Prior to the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Cornelius & Anthony added two Ecuadorian Habano wrapped blends to its portfolio, The Gent and The Mistress. The two cigars have similar wrappers and a connection with their naming, but they could hardly be more different. The Gent added Cornelius & Anthony’s first box-pressed offering. On the other hand, The Mistress is a parejo line, but it showcases the use of U.S. grown tobacco – continuing a trend started with 2017’s Aerial and Señor Esugars. While The Gent is a more refined medium offering, The Mistress delivers a powerhouse smoke that eclipses the Venganza, which had previously been the boldest smoke in the portfolio. Today we take a closer look at The Mistress in the Robusto size.
Cornelius & Anthony is the premium cigar division of Bailey’s Virginia-based tobacco company, S & M Brands run 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. Seven of the company’s eight lines come out of the La Zona factory. The one exception is the Cornelius line – which is being produced in the United States at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Little Havana.
One other difference with both The Mistress and The Gent is that these are intended to be more limited production offerings by the company as opposed to the six previous lines.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Cornelius & Anthony The Mistress Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Taking the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper out of the equation, The Mistress consists of all U.S. grown tobacco for the binder and filler. This is not only a first for Cornelius & Anthony, but for La Zona. The filler is from Pennsylvania and the binder is also sourced from a U.S. farm.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: United States
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona
The Mistress is available in four sizes. Each is packaged in 20-count boxes.
Corona Gorda: 5 1/2 x 46
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a dark cinnamon color to it. Upon closer examination, there is some subtle mottling that can be seen on the surface. I didn’t find much in the way of oil on the surface. While there are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, this was a wrapper that was still relatively smooth.
There are two bands to the Cornelius & Anthony Mistress. The primary band is the same one found across other Cornelius & Anthony lines. The band is gray in color with white trim. Prominently displayed on the front of the band is the large white and gold interlocking “CA” logo. Above the logo are two gray ribbon designs trimmed in gold. One ribbon has the text “CORNELIUS” and the other has the text “& ANTHONY” – both in gold font. Below the “CA” logo is the text “EST 1866” in small, gold font. There are also some gold adornments on the front of the band. On both the left and right side of the band are a series of white, gold, and gray stripe patterns.
The secondary band sits just below the primary one. It is gold with white pinstripes near the top and bottom. In between the pinstripes is the text “THE MISTRESS” in white font.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of The Mistress Robusto. Once the cap was clipped, the pre-light ritual commenced. The cold draw delivered a mix of mineral, earth, natural tobacco sweetness, and a slight amount of pepper on the tongue. I considered this to be a very good pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to fire up The Mistress Robusto and move into the smoking phase.
The Mistress Robusto kicked off with notes of sweet natural tobacco, earth, mineral, and a strong mix of assorted pepper spices. As the cigar settled into the first third, the pepper subsided into the background. The natural tobacco took over as the primary note. Meanwhile, the mineral and earth also settled in the background, but from time to time popped into the forefront. On the retro-hale, the pepper notes remained quite sharp and had more of a red pepper flavor to it.
At the start of the second third of The Mistress Robusto, the natural tobacco remained in the forefront. The earth and pepper notes started to increase with the earth notes increasing at a more rapid rate. By the midway point, the earth was on par with the natural tobacco and by the end of the second third the earth notes took over as the main note.
During the final third, the pepper notes caught up with the earth notes in the forefront. While there was a nice amount of spice, it still didn’t assault the palate. Meanwhile, there were still notes of natural tobacco and mineral present. This is the way The Mistress Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn wasn’t perfect on The Mistress, but I found it still performed well. My experience with this cigar is the burn does benefit from either dry boxing or storing under a lower humidity. The burn line was somewhat jagged and at times a little ugly. This cigar required several touch-ups along the way. At the same time, the burn path remained straight. As for the ash, it was firm with a salt and pepper complexion. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The Mistress Robusto had a draw which had a good balance of openness and resistance. This was a cigar that was low maintenance to derive flavor from. I also found The Mistress Robusto produced quite a bit of smoke.
Strength and Body
The Mistress was advertised as a powerhouse and it lived up to expectations. This cigar started out full strength and full-bodied and actually increased in intensity throughout the smoking experience. I smoked both the Robusto and Toro sizes and while both delivered the full strength, full-bodied experience, the Robusto was the stronger of the two vitolas. This easily qualified as the strongest cigar I smoked in 2018.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes started out even, but during the second half, the strength increased at a more rapid rate and had a slight edge over the body.
As mentioned, when it came to strength, The Mistress Robusto was the strongest cigar I smoked in 2018, and it qualifies as one of the strongest I’ve smoked in some time. While this may sound cliché, this is one of those cigars where flavor is not sacrificed for strength. While the flavor notes may seem common to many other Habano cigars, they come together in a way which is unique – and that was a big plus. I’m curious to see what happens to the strength levels with some longer-term aging. Given its power, I would recommend this cigar to a more experienced cigar enthusiast – and one who likes a lot of strength and body. As for myself, it’s a cigar I would smoke again and buy several of these to keep in my humidor.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural Tobacco, Mineral, Mixed Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
News: Cornelius & Anthony to Release U.S. Centric Blend with The Mistress
Source: Cornelius & Anthony
Brand Reference: Cornelius & Anthony
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop