Cigar Review – Antonius Robusto
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that you should expect a review of Antonius sometime in the near future. Well, as it turns out, the near future came a little sooner than expected, and today I decided to break out my solitary Antonius Robusto and spark it up on the front porch.
The Antonius Robusto, as you can see from the photo, was one good looking stick. The wrapper had a beautiful reddish hue and a bit of oily sheen, and the construction was exemplary with a tightly-applied triple cap and uniformly firm roll from head to foot. Once I clipped the cap with my trusty Xikar Xi2, the draw was slightly less-than-easy but still fluid enough to reveal bold, earthy, oaky, spicy flavors. Expecting a fairly heady pepper bomb, I toasted the foot and went to work.
As early as the first draw, I was shocked at this cigar’s mildness. The redness of the wrapper leaf and the less-than-subtle pre-light draw led me to believe I had a powerhouse on my hands, but the Antonius Robusto delivered buttery, woody smoke with almost no pepper bite. The pre-light pepper would have its resurgence, though, about an inch and a half into the smoke, at which point a coffee note came in, along with a little bit of fresh mint on the finish.
Halfway through, the cigar started hinting at cocoa while its pepper got a little more intense. I started to taste some of the nutty, spicy character that I’d expected right off the bat from the Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper leaf, but it wasn’t harsh or biting at all. Just past the halfway point, the smoke shifted from primarily creamy to earthy, and the pepper started to peak just past medium-bodied.
As I neared the end of the smoke, it tasted as if the wrapper leaf all of a sudden turned a few shades darker. With a little over an inch left, I started tasting cocoa, coffee, and some significant pepper spice. Despite the fact that the smoke had remained relatively devoid of sweetness up to this point, the retrohale now showed a little bit of caramel or burnt brown sugar. Wishing there were a few more inches of this cigar to smoke, I put the nub down at a little under an inch.
I’d heard that Maurice Antonius Koks, the owner of Antonius Cigars, takes pains to make sure that every batch is perfect. I’ve only smoked one stick, so I can’t say much about the line’s consistency, but if they’re all this good, I’d say it would be well worth it to pick up a box or two. The flavors were smooth and pleasant without a hint of harshness, the pepper stayed at a manageable level from start to finish, and the construction (as evidenced by the two-inch ash in the photo) was impeccable.
For a cigar that sells for under $4 per stick, the Antonius Robusto absolutely wowed me. I’ve paid twice as much for cigars with construction that wasn’t half as good, and whose flavors were nowhere near as well-rounded. For the price, you have very little to lose from trying some of these, and trust me, they are worth every single penny. Here’s hoping that Antonius Cigars’ inaugural blend won’t be their last.