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Cuban Cigars

Famous Cuban Cigars: Montecristo Dantés Edición Limitada 2016

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

The Montecristo Dantés Edición Limitada 2016 is one of the better limited edition releases of Cuban cigars in recent years. All too often, these pop-up specials are put out for questionable reasons. Often, the limited cigars are made to celebrate a particular anniversary or to capitalize on the success of a brand. In the case of the Montecristo Dantés EL 2016, it was featured at the 2016 Habanos Festival along with two other EL (Edición Limitada) cigars. I won’t name names, but there have been some disappointments.

WHO’S THIS DANTES GUY & WHAT ABOUT THIS CIGAR?

The Montecristo Dantés EL 2016 is named after a character in The Count of Monte Cristo, the novel by Alexandre Dumas from which the cigar brand takes its mark. Edmond Dantes is the count. The Montecristo cigar named after him is a Churchill vitola, 6.625 x 48, that generally has an even draw and a slightly darker wrapper than regular production Montecristos.

FLAVOR

You’ll probably find that the cigar is medium to medium-full, but not terribly complex. The tobacco in the Montecristo Dantés Edición Limitada 2016 is aged at least two years, as is the case with all limited edition releases. There’s a little salinity in the beginning – common among Cuban cigars – balanced by some sweetness. As you get to the middle, there’s some earthiness developing and, finally, a sort of Graham cracker with sweet spices in the finish. Some say there’s cinnamon, but I don’t detect that specifically.

QUALITY CONTROL

Here’s the thing. While the three or four of these that I’ve smoked have all drawn well, they have not burned particularly evenly. Not everyone, however, has experienced a good draw. Some reviewers have reported very tight cigars. My general experience with limited editions is that, while some have performed well, most are not up to the reservas or gran reservas though the limited releases command as much money or more.

CAN I BUY IT?

The Montecristo Dantés Edición Limitada 2016 is still available, though not widely. James J. Fox in London sells it for about US$66 a stick. At some La Casa del Habano shops, the price is about US$27, but the “out of stock” alert comes up. How many of these limited releases were even made is not readily known and it’s going to be very difficult to find.

LITERARY INSPIRATION

As mentioned, Montecristo is named for the novel, written in 1844 and often read to the cigar rollers in Cuban factories. So popular was the book, that the owner of the Particulares cigar brand, renamed his cigars for the novel. “Monte Cristo” means mountain of Christ. Today, in addition to the Montecristo Dantés Edición Limitada 2016, there is a Montecristo Línea Dumas 1935, which pays tribute to the author.

A DANTES BY ANY OTHER NAME

At the risk of confusing things, while we’re talking about the Montecristo Dantés Edición Limitada 2016, there is another Dantes cigar. This one is made for sale in Mexico as a regional edition. It is, technically, not a Montecristo and the production of it moves around to different Cuban factories. When the Edmundo Dantes El Conde 109 Exclusivo Mexico was released in 2007, the branding looked a lot like that of a Montecristo. But this is NOT a Montecristo. The Edmundo Dantes is the result of a collaboration between Habanos and its Mexico importer, Max Gutmann. Frankly, if you must smoke a cigar named Dantes, this is the one you should try. There are now three vitolas in the Mexican Dantes brand.

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