- Vitola: Lonsdale
- 6.5” x 42 ring gauge
- MSRP $13.50
- Samples provided by the company
It’s been almost two years since I first smoked the flagship cigar of the Cornelius and Anthony Cigar Company…the Cornelius. My review from the time saw that I did enjoy it, while thinking it was a little steep in price. I can’t remember that I’ve had a Cornelius since those early review samples…mostly because I don’t see it an any of the shops I visit. A few weeks ago I was surprised to get a package in the mail from C&A Cigars. They sent two samples of the newly-released Lonsdale size of the blend, and I quickly put them on the review schedule.
Cornelius is made in the Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Florida, which undoubtedly adds to the price. It uses Nicaraguan fillers and Ecuadorian binder and wrapper (Habano for the wrapper, I’m almost sure, thought it’s not stated). A letter than accompanied the cigars says:
The new Lonsdale size is a special gem of the Cornelius blend. Cornelius has a layered complexity with notes of both sweetness and spice, highlighted by a refined balance that culminates with a buttery smooth finish.
This is the second time I’ve smoked the Lonsdale vitola.
The banding for this cigar is exactly the same as what was on the original cigar I reviewed. It’s an interesting look, though I’ve gotten a little weary of seeing the same primary band on every single C&A release.
The peanut butter brown wrapper leaf was almost perfect in appearance with a semi-glossy oiliness under the light and incredible smoothness under my fingertips. The first time I reviewed this I picked up earth and leather on the wrapper leaf; this time I got lots of earth still, but more secondary notes of wood with an undercurrent of molasses. the foot had a riper earthiness, with more woody notes.
After clipping with my favorite Xikar Xi cutter, I got a very good draw that had plenty of wood and grass notes, but only a touch of the sweetness I got in the larger vitola I reviewed.
The Cornelius Lonsdale fired up with a strong mix of cedar and roasted almonds on the palate, followed close behind by a fiery red pepper spice. The finish was earthy and slightly sweet. The retrohale had even more pepper fire than I got on the palate. I found that the cigar started slightly above dead center medium in terms of body.
As I got into the second third, pepper led the way while earth, cedar and nuts rode steadily underneath. It really seemed like the pepper ramped up all the way through the first third and into the second, while the body remained at just slightly over medium.
The pepper spice toned down a little in the last third allowing more sweetness to come through in the flavor profile, along with a good amount of earth. The woody and nutty notes were afterthoughts at this point.
I had a very good draw, even burn line and solid ash.
In the two years since I originally reviewed this blend, it seems like nearly every manufacturer has raised prices because of the FDA regulations. Maybe C&A had those costs factored in during the original release, but their prices have not increased much at all, making the price point much more in line with the experience in today’s marketplace.
Cornelius continues to be a very good blend and this Lonsdale vitola is an especially tasty expression of the blend. It reminds me in some ways of the La Palina Goldie (also made at Titan de Bronze), though with much more pepper. Honestly, the blend makeup and appearance don’t make it seem like the blend is going to offer up anything special, but once you start burning it, the Cornelius Lonsdale is an excellent cigar that I wouldn’t mind having around on a regular basis.
Cornelius is available from Leaf Enthusiast sponsor, Small Batch Cigar.