Cigar Details: Cornelius & Anthony Meridian Corona Gorda
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- Length: 5.5″
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
- Factory: La Zona
- Blender: Hector Alfonso
- Price: $8.25
- Release Date: January 2017
- Source: Cornelius & Anthony
The wrapper is medium brown with some darker spots throughout. There are a couple of medium sized veins that are visible near the foot. The seams are smooth but visible due to the wrapper’s color variation. There are three caps that are applied very nicely. The cigar has two bands which seems to be a common theme with the brand with the primary band carrying the company logo and the secondary band carrying the line name. The aroma from the wrapper is a slightly sweet hay while the foot gives a nice fruit sweetness like peach. The pre-light draw is a mix of damp wood and slightly sweet hay.
The Cornelius & Anthony Meridian Corona Gorda is rolled very well and is finished with a nice triple cap. There is consistent coloring and texture with the wrapper and it has a fine silky texture with a milk chocolate coloring. I would classify it being a darker Natural in terms of coloring while not showing those Colorado qualities. There are a few veins throughout and those that are present are medium in size. The wrapper gives off an aroma of leather, strong spices and cedar while the foot is showing aromas of raisins, rum barrels, rich earth and pepper.
The Cornelius & Anthony Meridian Corona Gorda has a leathery, medium brown Colorado Claro shade wrapper. Veins are well pressed and seams tight but visible. The bunch and roll feels well executed as I feel no soft spots and a uniformed give throughout. The head is finished off with a well adhered triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells baking spices, cedar and a subtle black pepper. Nosing the foot tells white pepper, herbal tea and sweet natural tobacco notes. Cold draw reveals lip tingling black pepper, cardboard and dry mixed nuts.
Initial draws bring a mix of slightly dry oak and bread. At a quarter inch in, the slightly dry oak remains while the bread transitions to nuttiness which is more in the background. At three quarters of an inch, the oak is still up front and it alternates between a standard oak profile and a slightly younger one with some greenness. The nuttiness in the background is very faint and the retrohale is a slightly charred oak. At an inch in, the profile begins to be that of smoking paper with the hint of oak popping in here and there. At an inch and a half, the oak and paper are about even, and the profile is fairly drying. As the third comes to a close, the paper leaves the profile and the oak gains a bit of char which brings it in line with the retrohale. The strength in this third was right at medium.
The first third begins with a bit of spice and red pepper notes. It hits you at the beginning and on the finish. It is paired with some cedar and leather qualities, and there are faint citrus notes with that. I am getting touches of orange and lemon peel. Overall, it is a sharp flavor profile that is really sudden that hits your palate and then suddenly leaves; not much of a lingering flavor profile. I would classify the flavor profile as being medium-full overall and the same goes for the body and strength. It is a nice beginning and I look forwarding to see where it goes in the second third.
Initial draws brings forth dry wood, bread, mixed nuts and barnyard. An easy going black pepper spice rounds out the profile. Inch in, baking spices enters the profile. Through retrohaling, flavors of deep black pepper and creamed bread. The finish is long and lingering with notes of slightly toasted wood and layered black pepper. The body is at a consistent medium and strength somewhere in between medium to medium-full.
As this third begins, the slightly charred oak continues and gains a bit of cream. At a quarter inch in, the charred oak and cream create a very nice mix. The retrohale continues with the slightly charred oak. At three quarters of an inch in, the cream leaves the profile while the slightly charred oak remains. At an inch and a quarter, some minerality joined with the slightly charred oak. As the third comes to a close, a slight bitterness joined in with the charred oak and minerality. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
I am in the second third of the cigar now and I am finding a lot of similarities to that of the first third. The spice and red pepper notes are dominant and with that are faint cedar and leather qualities. The citrus notes are still present in this third but softer than before. Like the first third, the flavor profile is really sudden and then fades away. There is no long finish with the cigar. It remains a medium-full cigar in terms of flavors, body and strength and it is a consistent smoking experience. So far, an enjoyable cigar.
The second third shows similar flavors as the first third but becomes slightly thin and better melded. The flavors are primarily centered around dry wood, mixed nuts and baking spices. The retrohale maintains its deep black pepper, loses the creamed bread, but picks up a sharp cedar. The finish is now a lingering soft black pepper. Body is still at the medium mark, while strength is now a consistent medium-full.
As the final third begins, the oak is a bit young as it shows a green profile with a slight bitter bite. At a half inch in, the young oak remains while a good amount of minerality joins back in. At three quarters of an inch in, the minerality drops back and the cigar warms up which brings the oak back to a regular level and also lends it a bit of a toasty note. At an inch and a quarter, the minerality returns full strength and knocks out the toasty note even though the cigar is still warm. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third was medium-full.
When I get into the final third of the cigar, I find that the flavor profile is showing the core flavors from the first and second third but it has lost a lot of the qualities that balanced it out and made it more complex. It is showing that spice and red pepper flavor, but all it is paired with now are some leather notes. The cedar and citrus qualities have faded and it has resulted in a lacking final third. I would still classify the cigar as being medium-full in all areas, but it’s the lack of depth and complexity that hurt it overall.
The last third mimics the second third in every way aside from the finish. The finish adds a creamed bread note while still providing a lingering soft black pepper spice. The mouth draw flavors are still centered around dry wood, mixed nuts and baking spices. The retrohale is still deep black pepper and sharp cedar. Body and strength is still medium and medium-full, respectively.
The burn was slightly wavy the entire way. In the final third, the cigar went out twice and required re-lights. The ash held on in one inch increments.
From beginning to end, the cigar has a decent burn line and is producing no problems from that aspect. The burn line isn’t razor sharp and not always even, but at the same time it is not presenting any problems. It’s a solid burn line all the way to the nub.
The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues.
The flavors started out pretty thin with just some wood and paper, but getting into the second third, things picked up and then settled back into a standard oak profile in the final third. Some burn issues were also present in the final third. Strength is medium plus, so most smokers should feel comfortable. This isn’t my favorite offering from Cornelius & Anthony, but still a good one. I’d recommend grabbing one to see how it fits your profile. I’m interested in trying a slightly larger vitola to see if it provides a fuller flavor profile.
I really enjoyed the draw on the cigar. It was not that loose of a draw, there was a little bit of resistance and that is what I look for in a draw on a personal level. It helped in not rushing the cigar and helped in concentrating the smoke on the palate.
As a cigar, it was not a bad cigar. I think there would be a lot of smokers who enjoy it. If you are looking for a cigar with this type of flavor profile and smoking at a medium-full level in terms of strength and body you will like what is offered. I think it is a solid representation of a Habano release from La Zona. Looking at it from the Cornelius & Anthony portfolio however, I just don’t see its purpose. They have a lot of offerings close to this and in terms of a release it is somewhat repetitive to what they have already offered. I would grab any of their other offerings before this and if you look at a lot of releases coming from La Zona they are somewhat close to this. I think the company should have gone in a different direction. But, back to focusing on the cigar itself, it’s a blend that I think people will say is average. It’s not great, but it’s not bad.
Of the two samples smoked, one was slightly tight and the other slightly loose. But nonetheless, fine examples of a very good draw.
The Meridian started out with a pleasant bouquet of flavors but unfortunately felt a bit thin getting into the second and last third of the cigar. This coupled with wrapper burn issues resulted in an average experience. I look forward to reviewing the other vitolas in the hopes of deeper flavors and a better burning cigar.
|Good||Second Third||Average||Second Third||Average|
|Very Good||Draw||Very Good||Draw||Very Good|
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