Somewhere, there’s a strange joke to go along with this cigar, something along the lines of, “Pactum? Damn near killed ’em!” Or maybe I’m missing something…
The Illusione Pactum was released at the tail end of 2014 as the 9th edition to Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series. Smoke Inn began the Microblend Series in 2010, teaming up with prominent brands in the industry to create small batch projects with an emphasis on quality. Drawing inspiration from microbreweries, the concept allows for the use of high quality tobaccos and quality control that may not be possible through wide-release blends. And while many other manufacturers and retailers now employ similar tactics, Smoke Inn was a pioneer in creating the now-popular collaboration limited releases.
For the Pactum, Illusione has included the cigar in its Cígars Prívé (Private Cigars) label, a series in where they have been creating cigars for retailers other than their own Fumare cigar shop in Reno, NV. Pactum is a Latin word that translates to “agreement”, with the intention of honoring the character of Smoke Inn owner Abe Dababneh.
Illusione Pactum Breakdown
- Wrapper: San Andrés Capa Fina Maduro
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: TABSA (Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited to 400 Boxes of 15 Cigars
- Vitola: 5.5″ x 56
- Price: $8.95
Illusione Pactum has a really cool appearance – it’s slightly box-pressed, solid, and chunky, with the large 56 ring gauge. This is one of those cigars that just feels good in the hand. The construction looks spectacular, with a velvety, fuzzy-like wrapper, having no blemishes or soft spots. It’s densely-packed and I’m hoping the big ring gauge will keep it from having a tight draw. The simplistic band looks nice, and I found myself thinking the cigar itself very closely resembled a Padrón 1964 maduro. The only negative I found was a loosely secured cap, which caused a bit of maintenance after cutting (a large punch cut is recommended).
The smoke is rich and decadent on the first few puffs; it’s a very satisfying start, considering the San Andrés wrapper often begins with a bitter note. The smoke is weighty on the tongue, having very well-balanced flavors of table cream, medium roasted coffee, a hint of nuttiness, and aged tobacco on the finish. On the retrohale, there is a delicate spice, perfectly balancing the dessert-like flavors on the palate. The burn on this cigar is fantastic, barely wavering and providing plenty of smoke on each puff. There is a slightly tight draw, as expected, but it’s certainly manageable.
The first-third of the cigar was dominated by a smooth creaminess, but saw some changes in the second. Here, the flavors see additions of more beefy, meaty notes. Charcoal and meat grease make their way into the mix, as well as a more amped up retrohale, with a nice white pepper quality. There is definitely a refined feel to the cigar, with a persistent backdrop of aged tobacco. Approaching the halfway point, I’m already declaring this the best Illusione maduro cigar I’ve smoked to date! (depending on how it finishes…).
The meaty profile provided a nice break between a sandwiched character of creaminess. As the creamy notes return, there are accompanying flavors of cedar and peanuts in the backdrop, which soon take on a quality of burnt nuts. Darker notes are added nearing the end, with notes of dark fruit (blackberries/raspberries), molasses, and espresso. The strength picks up nearing the end, but never strays into the “full” territory.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes please! I will no doubt be purchasing more of these (quickly, before they sellout!). I would even consider this box-purchase worthy. I have to admit, the samples I smoke for this review had aged for around 6 months, so it would be interesting to see if they perform as well with less age.
- No touchups/relights
- Full flavors with nice transitions
- No harsh/unwanted flavors
- Slightly tight draw
- Loose cap construction