“When it comes to Connecticut Shade cigars, many companies will try to make their blend stand out by saying ‘this is a different type of Connecticut Shade’…the Aerial Robusto not only fits the bill, it also delivers an excellent all-around smoking experience.”

Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: United States
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona)
Robusto: 5 x 50
Price: $9.25
Review: Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto (10/10/17)
Appearances on Countdown (By Year/Brand): 1 (2017)

Coming in at #12 is the Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto. The Aerial is a cigar that was officially launched at the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show and added the first Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade release into the Cornelius & Anthony portfolio.

Cornelius & Anthony is the premium cigar division of Virginia-based tobacco company, S & M Brands. S & M Brands is owned by Steven Bailey. The Bailey family has been growing tobacco for over 150 years. The Cornelius & Anthony name is derived from Cornelius Bailey, Steven Bailey’s great-great-grandfather and the first member of the Bailey family to farm tobacco. It is also derived from Steven Bailey’s middle name which is Anthony.

In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, the Aerial features a binder from the United States and an all-Nicaraguan filler. Details of the U.S. binder have not been disclosed. The Aerial is one of five of the company’s lines that is currently produced out of the La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The Robusto size that lands on this year’s Countdown measures 5 x 52.

Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto Box

Aerial gives Cornelius & Anthony its first-ever spot on a Cigar Coop Countdown – becoming the sixth company to have a first-time appearance on the Countdown. Aerial is the second cigar from La Zona to make the Countown. It is also the second Connecticut Shade cigar to make the list with both of those cigars coming out of La Zona.

The Cornelius & Anthony Aerial Robusto delivered notes of natural tobacco, citrus, earth, cedar, cream, and a touch of black pepper. Over the past few years, there has been a trend of making robustos bolder and pushing the envelope to medium or higher in terms of strength and body. The Aerial Robusto does this. This is a cigar that started out medium-bodied and progressed to medium to full by the last third. Simultaneously, this cigar delivered medium strength.

Overall, I found the Aerial to be a complex and unique cigar – both key qualities for landing on a Cigar Coop Countdown.


For details of the 2017 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2017 criteria.

Photo Credit: Cigar Coop, except where noted