|Dante Vita Nove – Canto III|
The Dante Vita Nova is the second release by Dante Cigars. Dante Cigars was founded by two Northern Virginia-based tobacconists – Mo Fakhro and Michael Huff. A little over a year ago, the company released its first cigar – the eponymous-titled Dante Cigar. This is a San Andres Maduro made by Casa Fernandez at their Miami, Florida. For the Vita Nova, the company has once again teamed up with Casa Fernandez – this time making a natural offering with a corojo wrapper. The Vita Nova was released earlier this year and was showcased this year at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Vita Nova and found this to be an excellent cigar.
The name of the brand pays tribute to medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Dante’s epic poems would be read throughout what would become Italy and his written dialect would become the basis of the Italian language. The Vita Nova takes its name from one of Dante’s literary works, La Vita Nuova (also known as Vita Nova).
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Dante Vita Nova and see what this cigar experience brings to the table.
As mentioned above, the Dante Vita Nova uses a Corojo wrapper – a staple of Casa Fernandez. This one is a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper. The cigar itself is a Nicaraguan puro.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
The Dante Vita Nova has been launched in four regular production frontmarks. A fifth frontmark, is not part of the regular production, but made an appearance at the 2014 DC Tweetup event. The four regular production size of the Vita Nova are also available in the Dante (Maduro) line, but there are two additional sizes that are a part of that (Maduro) line.
Dante’s poems are divided into smaller parts called “Cantos”. These are used for the basis of the vitola names. The regular production sizes are sold in cabinet style boxes of 20.
Canto III (Robusto): 5 x 50
Canto IV: (Toro): 6 1/2 x 52
Canto VI (Corona Gorda): 5 1/2 x 46
Canto VII (Gordo): 5 1/2 × 60
Corona: 6 x 42 (Event Only)
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Canto III vitola – the robusto sized offering. The Vita Nova Canto III has a caramel colored wrapper with an oily complexion. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen. The surface of the wrapper has a slight bumpy feel to it. There are some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.
The band has almost a rose-like color to it. It features black pin striping across the top and bottom. The name “DANTE” is in a gothic style gold font with black trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do before lighting up, I placed a straight cut into the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided some notes of natural tobacco sweetness, wood, and some light pepper. Overall I found this to be a very good pre-light draw experience. At this point, I was ready to light up the Dante Vita Nova Canto III and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Dante Vita Nova delivered some notes of wood and black pepper. In the background there was an interesting sweetness that was more than just a “natural tobacco” sweetness. Meanwhile not the retro-hale I detected some classic black pepper notes. The retro-hale definitely seemed to be giving this cigar some additional power.
Later in the first third, the sweetness moved into the forefront. It now seemed to be more defined as a berry-like sweetness mixed with natural tobacco flavors. The wood notes were also present int he forefont. The pepper notes were a close secondary note. I also detected some smooth cream on the finish.
In the second third, the pepper now was back as one of the primary flavors. Meanwhile the wood and sweetness were also present as a primary flavor – alternating in intensity. As the cigar experience moved through the second third, the sweetness diminished . Meanwhile I noticed that the cream finish had dissipated.
By the last third, much of the sweetness was in the background. I found there still was a slight sweetness in the background. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was slight soft to the touch and cool to the finish.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found both the burn and draw delivered a solid performance on the Dante Vita Nova. I found the burn line to remain relatively straight during the smoking experience. There were some touch-ups required along the way, but not an abnormal amount. The resulting ash was firm with a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Dante Vita Nova|
I found there to be a slight resistance to the draw of the Dante Vita Nova. This is something I consider to be a positive. I found that this cigar still delivered some ample smoke production.
Strength and Body
Prior to smoking the Vita Nova, I had ben told this was more “dialed back” when compared to the original Dante Maduro (which leaned toward the fuller side). However, I did not find the Vita Nova to be a “mild” cigar by any means. I assessed the strength as being on the upper end of medium, falling just a tad under medium to full on the spectrum. As for the body, this was in the medium to full range, and came close to being full-bodied in my book. The retro-hale of this cigar is going to amps up both the strength and body of this cigar more-so than most cigars. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body of the Vita Nova to have the advantage.
I have really been impressed with the way Casa Fernandez has worked with many new companies helping them build brands. The collaboration with Casa Fernandez and Dante Cigars is another great example. This is a solid Nicaraguan puro that showcases some of the wonderful sweetness than can come from the corojo leaf. I’ve smoked several of these over the past few weeks, and I’ve found this cigar to be getting better and better. I’d probably still steer this cigar toward an experienced cigar enthusiast, but certainly wouldn’t discourage a novice for taking this for a spin. As for myself, this cigar is definitely worth a box split in my book.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: KILO, Fomorian, Limited Edition EH, Asylum 13 Ogre Robusto, and Dante Vita Nova to Headline DC Tweet Up Exclusives
Source: Sample Provided by Manufacturer (*)
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* Cigars for this assessment was provided by Dante Cigars. The samples were received in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.