In 2022, Illusione Cigars would quietly unveil its version of the Allegria brand. It was back in 2017 when Dion Giolito acquired two cigar brands, OneOff and Allegria. These are brands created by Andrea Molinar – and achieved a cult status in the marketplace. However, the brand fell dormant and pretty much disappeared from retail shelves. Giolito decided to bring these brands back to life. In 2018, he released OneOff with a lot of fanfare. While we knew Allegria was coming at some point, the company was pretty quiet about it. Allegria would be released after the 2022 PCA Trade Show but wasn’t showcased. Today, we will dive deeper into Allegria and look at this cigar in the Corona size.
When Molinari created OneOff, he was a tobacconist who ran a La Casa del Habano in Milan, Italy. After failing to get his own brand made in Cuba, he turned to the Plasencia family, and they created the cigars at Segovia Cigars S.A. The OneOff brand was initially released in 2001, and Allegria followed llowed in 2004. Eventually, Plasencia stopped making the cigars, and Molinari sold the brand to Cuban Crafters.
For now, let’s turn our attention to the Allegria Corona by Illusione Cigars and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Allegria is a Nicaraguan puro that showcases the Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobaccos from the Aganorsa farms. Production comes from the Aganorsa Leaf factory (Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.), formerly TABSA.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.
Allegria is now available in five sizes. Each of the five sizes is presented in 25-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Corona: 5 1/8 x 42
Gordo: 6 x 56
Lonsdale: 6 1/4 x 44
Churchill: 6 3/4 x 48
The best way to describe the wrapper on the Allegria Corona is that it is nearly a milk chocolate color with a strong Colorado reddish tint. The surface of the wrapper had some oils on it. In addition, some visible veins were present on the surface. Any visible wrapper seams were on the thin side and not very prominent.
A straight cut commenced the cigar experience for the Allegria Corona. Once the cap was removed, it was time to begin with the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of dusty earth, leather, and a slight amount of natural tobacco sweetness. I wouldn’t say this was the greatest pre-light draw, but there was enough to whet my appetite. At this point, it was time to toast up the footer of the Allegria Corona and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Allegria Corona opened up with a combination of wood, earth, fruit, and natural tobacco. Later, some mixed pepper entered the equation. It took about an inch in until the fruit notes surfaced as the primary note. The secondary notes were the wood, earth, natural tobacco, and pepper. Toward the later part of the first third, the fruit notes began to diminish, and the natural tobacco, wood, and earth notes became more prominent. Meanwhile, an additional layer of black pepper was added to the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Allegria Corona, the earth notes joined the fruit in the forefront. The fruit diminished into the background, joining the natural tobacco, pepper, and wood notes. The second half saw the natural tobacco notes join the earth in the forefront.
By the final third, the earth and natural tobacco remained primary. The pepper increased a bit more, and the fruit and wood notes rounded out the flavor profile. This is the way the Allegria Corona came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burnwise, the Allegria Corona performed exceptionally well. This cigar did not require frequent touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path with a slight jaggedness on the burn line. The resulting ash was a silver-gray color with some darker blotches mixed in. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flaky ash either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
I like a little in the way of resistance on the draw, and the draw on the Allegria Corona started out like that, but on each sample, the draw took on more resistance than I prefer. This made the Allegria a little more high maintenance to smoke at times.
Strength and Body
Regarding strength and body, the Allegria Corona started out with medium strength and medium-bodied flavors. Along the way, both the strength and body slightly decreased in the second third and then stayed relatively flat. Ultimately, the Allegria Corona still finished in the medium strength and medium-bodied range.
The strength and body balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
The bands of the Allegria are similar to what was on the original release by Molinari. The bands are red and white in the shape of a cross. The OneOff peace symbol is on the band. The one difference is the Illusione name is on the band. The bands are in plain wooden cabinet boxes with red tape branded with the Allegria logo to seal the box.
I was still a little perplexed about why Illusione was so low-key on the Allegria compared to the OneOff. I think the Allegria is a very good blend – and I’m certain it is an “under the radar” cigar line. I have never smoked the original Allegria by Molinari, so I don’t have a baseline. But I can say the Illusione Allegria delivered in the most crucial category – flavor. The cigar seemed to work quite well in a classic corona vitola, but I’m also hoping to smoke this cigar in the other sizes. This is a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast. It is a quality corona-sized cigar for under $10.00. It’s one that I would smoke again and buy multiples to keep in my humidor. Coming in at 90 points, the Allegria Corona earns the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Earth, Fruit, Natural Tobacco, Wood, Pepper
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on October 23, 2023 @ 6:17 pm