All good things must come to an end, and in late 2016 we learned that saying also applied to one of the most popular recent Cuban cigar marcas.
Named Edmundo Dantes after the protagonist in one of the French author Alexandre Dumas’ most famous books, “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the Edmundo Dantes brand debuted in 2007 as a collaboration between Habanos S.A. and Max Gutmann, the owner of Importadora y Exportadora de Puros y Tabacos (IEPT), the importer of Habanos for Mexico. Gutmann collaborated with Habanos to create the brand due to then trademark issues with the Montecristo brand in Mexico. The result was the Edmundo Dantes Conde 109, a 7 1/4 x 50 double robusto with a classic 109 cap and a total of 600 boxes of 25 released, although an additional 600-box shipment of the same cigars were released in 2008.
Four years later, that first release was followed by a 6 1/4 x 54 Sublimes vitola in the same blend named Conde 54 that was shipped in 2011 and had a total production of 25,000 cigars. It would take an additional five years for the next release in the marca, which turned out to be the Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso, a 5 1/2 x 52 figurado limited to a total of 6,000 boxes of 10 cigars.
Unfortunately, the release of the third addition to the line came with bad news, as Bernardo Andrés, commercial director of IEPT, confirmed that the Conde Belicoso would be the final Edmundo Dantes cigar released for the country of Mexico.
There are three vitolas in the Edmundo Dantes marca.
- Edmundo Dantes Conde 109 Edición Regional Mexico (2007) (7 1/4 x 50) — 600 Boxes of 25 (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Edmundo Dantes Conde 109 Edición Regional Mexico (2008) (7 1/4 x 50) — 600 Boxes of 25 (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Edmundo Dantes Conde 54 Edición Regional Mexico (2011) (6 1/2 x 54) — 1,000 Boxes of 25 (25,000 Total Cigars)
- Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso Edición Regional Mexico (2016) (5 1/2 x 52) — 6,000 Boxes of 10 (60,000 Total Cigars)
Here is what I said about the Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso in my original review back in December 2017:
The Conde Belicoso is a very, very good cigar, but it is not yet legendary. Both the 109 and Conde 54 were excellent right off the bat, but I think a little more time and aging will really allow the spice—particularly in the first two third—and flavors to meld together, which will in turn bring the Conde Belicoso to the level of the other two Edmundo Dantes releases.
- Cigar Reviewed: Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso Edición Regional Mexico (2016)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Belicoso
- Est. Price: $20 (Boxes of 10, $200)
- Release Date: December 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 6,000 Boxes of 10 (60,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
This Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso was procured after my original review, but there are quite a few similarities regardless: the wrapper is a familiar milk chocolate brown color with an obvious red tint and there is a touch of oil noticeable as well as a bit of tooth. However, there is at least one major difference that I can see immediately, namely a massive vein that runs almost the entire length of the cigar. Aroma from the wrapper is a rich combination of cinnamon, cedar, orange citrus, leather, hay and bitter chocolate, while the wonderful cold draw brings fantastic flavors of nutmeg, citrus, leather, earth, coffee beans and creamy oak.
Although it takes a few moments to get going, the flavors in the Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso come hot and heavy quickly, with flavors of lemongrass, orange citrus, floral and cinnamon all fighting for dominance on the palate, Those are followed closely by notes of cedar, hay, cloves, leather and bread, along with a distinct milk chocolate sweetness on the retrohale. Unlike the first time around, there is very little pepper and almost no spice to be had, leading to a very creamy profile overall. The second half features even more milk chocolate sweetness and creamy cedar, but the orange citrus and cinnamon notes easily hang onto the dominant spots, content to let the rest of the flavors follow behind.
Construction-wise, a simple Dickman cut led to an excellent draw with just the right amount of resistance, but the burn gave me some issues for the first few puffs that required a couple of touchups out of the gate before calming down for the rest of the one hour and 19 minute smoking time. The smoke production is both copious and thick from the foot, while the overall strength starts out extremely light before rising slowly to end at a point just under the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch to go.
After a bit of a rough start getting it lit, the Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso more than made up for it in terms of the actual profile. The dominant combination of orange citrus and cinnamon on the palate combined with the milk chocolate sweetness on the retrohale reminded me strongly of a Terry's Milk Chocolate Orange Ball, and the construction after the first third was fantastic. Thankfully, I was correct about age taming the spice that was present the first time around, which really allowed the flavors in the profile to shine. Since I first smoked a Conde 109 in 2007 I have thought that the Edmundo Dante maraca has consistently included some of the best releases the Edición Regional program has to offer, and a three-year-old Conde Belicoso easily proves why.