14 Mar 2013
Dante is a brand new cigar created by two guys I know pretty well. Mike Huff and Mo Fakhro formed M Tabacos Inc. to create and distribute Dante, but I’ve known them far longer as the general manager and owner, respectively, of Cigar Connection, the shop I frequent the most here in Northern Virginia.
Over the years we’ve talked quite a bit about cigars, but more recently they started talking about a project they were very excited about. I feel obliged to point out that it would be fair to say I hope they succeed. The industry, however, is full of friendly people I wish nothing but success for, and like any other new cigar this one will have to stand on its own in field already full of good smokes. I’m convinced it does.
Like many new cigars, Dante is a collaboration with a well-known cigar maker. For Dante, the M Tabacos pair teamed up with Tabacalera Tropical/Casa Fernandez, which makes Dante at its Miami factory using the Aganorsa leaf they are known for.
The cigar is made with a deep brown San Andreas wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filler. It comes in five sizes ranging from the Imp (4 x 44) to a large Toro (6.5 x 52). For this review I smoked four of of the corona gorda-sized Asmodeus (5.5 x 46), named after the demon king.
Pre-light the cigar, which features a small flattened pigtail cap, is full of woody oak flavors. The first few puffs show that to be a telling preview of what is to come, though once lit the woody notes are more charred and hickory flavored. In addition to wood, which also manifests as a light spice, the Dante features cocoa and a bread-like flavor that coats the palate in thick, powdery smoke. It took me a while to pick it out, but that powdery, bread-like component reminded me of the Tatuaje Anarchy.
The result is a cigar that starts out just north of medium-bodied and slowly ramps up until it’s just shy of completely full-bodied. It’s full of flavor yet also restrained. And considering my samples were rolled only a month earlier, I’m impressed by the balance. Each of the four Dantes I smoked burned wonderfully, with no touch-ups needed, and each had draw with just the right amount resistance.
The Dante range sells for $8.90-12 with the suggested retail price of the Asmodeus being $11.85. While Dante puts itself in some pretty exclusive company with that price, it’s not out of its league. Flavorful, but with subtleties and excellent balance, the Dante Asmodeus earns four and a half stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys