- Vitola: Robusto
- 5” x 52 ring gauge
- MSRP ~$10
- Samples provided by manufacturer
Sometimes it seems like the cigar industry is going to the dogs…Pete Johnson started it with his oblique references in cigar naming to his pooches. Then Warped and Casa Fernandez came out with a whole line of cigars dedicated to the dogs that guard the tobacco farms. Now Cornelius & Anthony founder, Steven Bailey, has produced a cigar named for his canine companion (the dog is actually named “Oscar,” with “Mr. Sugars” being a nickname).
Señor Esugars was in development for three years, as Bailey worked with the craftsmen at La Zona in Estelí, Nicaragua, to get a cigar “rich and decadent with dense sweet flavors and a long creamy finish.” The fillers are all Nicaraguan, while the binder is an unspecified USA-grown leaf and the wrapper is Mexican San Andres Maduro.
I first became really aware of the blend when our latest Espinosa Cigars rep visited me at the shop a few months ago. I remarked on how sweet Le Careme by Crowned Heads was; as he smoked one, he said Señor Esugars was even sweeter. I’ve been looking forward to trying it ever since. A few weeks ago Cornelius & Anthony sent me a couple samples of the cigar. This review sample is the second one that I’ve smoked.
The company continues with its tradition of woodcut images inside the box lids, this time of a dog with a bowler hat on and a cigar in his mouth (not smoking it, but actually holding it like a fetched stick). The dog’s owner can be partially seen behind him, a smile on his face and hands wrapped around the dog’s torso. It’s an interesting and endearing image. The bands follow the company protocol of the same C&A large band as every other release, along with a secondary band (black this time) with the name of the blend. This would have been a good time to break the trend…maybe have the dog art on the main band. But at least everyone will know what line these cigars are from.
The wrapper leaf was a dark chocolate brown color and very, very oily under my fingertips. It had an aromatic mix of anise, strong earth, leather and coffee bean, while the foot of the cigar had notes of semi-sweet chocolate overlaying earth and wood.
The cold draw was excellent and had flavors of dark chocolate and cherries over earth, some leather and a little pepper spice.
Señor Esugars started off very earthy, with a solid amount of chocolatey sweetness and lesser notes of wood and black pepper. The retrohale was more spicy and also featured a prominent espresso bean note. The sweetness was definitely a strong component of the first third, but as it went along, there was an increasing amount of bitterness, as well. While that sounds like a bad thing on the surface, the balance of the two was quite satisfying.
As I got into the second third the balance of sweet and bitter continued, with chocolate and dark fruit on the one hand, earth and coffee on the other, punctuated by anise and red pepper spice.
The last third of Señor Esugars was silky smooth with chocolate notes coming to the forefront again while earth and cedar played strong supporting roles and pepper and anise faded to distant tertiary notes.
I had an excellent draw, a slightly flaky ash and an even enough burn line.
The price point for Señor Esugars is just about right for the experience it delivers.
I still think Le Careme is the sweetest “non-sweetened” cigar on the market, but Señor Esugars definitely slots in at a strong second. Unlike the Crowned Heads blend, this is a more full-bodied cigar, too, making it more suitable for experienced smokers. It is definitely an excellent blend and a solid addition to the Cornelius & Anthony catalog.