In a noble quest by an unexpected joining of forces, boutique cigar maker Dion Giolito of Illusione Cigars has collaborated with corporate giant Scandinavian Tobacco Group for a limited edition Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur set to ship July 4th. Called the Excalibur Illusion, this not only represents the first time Giolito has done a project with STG, but the first time an Excalibur has been made in Nicaragua.
The all-Nicaraguan cigar comes in a size called the #1, measuring 7 1/4 inches long by 54 rings. It will be packaged in boxes of 10 with a suggested retail price of $19.99 each.
According to STG, this cigar has been blended by Giolito and Justin Andrews of STG to be “medium-plus” in strength. For Giolito, being part of this collaboration was as much about nostalgia as it was creativity.
“When General Cigar Co. asked me to do a collaboration and offered me Excalibur, I immediately jumped at the chance,” said Giolito. “In college, the No. 1 Maduro Excalibur was my go-to when I could afford it on a college budget…I wanted to make a cigar in the spirit of Excalibur with a bold character and packaging that paid homage to the origins of the brand. ”
Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur is a cigar brand with decades of history. Created by Villazon & Co. (which was later acquired by General Cigar Co.), the brand offered a different take on Hoyos, with shade wrappers from Connecticut, and they were made in Honduras. New Excaliburs Illusiones are manufactured in Nicaragua at Aganorsa Leaf (formerly known as the TABSA factory), where most Illusiones are produced. The cigars are rolled with Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 wrappers, Nicaraguan Corojo 2012 binders and a filler of Criollo ’98, Corojo ’99 and Corojo 2006. All tobacco was also grown in Nicaragua by Aganorsa Leaf.
The box’s royal blue lacquer finish and golden details are a nod to the medieval legend of King Arthur and his mythical sword, Excalibur. Only 4,960 boxes will be produced, all distributed by STG’s General Cigar Co.