FIVE GENERATIONS OF RICH TOBACCO HERITAGE AND HISTORY IS THE FOUNDATION OF S&M BRANDS. — BUT, ULTIMATELY IT IS NOT ABOUT WHERE WE HAVE BEEN, IT IS ABOUT WHERE WE ARE GOING.
This is what S&M brands have to say about their history. Who are S&M brands? Well they are master growers of tobacco that go back 5 generations to 1866. The brand is owned by the Bailey family and though many cigar consumers may not know who they are this is all about to change. Steve Bailey the great great grandson of original owner, Cornelius Bailey, is working to launch the company into the premium cigar market, with the Cornelius & Anthony cigar line. It all started last year when the company introduced their Meridian blend.
Now this year, in celebration of such longevity in this demanding yet rewarding business, which we are all part of in some way, have released the newest blend, the “Cornelius” which is a tribute to Steven’s great great grandfather.
They also have another blend, the Daddy Mac, a tribute to Steven Bailey’s father Mac Bailey which has also been released. I guess you could say Cornelius & Anthony is paying tribute this year to their ancestry, but today we here to talk about the Cornelius.
The Cornelius is produced at the El Titan de Bronze factory in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami. Made under the supervision of Sandra Cobas, the Cornelius will be initially released in 3 vitolas with pricing ranging from $12.00 to $15.00:
- Toro 6×50
- Robusto 5×50
- Corona Gorda 5.5 x 46
I received a couple of samples of the Cornelius Toro from Steve last month and I have to say they looked mighty fine.
I invited my fellow Stogie Press associate over to check them out with me. Now, as much as I would’ve liked to add the second sample to the “Do Not Touch” box , it is always better to share. Besides cigars are made to enjoy; right?
The Cornelius toro has a solid construction with a satin-smooth, light to medium brown, Ecuadorian wrapper that embodies a Ecuadorian Binder and Nicaraguan Filler.
The band on the Cornelius is gorgeous – dark grey, gold, and white – it just pops when you look at it with its scrolls and combined C and A to form the logo along with the words Cornelius and Anthony scrolled across the top. Est 1866 is imprinted on the bottom. There is a secondary band under this that simply states Cornelius in gold on a dark grey background.
First up is the nose test – a pepper and hay aroma is easily detected on the foot with some earthy notes along the barrel. After slicing the cap, the cold draw had just the right amount of restriction to it and delivered earthy components and a tongue tingling pepper note.
Once ignited, it didn’t take long for the superbly rich creamy smoke to flow out, coating my palate with spicy pepper and sweet floral sensations. The ash was firm and had a nice whitish grey hue to it and the initial burn line was spot on.
As it progressed through the first third, a butternut component, wrapped in sweet brown sugar, entered. The smoke production was full and creamy throughout and the wrapper was developing a nice oily sheen to it.
Perhaps this is what 150 years of tobacco blood combined with the expertise of one of the best cigar factories in the U.S.A. gets you.
Cedar finds it way into the mix by the second third with the ever-present butter cream along with a delicate spicy retro-hale. To round things out, the aroma built into a delectable toasted almond.
The flavor profile continued with the butternut and spice and the smoke was quite smooth. The strength is medium for most of the burn, but eventually, to our surprise, it creeps up to full. It definitely packed a final punch near the end.
My associate Alton and I, both smoked this one down to the nub.
Overall the Cornelius Toro was an outstanding cigar. The sweetness alone would make this a delight, but when combined with the notes of butternut, cream, spice, and pepper along with an impeccable construction, it is truly a cigar worthy of a tribute. I think Steven’s great great granddad is smiling from above and you will smile too once you give this a try. I certainly will pick up more of these and recommend them to all those who enjoy a full body, flavor cigar, and can handle the final strength.