Review: Cornelius & Anthony Daddy Mac
I’m thinking to myself, it’s never too cold for a stogie. But when you’re at the point that your hands and body are shaking like a paint mixer, it’s time to tap out. FYI – Gore-tex is NOT flame retardant. I was wrong and yes, while my passion for cigars is compelling, it can actually be too freakin’ cold to enjoy a cigar. Ah, but thou live in Texas. That means one minute snot is freezing in our beard and the next we’re barbecuing yardbird in sunscreen and flip-flops. So, taking advantage of Father Winter’s brief reprieve, I decided to line up a series of smokes. Based on weather forecasts, that bastard Jack Frost was making his return in a couple of days so I had roughly 48 hours. I quickly computed my options: if I turned off my phone, told my family I suffered a stroke and got locked in at the mall, skipped work, blew off the leaking water heater, and passed on feeding the dogs I could get in 10, maybe 15 solid smokes. Might ping 20 if I smoked 2 at a time. In the end, I settled for 4 to 5 and got to keep my day job. Sleep in my bed. And, you know, eat and stuff. The first of these smokes was from Cornelius & Anthony. Like many before this, I’d heard good things about them and picked up a couple during my last voyage to my local cigar haunt. I had both a Meridian and a Daddy Mac, and settled on the latter which was reportedly the fuller bodied of the two. The rich, oily Brazilian wrapper of the Daddy Mac is pretty hot and the aromas? Oh baby. I felt like Wile E. Coyote and the Daddy Mac my dreamy image of the Roadrunner as a juicy, stuffed turkey in a Cornelius & Anthony band on a plate. No boulders fell on my head.
The Bailey family knows a thing or two about tobacco. While they may be relatively new to the premium cigar industry, their “sot weed” heritage stretches back to the tobacco-growing regions of Civil War-era Virginia. Continuing the legacy of his great-great grandfather and co-namesake of this upstart boutique, Cornelius Bailey, Steven Anthony Bailey (The “Anthony” in Cornelius & Anthony) is driving this new division of his family’s tobacco business, a subsidiary of the Bailey family’s S&M Brands Inc. The Baileys also make cigarettes and pipe tobacco as well as serve as tobacco brokers. Steven honored his elder grandfather with the company’s first premium cigar release, the Cornelius, which is manufactured at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami’s Little Havana. In March of 2016, C&A’s second release, the Daddy Mac, pays tribute to Steven Bailey’s dad, Mac. With a cult following, C&A premium cigars have come on strong in a relatively short period attracting noob and veteran smokers alike.
Did you know: The Daddy Mac is produced at Erik Espinosa’s factory, La Zona, in Esteli, Nicaragua.
- Profile: Medium-Full
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″/ 50
- Purchased: Local Humidor
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Brazilian
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Cutter: Colibri V-cut
- Lighter: Colibri Firebird
- Price Paid: $9.50
In December of 2016, Cigar Aficionado gave the Daddy Mac Toro a rating of 90. For the uninitiated, a score of ’90-94’ is considered outstanding. Not bad for the company’s second offering. The Daddy Mac comes in 4 vitolas, including a 6.0”X60 fat boy, all packaged in boxes of 20. The firmness of the shaft is uniform from head to foot without any soft spots. The overall construction is superb including a nice triple cap. The oily, milk chocolate-colored Brazilian wrapper is semi-veiny, toothy and the seams are only semi-visible. The aromatic shaft is semi-sweet with notes of cake batter, chocolate and hay. Even Paula Dean would be a quivering mess at first smell. The foot also offers a pleasant sweetness punctuated by black tea and raisins. The cold draw is excellent with a v-cut providing a mélange of tea, raisins and licorice.
The initial third begins with a cream bomb laced with nuttiness and black pepper. There is a hint of vanilla lurking particularly on the retrohale. There is no discernible spiciness, but an awesome rich, toasty finish. Smoke is voluminous and as it begins to settle in, the profile gets woody with notes of roasted coffee bean. After a bit, the initial lack of spice does a 180 with a little kick towards the transition accompanied by a more savory character. Dee-lish! The combustion is superb devoid of any irregular burning and the char line is perfect.
The initial third is more a medium strength and the transition is defined by a noticeable, but understated, uptick in the strength department to more medium-full. The woody profile has become more tangy and oak-like with hints of baked bread and a coffee finish. There is a distinct baking spice on the retrohale which is a delightful balance to the flavors present. The spice knob has been turned down a bit allowing this great complexity to take center stage. Again, combustion is spot on.
The final transition sees the nuttiness come back into the fold along side the well-defined woody character. There is a tangy, licorice-like finish that is awesome. At times I pick up some notes of orange zest playing hide and seek with the return of some baked bread flavors. Again, complexity is splendid and the balance well done. Combustion does get a bit wonky at times, but never bad enough for a touch up. Ash is a nice off-white.
The hallmark of this cigar is the wonderful cold aromas of the tobacco and the nice flavor pallet. From the initial creaminess and savory transitions to the hints of sweetness and full-body tang, the Daddy Mac is incredibly tasty, well-balanced and never loses your attention. From light to nub, this is one of only a handful of cigars that will continue to delight your taste buds. The construction is superb before, during and after. I love a cigar you can truly relax with – no harsh areas, hot spots, short-lived flavors, unruly wrapper leafs, touch-ups, ad nauseam. All this can be yours for less than a 10ski (in most cases). I now have a few more of the C&A brood in my humi including the Cornelius, Meridian, Venganza and a Señor Esugars. These guys are doing something right and like some others, are pushing that bar higher and higher. Solid quality, great flavor and 100% enjoyment. Cornelius Bailey would be proud. – In Fumo Pax!