In 2007, Habanos S.A. released the first Edición Regional for the country of Mexico, the Edmundo Dantes El Conde 109 Edición Regional Mexico. Only 600 boxes of 25 were released in 2007 with a rerelease of another 600 boxes of 25 coming in 2008 in the exact same size and allegedly blend. The Edmundo Dantes brand came about in a very interesting way.
Because Montecristo is a “global” brand it cannot be used for an Edición Regional. As such, the Edmundo Dantes brand was used for this release. The Edmundo Dantes are distributed by Importadora y Exportadora de Puros y Tabacos, which is the official Habanos importer for Mexico.
So far, there have only been three releases of the Edmundo Dantes brand (including the Conde 109 rerelease in 2008).
- Edmundo Dantes Conde 109 — 7 1/4 x 50 — 2007 — Double Robusto (top)
- Edmundo Dantes Conde 109 — 7 1/4 x 50 — 2008 — Double Robusto (not pictured)
- Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 — 6 1/2 x 54— 2011— Sublime (bottom)
The Conde 109 has been released in two 600 box releases of 25 cigars, whereas the Conde 54 was limited to 1,000 boxes.
Cigar Reviewed: Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 Edición Regional Mexico (2011)
Country of Origin: Cuba
Factory: José Martí
Size: 6 1/2 Inches
Ring Gauge: 54
MSRP: $35.00 (Boxes of 25, $875.00)
Release Date: 2011
Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 25 (25,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
The Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 is an excellent sample with a red-brown wrapper that is extremely smooth to the touch. There is almost no oil present at all, and the cigar is slightly spongy when squeezed. The Cuban wrapper smells faintly of cedar, hay and chocolate.
The first third of the Edmundo Dantes starts out flavorful, but mild with dominant notes of hay, cedar, chocolate and nuts. There is a wonderful undefined sweetness that forms the baseline of the profile that is present and really combines well with the rest of the flavors. A saltiness develops on my lips, although it comes and goes after a strong start. There is a tiny amount of spice on the tongue, but almost no pepper at all on the retrohale, at least in the beginning. Strength starts out faint, but slowly builds to a mild medium by the end of the first third. Construction is wonderful, as are both the burn and the draw, but the cigar does seem to be burning a bit quickly, albeit not hot at all.
A creaminess develops in the second third combining with that same sweetness that I now can define as vanilla, along with strong flavors of nuts, hay and espresso. The spice from the first third is sticking around, but not getting any stronger, and there is still no pepper whatsoever in the Conde 54. Draw and burn are still perfect, although the Edmundo Dantes is burning a bit slower. The strength is continuing to build very slowly and reaches a solid medium by the end of the second third.
Coming into the final third of the Conde 54 and the combination of flavors becomes quite intense. All of the aforementioned notes are present in varying amounts with the nutty sweetness still dominant, but there is just a tiny more spice on the lips and about halfway through the last third I noticed a very distinct cinnamon note that really had me interested. Even as big as the Edmundo Dante is, the cigar was great to the end, as was the construction. Strength was a stronger medium by the end, but never really threatened to push over into the full category at any point.
- All of the Edmundo Dantes releases are the result of a collaboration between Habanos S.A. and Max Gutmann, who is the owner of Importadora y Exportadora de Puros y Tabacos, which is the official Habanos importer for Mexico. There is a pretty good interview that James Suckling did with him in Cigar Aficionado in 2008 here.
- Although there was a rerelease of the Edmundo Dantes Conde 109, the fact that there are 1,000 boxes of the Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 would lead me to believe that a rerelease will not happen again of this particular cigar.
- The fact that the Edmundo Dantes brand is made by Montecristo is one of the worst kept secrets of the Cuban cigar world. In fact, all you have to do is look at the name. Those of you who were awake during English literature class may remember that Edmond Dantès is the protagonist in one of the French author Alexandre Dumas’ most famous books, “The Count of Monte Cristo”, published in 1844.
- Along with the above, the resemblance of the Edmundo Dantes band compared to the Montecristo band would be almost criminal if they were not related in some way.
- Having said all of the above, there in typical Cuban fashion, there are doubts as to the exact blend of the Edmundo Dantes cigars, with some feeling it is a combination of Montecristo and H.Upmann and some just saying it is a custom Montecristo blend. As far as I know, there is no official details as to the blend of this particular release.
- The strength of this cigar actually surprised me a little, with it ending at a stronger medium.
- The finish was also excellent, nice, long and sweet.
- While the smoke production was not overwhelming, the smell coming from the cigar was intoxicating, one of the best I have had all year so far, a wonderful sweet cedar and coffee scent.
- Construction was phenomenal for the entire smoke, perfect draw and burn from the start.
- The final smoking time was about what I expected at one hour and 50 minutes.
I have been curious how this cigar would taste compared to the Conde 109 ever since they were announced. I absolutely adore the original Conde 109 and I was really hoping that these would be similar, although knowing Cuba, I doubted that would actually happen. While it is not quite on the same level as the 109, I am happy to say that the Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 is an extremely enjoyable cigar that easily holds its own. It has an extremely complex and smooth profile and the flavors it had were wonderfully rich and satisfying. These are well worth the money, even at the inflated prices they are selling for and my only regret is that I can't afford more of them to put down for a long while.