Tag Archives: Cornelius & Anthony

Murcialago, Providencia Trinitas and Cornelius Lonsdale Cigars

Murcialago_RobustoLast week one of the cigars I picked up at Cigars International’s Espinosa event was the new Murcialago. I remember when this came out int the EO Brands days, it was Eddie Ortega’s go-to, made at the My Father Factory with a rich, dark San Andrés wrapper. These had a red bat-shaped band, appropriate since murcialago is Spanish for bat.  Seems like a long word for bat, but that’s neither here nor there. I remember the original release being sometime in the 2011 area. In the Ortega/Espinosa amicable divorce, Erik got custody of the Murcialago brand, and it hibernated for a few years. Recently the brand has re-emerged, and I grabbed a few of the red banded robustos, as well as a silver banded Churchill. I know the latest release, with the silver band, is being made at AJ Fernandez’ new San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua, but I’m not sure if the red banded cigars were made there or La Zona. I suppose it would have been prudent of me to ask that question of Erik while I was talking to him.  The Robusto is a box pressed 5″ x 54, and, given my recent avoidance of robustos, I’m surprised I didn’t get the toro instead, perhaps they were out.  The cigar smoked as one would expect it would, perfect burn and draw, dark, rich flavors of espresso and some spice. I recall really liking the old version, but it’s been so long since I smoked one I can’t really draw a direct comparison, but it was good and I liked it.


Providencia_The TrinitasYesterday afternoon I decided to give the Trinitas from Providencia Cigars a try. These cigars are made in Honduras with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco. This cigar came to mind because I know two of the company principles are from the Philadelphia area and are big Eagles fans. Apparently the Eagles won a big game, and were recognized with a parade in Philly last week, and I’m sure Ray and Jim wish they had been there. All this Eagles stuff in the news made me think of Providencia cigars for some reason, so I pulled out the Trinitas to give it a try. This is a beautiful 6½” x 52 perfecto with a box press, and has “Triple Ligero” on the band.  Curiously, their website notes that it has Lijero, whether this is a typo or linguistic difference, I don’t know. I give them points for keeping their site up to date, so I give them a pass.  This Trinitas was only recently released, and is a small batch cigar, and is offered in boxes of ten or bundles of 11.  I was expecting a much stronger cigar, given the triple ligero descriptor, but what I got was a medium bodied, very refined and well-balanced cigar that was really very good.  It had some sweetness, and earthy/nutty flavors that were quite enjoyable on a rainy Saturday on the porch watching the Olympics.  These are not widely distributed, but I’ve had very good experiences now with all three of their lines, the El Padre and El Santo are also excellent. Even though they aren’t in a lot of shops, they do offer their cigars for sale on their site. These cigars are worthy of sampling, in my opinion.


CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_LonsdaleLast night I came across my last IPCPR sample of the Cornelius and Anthony Cornelius Lonsdale. I received a couple new samples last week, and I’m sure it’s common knowledge that this brand, is on the top of my list recently. I cracked a box of Señor Esugars toros earlier in the week and am really going to have trouble not smoking them all up real fast, the cigar was awesome. I’ll smoke another one soon and give it more attention here. For me, in all six Cornelius and Anthony lines, the toro is the size that does it for me. That being said, this year’s release of the Cornelius in the Lonsdale size intrigued me. I recapped my IPCPR visit along with a video with Steven Bailey back in August, you can check that out here. My initial impression of the cigar remains the same as the first smoking, the 6½” x 42 Lonsdale may seem a little stronger than the Toro largely because a narrower ring cigar is going to burn a bit hotter, making the flavors sharper. People always think there’s some magic wrapper to filler ratio that makes smaller ring cigars taste different, but it’s the heat. Certainly the blend proportions have to change across a range of ring gauges, but if proportions were exactly the same, the thinner cigars would still have a sharper flavor, easily confused with more flavor, because it inherently burns hotter. It’s a fact. This Lonsdale presents all the elegance and subtlety of the Toro, but with a little more oomph, making it a similar, but different experience.  I like it, I like it a lot.


I’ve been slacking on my midweek posts over the last couple weeks, winter blues, I guess, but, if you watch my Instagram feed, I’m still enjoying a daily cigar, although I’ve been quite hedonistic in my choices lately. I get home from a long day at work and want to relax with a cigar and just enjoy it without worrying about thinking of something to write about it. I’ve always been pretty open about the fact that I’m in this for the enjoyment, when smoking cigars, or writing this blog, feel like work, it’s not fun anymore!  Anyway, it’s time to get on with my day, until the next time,




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CigarCraig’s Top Five Memorable Cigars of 2016 and A Contest Winner!

Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for another great year at CigarCraig.com. If you all keep reading, I’ll keep writing! Heck, I’d probably be writing this if nobody was reading.  I’m posting on a Saturday instead of Sunday for a couple reasons, mostly because I don’t feel like getting up early tomorrow to post something when nobody will be around to read it, and I slacked off and missed my Wednesday post, it happens. So I figured I wrap up the year with some of the cigars that were memorable to me this year,  and my criteria was simple, the cigar, no matter how many I smoked, made a positive impression on me to the point where I really want to smoke more of the cigar. These are presented in no particular order, and I know this keeps me off of Halfwheel’s annual conglomerate list, but so be it, why break the streak?


Maya Selva Flor Mayade Selva Grand Pressé Box Pressed Toro. This really shouldn’t be included as it was an IPCPR sample smoked on the show floor, and I typically think this is a bad place to properly evaluate a cigar. However, my approach was that I only smoked one cigar on the show floor all day, and I practically did smoke this all day. I would let the cigar go out while talking to someone, and relight it and it was still amazing. This was a brand that I had heard of but not tried, and was very impressed. Sadly, I don’t see these around the stores here, but I have to hunt some down. I know this is only based on one example, but it was memorable and fits my criteria!


RoMa_Neanderthal_HNRoMa Craft Neanderthal HN. Technically I smoked this cigar at the end of last year, but since I smoked it’s little brother, the Shallow Gene Pool, later in the year I’m going to mark it down as Memorable. I really did love the candela wrapped  Fomarian ,  and smoked more of those this year than the Neanderthal, the Neanderthal stuck out in my mind as memorable. It had some strength, but most of all the flavor was exceptional and left a definite impression. The pricetag keeps it out of this cheap bastid’s rotation, but it competes favorably with other cigars at similar prices, such as a Padron 94 Exclusivo or similar. Bottom line is, there aren’t a whole lot of cigars I’d pay $12 for, but the Neanderthal is one of them.


Mi Querida_GorditoIt should be fairly common knowledge by now that Steve Saka and I go way back and I consider Steve a friend. Actually, in March it will be 20 years since Steve and I met face to face. So if that puts a bias on my inclusion of the Mi Querida Gordito (as well as the rest of the sizes) in this list, so be it. It could be argued that knowing Steve shaped my palate and preferences, and if that’s the case than I’m pretty lucky. I first smoke the Mi Querida Ancho Larga (toro) at the IPCPR show at the insistence of Stace Berkland, who was working in the Dunbarton Tobacco and Trust booth, and my initial impression was good, but that age would benefit the cigar, which might have been construed as saying I didn’t like it, which wasn’t the case at all. I’ve smoked several sizes in the line now, the Ancho Corto (robusto), the Muy Gordo Grande and the Gordito, which I am listing here as the most memorable. Hey, I love them all, they are exactly my style of cigar, I like the mellowness of the Muy Gordo Grande, but the punch that the little 4″ x 48 Gordito has really made an impression. I was going to include the Sobremesa Elegentes en Cedros in my list, as I found it to be an awesome cigar, with a slight edge on the also awesome Short Churchill, but I didn’t want to appear totally biased! Unfortunately the Mi Querida Gordito size might be hard to find as I think it’s fairly limited.


CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_ToroI’ve developed an affinity for milder, more complex and sophisticated cigars lately, and one new one that I find myself going to frequently is from Cornelius and Anthony, and is the Cornelius. This is a cigar that’s made at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, and is just a really tasty cigar with a lot of subtlety and class. I’ve smoked several of the sizes and think the toro suits me best, although the corona gorda certainly has a lot going for it if you want a little bit of an edge to the flavor. The Cornelius and Anthony  Daddy Mac is a great smoke as well, but not nearly as memorable as the Cornelius. It’s another cigar in the over $10 range that I think is worthwhile. I put it in the same category as the Sobremesa, Davidoff, or some of the Havanas, it’s “clean” and delicious. There are some times that I chose to smoke this cigar that I remember fondly.


Fratello_Bianco_TheBoxerFinally, the cigar that was most memorable for me this year.  I was tempted to number this list because I knew this was number one, but really couldn’t assign numbers to two through five. At the time I said about this cigar “This was the best cigar I’ve smoked in recent memory” and I stand by that. Of course, the cigar Im referring to was the Fratello Bianco The Boxer. This is a box pressed torpedo, with  San Andrés Negro wrapper, binder from the Dominican Republic, and the fillers are Nicaraguan, Pennsylvanian and Peruvian. I dig the Bianco blend, and this tweaked version was just off the charts in flavor, and again, hit my particular flavor preference on the nose. Friggin yummy. Omar de Frias made news this year by quitting his day job at NASA to concentrate on the Fratello brand, a bold move given the whole FDA nonsense. What an amazing cigar.


That’s five, right?  There were a lot of runners up, the Hoyo La Amistad, the Foundation Tabernacle, the Foundry Time Flies, Leccia Des Nudos (it should have been in the top five…so close).  There were a lot to choose from but these were the most memorable.


Contest Winner!


GCCThe last contest of the year was some great stuff from General Cigar Company. We had a Flathead sign, a nice Macanudo Colibri cutter, some La Gloria Cubana scissors and a Punch bobble head. Maybe I should have included a cigar from each brand from my humidors in the contest, because that’s what I intend to include. Many people who have won my contests before can tell you that things often fall into the box when I’m packing it up (has anyone seen my keys?). The FDA says that manufacturers cant give away cigars for free, but they don’t have any say over my personal collection and what I do with it! The winner of the last contest of 2016 is Timmc71. Please send me your info so I can get these goodies out to you!  


That’s all for today!  Happy New Year again, and here’s to a successful 2017!








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Cornelius & Anthony Venganza Robusto

One of the booths I stopped at the IPCPR show and didn’t get to spend much time in was Cornelius & Anthony. They were busy every time I went by, which is a good thing for them. I wanted to say hello to Courtney Smith, which I did, but I didn’t get to meet Steve Bailey, which was disappointing. I’ve had the good fortune to sample the Cornelius line, as well as the Daddy Mac, both of which were excellent, with my personal nod going to the Cornelius, although I like the mellowness of the larger ring gauges to the Corona Gorda, which has a little more of a bite. Not to say the Corona Gorda isn’t excellent, it’s just different and that little bite covers the nuance that I like in the Toro. The Daddy Mac is also very good, and the new Venganza is a step up in strength. Both are made at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaraugua, a factory producing some of the better cigars I’ve smoked over the last couple years.


Cornelius & Anthony is the premium cigar division of the Bailey’s tobacco company that’s been growing Flue Cured tobacco in Virginia since the 1860s. The family has been involved in tobacco for five generations and the parent company, S&M Brands makes Bailey’s, Tahoe and Riverside cigarettes and Lex12 electronic cigarettes. The Cornelius line is made at El Titan de Bronze in Miami.  They also have the rosado wrapped Meridian in the premium line, also made at La Zona.


CorneliusandAnthony_Venganza_RobustoOver the last couple evenings I smoked the Cornelius & Anthony Venganza Robusto, and it’s unusual for me to smoke the same cigar twice in a row, but this cigar was one I wanted to go back to. One was a sample from the trade show, and one was a sample that came in the mail.  Both had a nice, open draw, after straight cutting the first, I decided to V-cut the second. The V-cut restricted the draw a little, and gave me a little longer smoking time, which I liked. It started out with a bit of strength, them mellowed a little, but still had some punch throughout.  It went from spicy and woody to some nuts and coffee, with a bit of pepper throughout.  Venganza means vengeance in Spanish, and the cigar fits the name, as it is more aggressive than the other cigars in the line, but still balanced and full of great flavor.  I personally love the colors of the bands across the line, hardly a criteria for enjoyment, but it’s been hard for me to not pick one of these up as long as they are in my humidor. Great cigars!


That’s all for tonight, until the next time,





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A La Aroma de Cuba, Serino Cigars and Cornelius & Anthony’s Daddy Mac

Happy Father’s Day! I have a special cigar lined up for later, it’s been a tradition since esperanza2000 that I  smoke an Esperanza para los Niños every year. I’ve written about this cigar before, long story short, it was made by Christian Eiroa in 1998 to benefit the children orphaned by Hurricane Mitch, and was pretty much blended by and for members of the Usenet group alt.smokers.cigars. I still have a few left, one from a box I bought and some from the generosity of my friend Mike. Of course, this week I started a new job, which has occupied my thoughts, but I was able to enjoy some great cigars.


LaAromaDe Cuba_NoblesseTuesday I posted the great contest sponsored by Holt’s, and I went looking for a La Aroma de Cuba and the only one  found was a Noblesse which was a birthday gift from Will Cooper a few years ago.  He shouldn’t have, but he did and I quite enjoyed this cigar. The Noblesse is the top of the line La Aroma de Cuba, it’s got a Habano rosado wrapper, a double binder consisting of Habano and Criollo, and an aged selection of filler tobaccos from the Garcia family’s farms in the growing regions of Estelí, Jalapa and Namanji (which is about a 45 minute drive east of Esteli). It comes in a 6½” x  toro and they only made 3000 x 24 count boxes in total. I found this to be an exceptional smoke, perfect construction and subtle and refined flavors from the well aged tobaccos, it had some sweetness and some spice, a really nice cigar.


SerinoRoyale_Maduro_BelicosoWednesday I dug into a sampler from Serino Cigars. The Serino Royale line is available in four blends, three of which I will talk about today (I didn’t get to the Medio blend, which is a Ecuador Habano Claro wrapped cigar). The cigars are made by Omar Gonzalez Alemán, who was the master blender at Cuba’s Partagas and La Corona Factories before starting the La Corona factory in Esteli (which may sound familiar as the factory that works which Hirochi Robaina, from what I recall). I started with the cigar that probably would have been the second cigar I chose, but the interesting size swayed me and fit the circumstance better. The Serino Royale Maduro in the Belicoso size is a 5½” x 60 figurado with a dark and oily Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper.  This was a great smoke with some of the dark chocolate and coffee flavors I like. I’d smoke this again.


SerinoRoyale_Connecticut_TorpedoThursday I went with the Connecticut Torpedo in the Serino Royale line. This is a classic 6 1/8″ x 52 torpedo with a Ecuador shade grown Connecticut wrapper. This medium bodied smoke was, once again, perfectly constructed and had fairly typical nutty, mellow flavors, but there was a lot of flavor so it was a very satisfying and enjoyable smoke. The entire range in the Serino Royale line has Jalapa binders and five years aged fillers from Omar Gonzalez Alemán’s own farms, and have been aging in La Corona’s aging rooms since 2014, and the age is apparent in the combustion and flavor of the cigars. These all seem to run in the $12-$13 area, so they are no cheap date, but worthy cigars none the less.


CorneliusandAnthony_DaddyMac_ToroFriday I took a break from the Serino line to enjoy a Cornelius & Anthony Daddy Mac Gordo. I’ve smoked a couple of these in the toro and gordo sizes and these appear to be another great cigar out of the La Zona factory. Actually, last Sunday I enjoyed a Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius toro again, but you can refer back to my past post about that great cigar. the Daddy Mac line has a Brazilian wrapper, Ecuador  binder and Nicaraguan fillers. As with all cigars from La Zona, the construction was right, the burn was right and it was a great smoke. I thought it was fairly chocolaty with some sweetness like a dried fruit and a little twinge of pepper. I have a couple of the smaller sizes in this line yet to smoke, but the 6″ x 60 Gordo was a very nice smoke. I look forward to catching up with the Cornelius & Anthony folks at the IPCPR show. I gotta say, I love the colors in the bands on these cigars.


SerinoRoyale_MaduroXX_SublimeWrapping up the smokes for the week was the Serino Royale I would have led off with under normal circumstances, the Maduro XX Sublime (6¼”x54). Once again, this is wrapped in a Habano 2000 Oscuro from Ecuador and is a fuller bodied blend of the Maduro from earlier in the week. After spending the day painting ceilings (vaulted, no less), this was a great way to end the day. The Serino Royale Maduro XX is a strong cigar with great flavors of espresso and cocoa. While it was strong, it was fairy well-balanced, which is a good thing. This is a cigar I’ll be looking for more of. Carson Serino, the VP of Serino Cigars sent me a nice letter and pricelist along with the sampler, which was presented very nicely in a classy cardboard box, which was very helpful, considering they don’t seem to have a website to refer to. I can make the same complaint about Cornelius & Anthony, but at least they have a “coming soon” page. I also will have to find Serino Cigars at the show and ask them to explain the “20th Anniversary” on the packaging, there’s nothing I could find explaining that. These are very good smokes, although a bit pricy, but we better get used to that.


Contest Winner

Thanks again to the folks at Holt’s for providing the great La Aroma/San Cristobal ’92-95′ Rated Assortment for this week’s contest! If you get to Philly stop in to their shop and hang out for a bit. They have a nice lounge in the back (and Ashton Cigar Bar is upstairs). Whenever I get in there I am overwhelmed with the selection, and generally walk out with way more cigars than I need. I think they always run a “buy 5, get one free” thing, so that gets me in trouble. Thanks to Lexi there for putting this together. I’ve selected a winner at random and will need Allinton /wattley to send me an address to pass on to Holt’s.  Thanks to all who entered and stay tuned for the next contest (probably won’t be quite as close together as the last two).


That’s all for today. Yesterday was the ceiling, today is the floor, followed by the Esparanza and we’ll see what else! Also, check out the special Bobalu Cigars is offering our readers for a limited time!  Until the next time,


Cigar Craig




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Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro Cigar

A few weeks ago I heard from Courtney Smith, the Director of Brand Development at Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars . I’ve known Courtney for many years from her tenure with another cigar brand, and have heard good things about the Cornelius & Anthony Brand.  Cornelius & Anthony Premium Cigars is the cigar division of the Bailey family’s 150 year old tobacco company S&M Brands.   S&M Brands is best known for its Bailey, Tahoe and Riverside cigarettes and its portfolio of other machine-made tobacco products, which includes little cigars. The family has been growing and brokering its tobacco for five generations.


CorneliusandAnthony_Cornelius_ToroThe cigars I received are the Cornelius & Anthony Cornelius Toro.  The Cornelius is made at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami’s Little Havana. The blend is an Ecuador Habano wrapper, Ecuador binder, and Nicaraguan fillers and the toro is a traditional 6″ x 50. These are also available in a robusto and corona gorda.  I smoked the first sample Monday evening, and it was a spectacular cigar.  I would have smoked the second sample on Tuesday, but I seem to have contracted a bit of a cold, so I wanted to wait until I could properly enjoy another one of these, I was that impressed. The construction was perfect, I always appreciate a cigar that burns straight with a flat ember, it tells me that great care was taken to select tobacco that all burns at the same rate, no easy feat. It was a smooth, flavorful smoke, creamy, with some sweetness and spice along with some wood and nuts.  I was quite happy smoking this cigar, it’s easily approachable by a novice, and satisfying enough for a seasoned smoker. I can’t wait to kick this cold so I can smoke the other one I have. The $15 price tag may be off-putting to some, but it’s well worth it for a special occasion.  I really like the presentation too, the bands are visually appealing and the cigar is beautiful.


Many thanks to Courtney for sharing these great cigars with me.  Until the next time,





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