A few years ago, while working for a cigar importer/distributer I met Courtney Smith who was working for one of the brands we distributed, La Palina. Courtney left La Palina, I left the company I was working for but at intertabac last September we ran into each other again. Courtney gave me a few cigars of the company she’s with now, Cornelius & Anthony. I smoked most at the show but kept a few samples for reviews.
Cornelius & Anthony is quite new to the premium cigar game but not new to the tobacco industry. The family behind the brand has been growing tobacco in Virginia for over 150 years and 5th generation Steven Anthony Bailey decided it was time to branch out to the premium cigar business and honoring the first Bailey to enter the business he named the brand after him: Cornelius and added his own second name Anthony to it. They came out with 4 lines, 3 made in La Zona in Esteli, Nicaragua and one by El Titan de Bronze in Miami. And the last one I’ll be reviewing today. The line is called Cornelius and the cigar is made from Nicaraguan and Dominican filler with a binder and wrapper from Ecuador. I smoked the 6×50 toro. The band is very detailed and beautifully designed, just like the artwork on the boxes. The wrapper has a beautiful color, only a few small veins, a light shine and a silky feel. The triple cap on the well rounded head finishes the looks of the cigar. There is a distinct barnyard aroma. The construction feels good and the cold draw, that leaves me with some pepper on my lips, is flawless.
Lighting the cigar with my trusted vintage Ronson soft flame is very easy and at first I taste a nice full but medium coffee flavor and after a few puffs I also taste a nice nuttiness. After half an inch it’s still mainly coffee what I taste. The nuttiness disappeared but I taste some spices instead and some pepper on my lips.
After a third i taste a nice wooden flavor, the coffee is completely gone. I also taste a nice amount of chili pepper. Halfway the pepper mellows out, it doesn’t disappear but it’s not as strong as before. There is still wood though. After two thirds I still taste wood with some pepper but there is a nice fresh minty aftertaste that I like a lot. At the end I taste some nuts again.
The burn is straight with a beautiful light colored ash. The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The cigar is medium bodied and it gave me a nice amount of thick smoke. The ash is reasonable firm, but not firm enough for a long ash competition. The cigar is well balanced, the body – flavor ratio is spot on. The cigar lasted me for over an hour and a forty five minutes and I needed to bring out my cool JSK nub tool.
Would I buy this cigar again? If only they were for sale in Europe, which will probably never happen due to high import taxes on tobacco shipped from the USA.