Back in the fall of 2015, I received a cigar from a new boutique cigar company to review. That cigar was the Meridian and the company was Cornelius & Anthony cigars. When I finally broke it out to review I contacted the brand owner, Steven Bailey, and asked about the blend so I could complete the review. Steven asked me to hold off as they were planning to tweak the blend. I never deleted the notes from that review. Of course there is always a risk when a brand owner tweaks a blend that to start with, was pretty darn good.
In 2016, Cornelius & Anthony introduced some awesome new blends including the Daddy Mac, Venganza, and the Cornelius. All of these have been reviewed on Stogie Press and the Venganza received the honor of being the #4 boutique cigar of 2016. To say I am a fan of Cornelius & Anthony, and the work that Steven and his team does, would be an understatement.
Here we are in 2017 and I have finally obtained the newly re-blended and released Cornelius & Anthony Meridian. It should be noted that not only has the Meridian been re-blended, but the company has also moved production operations to Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. The original Meridian was produced in the Dominican Republic.
The blend of the new Cornelius & Anthony Meridian is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Rosado
- Binder – Ecuadorian
- Filler – Nicaraguan/Dominican Republic
The Meridian is available in 4 vitolas and packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Corona Gorda – 5.5 x 46 (MSRP $8.25)
- Robusto – 5 x 50 (MSRP $8.75)
- Toro – 6 x 50 (MSRP $9.25)
- Gordo – 6 x 60 (MSRP $10.25)
I will offer a unique review today, providing the notes for both the Meridian production release and the original I made back in 2015. The photos are only available from the production release.
For this review I sampled the Cornelius & Anthony Meridian Robusto.
Cigar Review Notes
- Medium brownish red, slightly rugged wrapper; Light on veins but bumpy in spots
- What is that scent? It just brought back a memory of my dad’s pipe tobacco humidor. I can describe that as a very sweet and spice laden hay off the foot
- The barrel has a sweet curing barn aroma to it
- There is some spring to the barrel
- Spicy pepper and a sprinkle of earthiness on the cold draw – The draw is fairly open
- Initial puffs hit you with a strong nasal pepper to start
- The ash is light grey and has some flake to it
- Pepper settles after a half-inch, opening up to notes of cedar and dry fruit
- Strength is already coming in, hitting on medium even before the end of the first third
- The dry fruit fades back and takes on more of a leather at the end of the first third
- Sweetness moves in followed with white chocolate notes. Creamy and buttery.
- Spice and nut aromas waft off the foot
- As it approaches the halfway point the initial pepper remerges on the nasal as the sweetness becomes more syrupy
- The wrapper has oiled up nicely
- Pepper intensifies and the Meridian is navigating towards full strength
- Final third brings a blended, flavorful smoke with sweetness and spice dancing back and forth to the nub
- Total Smoking Time was over one hour
- Beautiful cigar with a perfect triple cap
- Sweet chocolate pre-light scent
- Toothy wrapper
- Earthy and slight barn yard taste on the cold draw along with some sea salt and a touch of pepper on lips
- Initial puffs provide a hearty pepper burn
- Salt and pepper ash
- Behind the pepper is a hidden chocolate just aching to break out
- So far a perfect burn and full draw
- Pepper fades after 3/4 of an inch
- Coffee notes enter and there is still a pronounced sea salt note
- Wrapper develops a slight sheen
- Toasted bread aroma
- Already hitting solid medium
- A touch of honey enters near the end of the first third
- The flavors blend into a delightful flavor sensation at the half way point with a nice undertone of spice
- Ash is solid holding strong till the half
- Aroma shifts to floral
- A hint of nut with a sprinkle of cocoa powder enters in final third along with the ever-present spice component
- Very well constructed
- Medium to full in strength
Overall, I have to say I preferred the flavor profile of the original Meridian, but we may be slicing hairs here as the there were subtle differences only. The original offered a honey note that was missing in the production while the production offered a more butter and white chocolate. They are both medium to strong cigars with a spicy background. The burn on both was pristine while the ash on the original was more solid. Either way, I enjoyed them both down to the nub!