't finished melding.
Overall: I have always been a fan of Illusione line. The complexity and balance was really outstanding and the smoke production was well above average. The cigar took a wild ride, changing at a moments notice. Great construction, even draw and sharp burn line are a testament to the quality of this cigar. The first two thirds were nothing short of outstanding, however the final third was quite a let down. While that is no fault of the cigar itself and just a natural part of the long term aging process. There is no perfect guide to how long a particular cigar can or should be aged. Only your palette knows for sure. I believe this cigar needs another 3-to 5 years of aging and at that point should really be amazing! Score 93 of 100.
Cigar: llusione Singulare Phantom (2010)
Box Date: 2010
Date Reviewed: 10/14/2015
Origin: Raics Cubanas factory Honduras
Size: 6 x 50
MSRP: $12.00 (boxes of 15)
Total Production Released: Limited Edition 1,000 boxes