“Battle of the Lancero’s” – Illusione HL Cafe Colorado vs. Illusione HL Maduro

The Illusione HL series, which stands for “Holy Lance” and is obviously a play upon words for ‘Lancero’, comes in the following 3 Wrapper Varieties:
-Cafe Colorado (brown)
-Maduro (dark brown)
-Claro (green)

For this weekend edition of “Battle of the Lancero’s” I will be smoking the Original Cafe Colorado vs. the Nicaraguan Maduro. Being an avid Lancero lover, I couldn’t resist these beautiful looking Lancero’s. I would have smoked all 3, but the cigar shop had just ran out of the famed green wrapper Claro’s.

During any Cigar Battle, it’s important to ensure an even playing field, and so I paired these 2 cigars with Perrier Citron. I personally believe Perrier Citron to be one of the best drinks to accompany a cigar tasting. The Bubbles and the Lemon Lime both cleanse the palate, and it’s neutral taste at room temperature provides all the hydration your mouth needs without interfering with the cigar flavors.

Let the Battle begin!

First up, the Illusione HL Cafe Colorado Lancero. The cigar starts off with a few nice puffs of milk chocolate, and then transforms into a core of toasted cedar wood. Spice is provided by white pepper, and delicate floral notes can be observed in the background. By the 2nd third the floral notes have mostly subdued, leaving it’s core flavors of toasted cedar wood, white pepper and milk chocolate. The final third changed dramatically into a deep, leathery smoke, with flavors of oak wood, herbaceous notes and a slight touch of sweet raisins.

Overall I would rate the Illusione HL Cafe Colorado Lancero at 91 points. I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor profile of the first two thirds, and while I found the final third interesting, it seemed out of character when compared to the rest of the cigar.

Now for Round 2, let’s light up the Illusione HL Maduro Lancero. The cigar starts off with a massive dose of white pepper spice that completely overwhelms the palate. Shortly thereafter notes of plum, walnuts, and oak wood come through, followed by a slightly sweet caramel finish. By the 2nd third, the white pepper spice dies down a bit to reveal a sweet core of caramel, walnuts, cocoa, oak, leather and earth. By the final third the white pepper spice has almost disappeared, and the cigar has become a sweet caramel coffee powerhouse of a smoke. The core flavors of oak, earth and dark plums are presented for the final stretch, with a walnut caramel finish.

Overall I would rate the Illusione HL Maduro at 89 points. While the cigar had wonderful flavors and complexity, it lost points for balance, as it was overwhelmed by the white pepper spice and intense strength. This may be the strongest, most full bodied Lancero I have ever smoked. If you love strong maduro cigars, you should definitely check this cigar out. Just make sure that you, and your palate, are prepared, as this is a powerhouse of a smoke.

And the winner is…

I would have to award the original Illusione HL, with it’s cafe colorado wrapper, as the winner. The white pepper, milk chocolate and floral notes made for an outstanding smoke. While the Maduro version was an intriguing smoke, it was a little too strong for my personal preference. However, both of these Illusione Lanceros were complex and flavorful, and I would gladly smoke either of them again.

Published in: Cigar Reviews and Recommendations | on September 18th, 2011 | Comments Off on “Battle of the Lancero’s” – Illusione HL Cafe Colorado vs. Illusione HL Maduro

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