Cigar Review: The Mistress by Cornelius & Anthony

  • Mistress_straightVitola: Corona Gorda
  • 5.5” x 46 ring gauge 
  • MSRP $8.95
  • Purchased at Maxamar Ultimate Cigars

Background

Earlier this year, Cornelius and Anthony Cigars announced the production of a couple new sticks they were producing in partnership with La Zona, home of Espinosa Cigars. The Gent and The Mistress are two relatively -limited production releases, available only to retailers that attended the 2018 IPCPR trade show. When I was in California in early October, I was able to get my hands on at least one of them.

The Mistress really does showcase American-grown tobacco, which is something very rare in today’s premium cigar marketplace. Thought made in Nicaragua, this cigar has Pennsylvania fillers, a U.S. binder, and an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. I would go so far as to say this may be the first cigar made at La Zona that contains no Nicaraguan leaf…at least there’s a good chance that’s true!

I picked up a couple of these while I was there and this review sample is my second one. Some background information came from Cigar-Coop. You can buy these online at our sponsor, Small Batch Cigar.

Mistress_cardPrelight

The Mistress uses the standard C&A primary band that has appeared on, I believe, every single one of their previous releases. It’s not the world’s worst design, but it’s also not the world’s best…and I’m just getting tired of seeing the same thing on every release. Maybe it’s just me…or maybe it’s time for C&A to make a new tradition for their banding.

The wrapper leaf was a dark brown—darker than milk chocolate, maybe not as dark as dark chocolate. It was smooth and oily with a ripe earthiness and pungent grassiness to it. There was more barnyard on the foot, along with a touch of leather and wood.

After cutting the head, the draw was excellent, with a combination of semi-sweet chocolate, wet earthy and wood notes.

Flavor

It took some time to get the foot evenly and completely lit, but once I did, I got full-bodied, dark earthy notes, with an overlay of chocolate sweetness and a peppery burn on the finish. Definitely interesting and unique as the earthiness just had a “darker” and “heavier” feel to it than anything I can remember. As I made my way through the first third, it got even more full-bodied, rivaling the fullest cigars I can remember. The strength was at the low end of “full.” The overwhelming flavor note still was overwhelmingly heavy, dark earth, with a slight balancing of sweeter chocolate in there. The pepper had dissipated quite a bit.

Earth continued to dominate the second third, with high-cacao-content chocolate coming in close behind, while an espresso bean note also emerged. Toward the end f the third, I started picking up some spicy heat…not exactly pepper, but not really cinnamon in character, either. It was an odd note that I rather enjoyed.

By the time I neared the end of the final third, the strength was matching the body in the upper end of the “full” department. The Mistress was still very earthy with notes of coffee overcoming the chocolate notes in the end and with a nice almost-cinnamon burn in the mix, as well.

Mistress_angleConstruction

I had a great draw and even burn line, but this tobacco must be particularly wet because I had to keep applying fire to aid the continuation of the burn, even though I never let it go more than 30 or 40 seconds between puffs.

Value

Great price point and very interesting blend make for excellent value.

Conclusions

If you like you cigars full-bodied and strong, I can definitely say you will find something to like here. The Mistress is the fullest, strongest offering from Cornelius and Anthony and may well be the strongest thing Espinosa has put out of La Zona. By the end, my head was spinning a little. It’s not all strength, though, as there was a tremendous amount of flavor throughout—tons of earth, dark chocolate and coffee leading the way. The construction got a slight mark down for the constant attention I had to pay to the cigar to keep it burning.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 1.5/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 8.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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