Cigar Review: Cornelius & Anthony Ariel Robusto

Cigar Review: Cornelius & Anthony Ariel Robusto

Cornelius & Anthony
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
Binder: USA (undisclosed)
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5” x 50
Strength: mild to medium
Price: $9.25

Overall Rating: 9.2

In just two short years, Steven Bailey’s Cornelius & Anthony Cigars has had a string of impressive releases, even making appearances on our Top Ten Cigars of 2016 and 2017 lists. Adding a Connecticut shade cigar to the line, the Cornelius & Anthony Ariel further rounds out the company’s offerings. Once again teaming up with Erik Espinosa’s Nicaraguan La Zona factory, the Ariel has all the quality and complexity that this boutique brand is gaining a reputation for. The Cornelius & Anthony Ariel is a complex and flavorful mild to medium bodied cigar, featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper over an undisclosed binder from the United States and Nicaraguan filler. Even among the recent stellar Connecticut cigar releases, the Cornelius & Anthony Ariel sets itself apart as something special.

Pre-Light: Like the other cigars in the Cornelius & Anthony line, the Ariel has a classic look to it. The Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper has a honey-like golden brown color to it. Oily, with only a few thin medium-sized veins, the Ariel’s Connecticut wrapper is quite appealing. The traditional Cornelius & Anthony band has a turn of the century quality that calls to mind a small town USA main street. An orange secondary band containing the cigar’s name, manages to compliment the primary band nicely.

Oak, hay and wet leaf aromas come from the cigar’s Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper. There’s an oddly complex blend of scents from the cigar’s foot, making it hard to distinguish individual aromas, but there is a definite vanilla sweetness to the cigar’s foot. An easy pre-light draw allows through flavors of wood, nuts, natural tobacco, oats and a hint of pepper.

Burn: The new Ariel from Cornelius & Anthony has a great draw, allowing through plenty of smoke. This cigar puts out a massive amount of smoke. On a two of the cigars smoked for this review, the cigar burned just a bit uneven, but it always corrected itself without touch ups from a lighter. On the other two, the burn was extremely even from start to finish.

Flavor: Beginning with a smooth creaminess to the start of the Ariel’s flavor profile, and quickly adding upon that, the start of the cigar is quite flavorful. Cedar, oak, nuts and a slight hint of black pepper are all present within the dominating creaminess of the cigar’s flavor profile during the first third of the cigar. Through the nose, there are notes of cedar, citrus and mild pepper. As the Cornelius & Anthony Ariel burns into the second third, the citrus note from the retrohale becomes noticeable on the palate and joins flavors of cedar, nuts, toast and mild pepper. By the middle of the cigar the pepper increases just slightly, while still being somewhat still being somewhat on the mild. During the transition to the final third of the Ariel the creaminess in the flavor profile is replaced by a more earthy characteristic. The cedar, citrus and earthiness continue through to the end. By the end of the cigar, there is a fair amount of pepper to the cigar.

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Overall: Until recently, many Connecticut cigars were not only lacking in strength, but also complexity. Yet, that has begun to change over the last couple years, with some seriously good Connecticut shade cigars. Even among this new class of Connecticut cigars, the Cornelius & Anthony Ariel stands out. The Ariel is a well constructed cigar, with an even burn and easy draw. With slightly more strength than the average Connecticut, the Ariel begins mild and finishes as a solid medium. A complex flavor profile features a pleasant mix of cedar, oak, cream, nut, earth, citrus and black pepper notes. Although it is more peppery than the average Connecticut cigar, the cigar’s black pepper is still milder than the typical Nicaraguan cigar. The use of an undisclosed American binder (just like the Señor Esugars) is something interesting that may provide some of the complexity and pepper that sets the Ariel apart from other Connecticut shade cigars. I found the Ariel to be a wonderfully enjoyable cigar, that makes for a great smoke with a cup of coffee on an early spring morning. I found each of the vitolas in the line to be quite flavorful, and even though I’m not typically a fan of robust sized cigars I found, I found the Ariel robusto to be quite likable. This is not just a good Connecticut cigar, but a great one. While it may be a tad too peppery for some, a wide range of smokers will be able to enjoy this cigar, and can even be appreciated by the fan of fuller bodied cigars. I’d definitely recommend trying a 5-pack or picking up a box when they arrive at your local tobacconist.

Pairing: The Cornelius Ariel pairs extremely well with a cup or coffee or cappuccino. Those looking for something stronger will find that the Ariel will compliment a wide range of alcoholic beverages. Personally, I enjoy pairing it with a dram of Dalmore 15 or pairing it with a glass of Duckhorn Cabernet.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@jondavid1210 / @toastedfoot)

Cornelius & Anthony advertises with Toasted Foot. While we appreciate their support, this does not alter the Overall Rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot we remain committed to providing fair and impartial cigar and product reviews.