Tag Archives: Cornelius and Anthony

IPCPR 1017 – Cornelius and Anthony Cigars

C&ABoothOf course, one of the primary destinations for me at this IPCPR was the Cornelius and Anthony booth, where I was welcomed by Steven Bailey, Courtney Smith and Todd Vance.  The first video I shot with Steven I was to find out, much to my dismay, had no audio, a problem that would rear it’s ugly head again (the great video I did with Matt Booth was sans audio, which didn’t come to light until I was home, nobody commented that it was silent, and a video interview with anyone with no audio sucks, especially with someone as CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_Lonsdaleentertaining as Mr. Booth). Steven was gracious enough to grant me a do-over, which is presented below.  Naturally, as my luck would have it, YouTube Live wasn’t cooperating that day either, but I usually have options.  As is apparent to the casual CigarCraig reader, I’m a big fan of the Cornelius and Anthony line, and was anxious to sample the newest offerings. Debuting at the show were two new lines and a new size in the Cornelius line, which is made at Al Titan de Bronze in Miami. This new size is a Lonsdale, a 6½” x 42 cigar with the same Ecuador wrapper and binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers. I couldn’t help but smoke one this week.  I’ll make no bones about the fact that the Toro is my favorite in the Cornelius line, but I think the Lonsdale, due to it’s narrow ring gauge, has a little more bite, and might be perceived as stronger than the smooth and creamy Toro. It still smokes very well, like a high-end cigar should, and has the same rich, complex flavors that the larger rings have. Smaller ring cigars burn hotter and seem stronger because the flavors are sharper, so I smoked this slowly like I would a lancero. I very much enjoyed this cigar.


CorneliusandAnthony_Aerial_RobustoThe new offerings are the Aerial and Señor Esugars, adding a Ecuador Connecticut and Mexican San Andres to the line. The Aerial is an Ecuador Connecticut wrapped cigar with a USA binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Not a mild cigar at all, solidly medium to my palate, but an absolutely beautiful cigar. I smoked the Robusto, and it comes in Gordo, Toro and Corona Gorda, which are consistent sizes across the brand. I like the fact that they stick to the four classic sizes. The USA binder intrigues me as I know that the Bailey family has been growing tobacco for 150 years, one can’t help but wonder if this is something grown on their farms in Virginia or a PA or Connecticut leaf. Whatever it is, it works, as the smooth, velvety smoke has a sweetness and a hint of spice that is very pleasurable. The Aerial is a great addition to the Cornelius and Anthony line.


CorneliusandAnthony_SenorEsugars_RobustoThe Señor Esugars has the dark Mexican wrapper, with the USA binder (same as the Aerial?) and Nicaraguan fillers. This, along with the Aerial (Daddy Mac, Venganza and Meridian) is made in the La Zona factory in Esteli. The box has a great likeness of Steven Bailey’s dog Oscar, who Steven calls Mr. Sugars, sporting a derby, very cool imagery, another consistent theme. I just want to scratch that dog’s big, fluffy ears! Besides the cigars being great, the color and design of the bands and boxes appeal to me. Sorry, I don’t care how great a cigar is, if it has a crappy looking band it’s going to color my perception. Back to the Señor Esugars. Trade show samples and the fact that I’ve only let them rest for a couple weeks besides the point, this is destined to be a fantastic cigar. I would have like it to be a little drier, my fault, but it had some strength, and some rich, sweet flavors that are on the dark side that I enjoy. I want to smoke this with a Cuban coffee, I just rarely get the chance to make it. It’s another great addition to the line. I really have a hard time picking a favorite of the La Zona blends, Mr. Bailey and co. are really making some great cigars, they have the right people on board to present them and sell them. Super stuff, I’m glad they are on the shelves of some of the stores in my area, and I recommend them highly.






Until the next time,




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Filed under IPCPR, Review, Video

La Aurora, a Cornelius and Anthony Event, Avo and a CAO Cigar

Don’t forget to go back to Wednesday’s post and enter to win a ticket to the Philly Cigar Festival being held on June 3, 2017! I will select a winner on Wednesday, so if you think you can make the trip to south-eastern Pennsylvania, put your name in the hat! This promises to be a very cool event!


So, I smoked a few cigars this week, I’ll mention a few of them, there were some I won’t mention either because I’ve talked about them before, or there was something strange going on…for instance, one cigar I really enjoyed in the past had a very strange and awful flavor about mid way through akin to burning plastic. My guess is that a piece of the plastic string they use to tie the hands of tobacco together in the fermenting process may have gotten mixed in the bunch somehow, at least that’s what I want to believe. It’s easier to wrap my mind around that explanation than think of what other foreign objects might have made their way in there. Stuff happens and it’s just unfortunate that it was my last example of this particular cigar. Fortunately, there are plenty of other great cigars to choose from! Mi Queridas seem to be smoking very well, and a 2015 LG Diez Lusitano from La Flor Dominicana was a real treat this week.  Another treat was a La Aurora 1903 Cameron robusto, the third new cigar from La Aurora’s Time Capsule series, following the LaAurora_1903Cameroon_Robusto 1987 Connecticut and the 1962 Corojo. This has a Cameroon wrapper, Ecuador Sumatra binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. I have a special affinity for the La Aurora line, it’s special to me personally, but that’s not to say I enjoy a great many of their cigars. I half expected this one to remind me of the first box of cigars I bought back on 1996, the La Aurora Bristol Especiale (I think it was around $40 for the box). I never really took to those, they seemed to have a vegetal flavor that I didn’t care for. I didn’t find that to be the case at all with the 1903 Cameron, it had that unique Cameroon sweetness (Camerooniness, I call it), and was a very pleasant cigar. I know I’ve enjoyed the Connecticut in the past, but that’s coming up in the rotation real soon, I think, as I somehow failed to make mention of smoking it in the past. Good stuff from La Aurora and thank you to Jason at Miami Cigar and Co. for keeping me up to date on these.


stevenbaileyFriday evening I finally made it back to Cigar Mojo in King of Prussia, PA for a Cornelius and Anthony event where I finally met Steven Bailey, the owner of the company.  I’ve been pretty high on this newer brand for the better part of a year now, with the Cornelius toro making an appearance on my end of year memorable cigars list, and will be the subject of my Cigar Notes feature in the May/June issue of Prime Living Magazine (due on Texas newstands in May). I learned a few things about Steven, who has a successful cigarette CorneliusandAnthony_Meridian_torocompany which basically bankrolls the premium cigar start-up. Steven has experience with the FDA, having one of two cigarette brands that has been approved by the FDA, out of something like 12,000 applications. He has the experience (and the financial wherewithal) to keep his four excellent lines on the market. Of the four lines, I like the Cornelius the best, with the Meridian a close second, with the Daddy Mac close behind.  I haven’t smoked enough of the Venganza to make a good judgement yet. The Cornelius is made at El Titan de Bronze in Miami with the other three coming from Eric Espinosa’s La CorneliusandAnthonyTableZona factory in Esteli. As I sat chatting with Steven, Todd Vance and Jose Galvez (Steven’s faithful minions), I smoked a Meridian toro, which I liked better than the robusto, and I liked the robusto a lot. In the toro I think the strength was tempered a little, and there was an interesting cinnamon note midway through. I think buying a box of these is in my future. It was a great time at Mojo, great cigars, and very happy to meet Steven and his crew. Cornelius and Anthony is a brand to watch, and is high on my list.


AvoSyncroYesterday I smoked a little Avo Syncro  robusto since Avo Uvezian passed away on Friday at the age of 91. I never had the pleasure of meting Avo, but many people I know knew him and spoke highly of him. The Avo line (not unlike many of the La Aurora cigars) doesn’t line up with my particular tastes all the time, but he’s certainly left a legacy with many fans of his cigars. I do like the Syncro, perhaps the Nicaraguan component works better for my palate than the Dominican. Not only did Avo lend his name to cigars, but he also wrote “Strangers in the Night” for Sinatra and was obviously an accomplished musician. I never shook the man’s hand, but he was beloved by many, another cigar industry icon has left us (at an advanced age if that says anything).


CAO_AmazonBasinLast night I finally got around to smoking a CAO Amazon Basin. I recently picked up the last one in a box at a local shop, and this is from the second generation of the line I would think. These got rave reviews, it’s certainly unique in its presentation, with a band made from what I guess to be twisted tobacco coiled around the cigar. CAO is another brand that I really love a couple of their lines and other’s are just “eh”, sadly this one fell into the second category. Give me any Flathead over this any day of the week. Not that it was a bad cigar, although it took a bit of coaxing with the lighter to get lit right, then tunneled a little on my at the midpoint. I didn’t find it to be spectacular, although the last third was getting there and by the time I peeled off the band it was pretty hard to put down. Not sure if  I got a flukey one or it need more time in the humidor or what. I am an optimist when it comes to cigars, and it takes a lot for me to give up on a cigar, usually seeing it through to the end, with worked in this case, because the cigar redeemed itself, but it’s sometimes tough to poser through when a cigar starts out questionably. CAO’s Rick Rodriguez was in the area Friday night at another of my favorite shops, sadly I missed him this time around.


That’s all for today, don’t forget to enter the contest! Until the next time,




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Cornelius and Anthony Meridian Cigars

CorneliusandAnthony_Meridian_RobustoI’ve been really enjoying cigars from Cornelius and Anthony over the past year, the Cornelius Toro was on my list of most memorable cigars of 2016. To recap, Cornelius and Anthony is the premium cigar division of S&M Brands, which is the Bailey families 150 year old tobacco business based in Virginia. They make cigars at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami (the Cornelius) and the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua (the rest). Tonight I smoked the Meridian, one of their newest offerings. The Meridian has a rosado Ecuador wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican republic. It comes in four sizes, the Robusto at 5″ x 50, Corona Gorda at 5½” x 46, a Toro at 6″ c 50 and a Gordo at 6″ x 60, ranging in price from $8.25 to $10.25. Tonight I smoked the robusto in this line. To my palate, this is the strongest cigar in the Cornelius and Anthony line, but with great flavor. I hate to make comparisons, but, to me, this cigar had the great flavor of the Cornelius, which is subtle and nuanced, kicked up to 11 in strength. It’s rare to find such a powerful cigar with such flavor. There was a sweetness, along with a spice, and some cream that coats the palate. The construction was flawless, with an even burn and a perfect draw. I had trouble putting this cigar down, and I am looking forward to trying it in the larger sizes, in hopes that greater length, or girth, will temper the CorneliusandAnthonystrength a little. I can only imagine the kick that the Corona Gorda packs. I’ve smoked the Cornelius and the Daddy Mack in the Corona Gorda sizes and they both seem to have more of a bite than the larger sizes. Of course, this is because the thinner vitolas burn a little hotter than the larger ring gauges, not because of some wrapper to filler ratio nonsense, but perhaps that’s a slope to slide down another time.  Steven Bailey and his partners at La Zona have really created a tasty cigar with the Cornelius and Anthony Meridian, that is, if you like a strong cigar with loads of great flavor! I really like the color of the band too, it really appeals to me, it’s a plus that the cigars are great as well.


It’s a short one tonight, that’s all I got!  Until the next time,





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