Cornelius & Anthony Meridian 2016 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $8.75 MSRP

1a

2a

3a

Today we take a look at the Cornelius & Anthony Meridian 2016.
I reviewed the original Meridian in November of 2015 and found it to be an excellent blend. I don’t know the reason for completely tweaking this blend.

BACKGROUND:
Made its original debut at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show.
Re-launched at the 2016 IPCPR trade show with a brand new blend.
The Meridian was originally produced at the PDR factory in the Dominican Republic.
The new Meridian is now being produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Nicaragua factory.

From the C&A web site:
“Produced in Estelí, Nicaragua, Meridian is a cigar that will stop you in your tracks. Produced in 4 sizes and presented in boxes of 20, this beautiful Rosado has an oily Ecuadorian wrapper that surrounds Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos. The blend has rich notes of spice and wood with a lingering sweetness that creates a creamy refined balance. Meridian is a solid medium-bodied cigar that delivers an experience you will want to revisit again and again. We invite you to navigate your way to the new Meridian, and never stop exploring.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
Corona Gorda: 5.5 x 46 $8.25
Robusto: 5 x 52 $8.75
Toro: 6 x 50 $9.25
Gordo: 6 x 60 $10.25

DESCRIPTION:
First thing I notice is that the stick is very light in the hand. I have a couple Venganza blends on hand and the difference in weight is stunning. I smoked one of the samples a couple weeks ago and it burned quickly (accompanied by char line issues)…and was obviously under filled. A couple weeks of humidor time was clearly insufficient. Now, my fingers are crossed.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I can smell lovely floral notes, caramel, generic sweetness, cream, cinnamon, graham cracker, cedar, and a touch of black pepper.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell black pepper, cream, caramel, floral notes, cedar, sweet barnyard, and roasted nuts.

The cold draw presents flavors of graham cracker, cream, black pepper, caramel, chocolate, nuts, cedar, and baking spices.

FIRST THIRD:
The Cornelius & Anthony Meridian 2016 begins the journey with flavors of strong black pepper, cream, caramel, nuts, green veggies, and graham cracker.

As in the first one I smoked, the draw is too airy. C&A has their shit down pretty good with previous blends. I have no idea what the fuck they were thinking with the construction of the new Meridian. It seems to have been rolled with no thought to quality control. Bummer.

Flavors are nice but not outstanding.

I’ve reviewed the Daddy Mac, Cornelius, and original Meridian. I gave the two former cigars stellar ratings. The original received an excellent recommendation but it was just prior to me rating cigars with numerical values.

It seems that C&A dropped the ball on this new version of the Meridian. I don’t get it.

Burn issues begin immediately like the first one I smoked. This pretty much proves that very experienced rollers were not used. I’d be willing to pay an extra buck if they had properly filled the cigar.
As it stands, the quick burn will culminate in a 45 minute smoke.

4a

Clearly, it is too early for the exactness of transitions and any sort of complexity. Finish is medium in its duration.

The other thing about my reviews of the three blends was that it took no time at all before the blends were ready to review. This one seems to have taken a different tactical strategy.

The draw is so lousy that I feel like I’m sipping through a straw with holes in it. This is becoming very frustrating.

I will assume that this review will create cause and effect that ends receiving samples from C&A.
The filler is so light in the loafers that after only two minutes since the last puff, the cigar goes out on me. Sonovabitch.

Interesting note…the new Meridian was released after last summer’s IPCPR trade show and I can’t find a single review.
The char line needs a major tune up.

An inch into the cigar, flavors begin to embolden themselves with touches of stronger pepper, creaminess, malts, graham cracker, nuts, chocolate, and salted nuts.
Either the cigar should have come racing out of the gate like this or it needs much more humidor time than its predecessors.

I am hopeful now that some minor transitions have begun. Complexity is nowhere to be seen. The long finish redeems itself by allowing very pleasant touches of cream, caramel, pepper, and chocolate.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 13 minutes. I don’t think this is appropriate for a $9 stick.

There is a herky jerky momentum that does not impress. Just as I had expectations of the blend turning itself around, flavors fall out of the sky and plop flat to the ground. Transitions pull back exponentially. No impending sense of complexity. Even the finish has been obliterated.

The burn issues are becoming a major concern. With each torching of the foot, I lose valuable portions of the cigar that should be smoked organically and not constantly reheated.

Once again, flavors emerge from their Bat Cave and exhibit some sorely needed character…making this a roller coaster of a ride.
I truly find this disheartening. I prefer to rave about great cigars than diss lousy ones. It sets the course of the day for me.
The Cornelius & Anthony Meridian 2016 is truly schizophrenic. Maybe popping a lithium pill would help.

5a

I touched up the char line for the above photo and merely two minutes later, I have a major run.
If I have to keep relighting the foot this often, the cigar will be lucky to get to 30 minutes.

Cornelius & Anthony is a solid cigar company. It is a mystery to me how they let this new revised blend fly off the rails. Is this why there are no reviews of this cigar? Is everyone afraid of pissing off C&A? I’m not. But of course, I will burn another bridge by being truthful.

Manufacturers are very sensitive about what is written about them. The slightest critical comments doom the writer to be taken off their reviewer’s list. So be it. I am beholden to my readers, not the manufacturer.

Halfway point arrives in a huff…or as Groucho said, “In a minute and a huff.”
Smoke time is 20 minutes.

I’ve smoked inexpensive house blends that are better than the Cornelius & Anthony Meridian 2016.
You know the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, that’s exactly what they did with the Meridian. It was a great cigar in 2015. And then they broke it.

Little blasts of quality seep through to the top of the murky mess. This is even more frustrating as it gives false hope that this could have been an excellent addition to the C&A catalog.

I’ve just corrected the char line for the 8th time.

I’m savoring the momentary prick tease of flavors of malt, creaminess, pepper, caramel, chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon graham cracker. But, unfortunately, a pattern has been in effect from the start that alerts me that this flavor surge is strictly fleeting.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 27 minutes.

The stick is so severely under filled that the cigar goes completely soft on me. Not unlike the first time I got a catheter shoved up my johnson while in the hospital last year.
Maybe I should end the review here and go clean the counter tops in the kitchen using the rest of the cigar as a sponge.

Minutes ago, the Cornelius & Anthony Meridian 2016 was very flavorful. Now…back to the future.
How the hell did this blend pass inspection from management? Were they all in Cabo and just texted their OK to proceed with production? Damn the quality control and full speed ahead.

6a

The loopiness caused by inconsistency is staggering. What has been consistent is that I’ve smoked two Meridians and had the exact same experience.

Watch, reviews will come out that make this blend the golden calf and praise it to the heavens.

If this cigar showed no character at all, I’d have put it down long ago. But it has shown little presentations of excellent flavor that are transient and short lived. So I’m clinging to useless hope.
Corrected the burn line 10 times. This is ridiculous.

I haven’t mentioned the strength this whole time…distracted I guess. It started out medium but now has reached medium/full. Nicotine has settled in to make me doubly disappointed.

There is no way I can justify a recommendation for you to go out and buy this blend.

I am resolved to the fact that no Chanukkah card from C&A this coming December.

I loved the original Meridian. I can’t imagine what would prompt the manufacturer to re-blend it.
The cigar ends hot and harsh.

Final smoke time is 35 minutes.

RATING: 70

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9 replies

  1. My corona gorda had stupid burn issues too. What a failure

    • I need to correct my self. After 2 month humidor marination, my corona gorda burns like champion. Complex, strong and burning spicy

  2. Y’know what? Everybody writes “Great Review” when the news is good. Three cheers for a thoughtful, helpful review of a disappointing smoke. I’ll even give C&A the benefit of the doubt, and hope that you’re still on their holiday card list. Even in this review you wrote well of their earlier smokes. Nothing worse than fair weather friends, and I hope they know it. You love cigars and write really well about them. What good’s sharing that enthusiasm and talent if the message isn’t sincere? Nobody who reads you doubts it, and it’s why you’re the most trustworthy voice I’ve found in the cigar world. Three cheers for a great review of a not-so-great cigar.

  3. Too bad Kat I’d be PO’d as well. That said I and others appreciate your frank reviews, they’re of more value than those with rose-tinted spectacles; ruffled feathers well that’s how it burns sometimes. The Robustos I bought were properly rolled, combusted well, and rather tasty. Lot’s of wood and oak notes and I would say richer more upfront and a tad darker/heavier tasting than the Daddy Mac. If funds allow maybe a redux in a year or so . . . or not. Cheers, Wilson

  4. Clarity of your photos is astonishing.

    • Thank you, Irv. I don’t use a smart phone. I use a real camera…with lighting gear. When I started, I used a cheap camera that made my photos look like a chimp took them…I’ve come a long way.
      Phil

  5. Wow – I appreciate you telling it like you see it. But I really love the Meridian, actually my favorite next to the Daddy Mac and I’ve smoked 3 of them. Hands down winner to me over the Cornelius from ETdB.

    Not too long ago I saw a video with Steven Bailey mentioning how he felt the issue with the original Meridian was poor consistency.

    Still I appreciate your impression of this cigar. For what its worth – I’m purchasing a box of this one.

    Cheers
    Napanook

  6. “Maybe I should end the review here and go clean the counter tops in the kitchen using the rest of the cigar as a sponge…”

    I must confess upon reading that line I wet my pants a bit from laughing so hard.

    • Thank you sir…I’ve written so many reviews that I can’t remember anything I’ve put into eloquent phrases.
      Yeah, that cracks me up too. I will steal it for a future review….no one will remember this quote.
      Thanks for the cribbing help.
      Phil