Dante Vita Nova Canto VI | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 46 “Canto VI – Corona Gorda”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.50
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Today we take a look at the Dante Vita Nova. It is the newest blend to the Dante line. Not much info on the web site:
“Owner Michael Huff is a 10 year veteran of the retail tobacco industry in the DC Metro area and Vice President of M Tabacos Inc.”

The cigars were released to the throngs in April, 2014 and will be a regular production cigar.
The cigars are being manufactured at the Casa Fernandez Miami factory.

The Vita Nova comes in five sizes:
Canto III: Robusto 5 x 50 $9.00
Canto IV: Toro 6 1/2 x 52 $10.00
Canto VI: Corona Gorda 5 1/2 x 46 $8.50
Canto VII: Gordo 5 1/2×60 $11.00

I loved the original Dante blend and you can find the review here. The main difference is that the original Dante used a Mexican San Andrés while the Vita Nova uses the Nicaraguan Corojo.
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This cigar ain’t cheap. It is one of a handful of cigars I feel is worth the price point.

The Dante Vita Nova is a pretty cigar. It has rustic notes but the oily, butterscotch wrapper is alluring to the senses. Add the attractive, but simple, rose colored cigar band and you have a class act. The cigar is packed solid. No soft spots.

There are lots of veins, both big and small. Seams are nearly invisible. The wrapper alternates from toothy to smooth. This sounds crazy but I count lines on the cap and I count four caps. Four. If this is true, it is a first for me.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, leather, fruit, cola notes, rich earthiness, and cedar.
Time to light up.

The draw is slightly tight at the start. But opens up with a little massage of the shaft. (You’re expecting a joke here, right?)

Spice swings in like Tarzan with that crazy yodel. (Johnny Weissmuller, natch).
Very similar to the Garcia blast.
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Flavors form: toasted sourdough bread, creamy, citrus, sweetness, wood, and nutmeg.

The sweetness is quite enticing. It has a chocolate frozen yogurt quality. It also has a blackberry sweetness that is genuine in its approach.

I’ve had this cigar for around 3 weeks. I bought some singles to have something to review.

Out of nowhere, I get a very salty pretzel element that is off putting.

Citrus makes its entrance at this point. Lemony.
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The Dante Vita Nova has had some impactful elements with only 1-1/4” burned and all this has happened in less than 10 minutes.

The creaminess and blackberry just became much stronger.

Here are the flavors: Creamy, blackberry, citrus, cocoa, sweetness, wood, toffee, nutmeg, toasty, salty, leather, and some marzipan.

That is a lot of energy being driven by this small cigar. I’m finding that the 5.5 x 46 Corona is my favorite size. Yeah, it doesn’t last as long as a robusto but the flavors seem much more intense.

Of course, if the Corona is packed with as much tobacco as the Dante Vita Nova, I expect an hour of enjoyment from it. For me, that is a perfect cigar experience.

With 1-1/2” burned, the spiciness moves to the back of the line. But the sweetness and creaminess soar. The Dante Vita Nova becomes very complex at this point. Flavors morph and are not as individualistic as earlier.
The draw is absolutely perfect and smoke is nearly blinding.

Nutty components are present with a combo of pistachio, black walnut, and almonds. A new meaty element shows itself. It tastes like a smoked brisket and then thrown on the grill. Hold the BBQ sauce.

The Dante Vita Nova is a completely different cigar than the original Dante. Not better; just different.
Michael Huff and Casa Fernandez have blended two great cigars.

The price point. Worth every penny. The magic of this cigar are the ever changing flavors. They weave a beautiful tapestry of elements that keeps one intrigued and interested.

The saltiness doesn’t want to go away. Its impact ebbs and flows.

The second third begins.
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This cigar will go into my “Katman’s Top 25 Cigars for 2013-2014.”

I read a few reviews. And the experience each reviewer had was different. These guys rate cigars, which I do not do, and one gives it a lowly 80 and another gives it a 90.

For my palate, this is a near perfect cigar. My only criticisms are the saltiness and the floundering of the spiciness. But the sheer intensity of flavors that are perfectly balanced and complex more than make up for those two issues.

The nuttiness now nearly usurps the other flavors. But it cannot out seat the creaminess and berry components.
This is an ice cream sundae cigar. Only thing missing is the maraschino cherry.

With 3” to go, I’ve invested 45 minutes. This little corona will prove to be a 90 minute smoke. Kudos Michael Huff.

Something about the wrapper vs. tobacco ratio that can’t be duplicated in bigger cigars.

Construction of the Dante Vita Nova is excellent. The char line has been a bit wavy now and again but not needing touch ups. The cap has held up to my chomping. And no wrapper issues.

The problem with this stick is availability. I gave up trying to buy the original Dante. At the moment, the Dante Vita Nova is available in all sizes.

My cigars have really felt the brunt of the Wisconsin cold weather. While the humidity is fine, the cold has devastated many sticks in my stash. Why we moved into a big house is beyond me.

I just passed the halfway point.

The flavor profile is on point. No significant changes. Except that some black pepper begins to build. It started out as red pepper but changed. But is totally welcome. I like my cigars plenty spicy.
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The Dante Vita Nova is a spectacular cigar.

Strength is classic medium body.
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The tobacco has a quality all to itself. There is a rich earthiness that seems to have its own category of sweetness.

I’d love to know more about this cigar but the web site is keeping its cards close to the chest.

The last third has mellowed out a bit. For most cigars, they would give their right teat for the mellowed out flavors of the Dante Vita Nova. But this cigar started out with such a bang that it really had nowhere to go.

The strength moves up to medium/full. A little bit of nicotine shows up.
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Clearly, Michael Huff took the blending of this cigar very seriously. Working with Casa Fernandez was a brilliant stroke.

It isn’t often that one comes across brilliant blends like the Dante line. The price point is more than fair when you figure how many other new cigars out there are at the same price but don’t come close to tasting this good.

You should check out the Dante Cigar web site. There is no list of retailers. So you will have to Google where you can buy them.
The Dante Vita Nova is a must try cigar.
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And now for something completely different:

The Eddie Munster project was a debacle from the start. A good buddy of mine, Reek Havok (Yes. That is his name) brought Butch Patrick to me while I owned my recording studio in Long Beach around 1982..maybe 1983.

Butch’s father owned several gambling casinos in Gardena, CA. Actually, they were poker parlors.

And Butch had bottomed out and found himself parking cars at the casinos for his dad.

Butch had the gene. A long line of family members who were alcoholics. Unfortunately, the early 80’s was the height of cocaine use in America.

Butch had an idea to put his own lyrics to the theme song from the Munsters TV show. It was called “Whatever Happened to Eddie.”

He had a rough demo done in someone’s living room.

This seemed like a real opportunity for me at the time.

It took about two months to put the project together. We recorded the music using session players and me on bass.

The problem, which seemed miniscule at the start, turned out to be a large issue later one.
Butch couldn’t play an instrument and he couldn’t sing.

I put together a phony band around him. They were all musicians. One of them, Brent Black, sang the vocals. It was sort of a Milli Vanilli thing.

The B side was a song that Brent wrote.

The PR campaign was the real pain in the ass. The band was called Eddie and the Monsters. Butch wore make up. And so did the band.

After doing a lot of PR photos, we geared up to make a music video. Remember, this was 1983. The same time that MTV took off.

So we were treading on new territory.

The day before the shoot, there was no script. So that night, I spent an hour writing the script. I had 33 scenes. And the song was only 2 minutes long.

A friend put me in touch with the now famous cinematographer Marvin Rush. He agreed to do the shoot for free. It took 3 separate shoots to complete the video.

Meanwhile, my job was to keep Butch sober. This was a first for me. In Curved Air, my early job was to keep the chick singer alive while she detoxed from her heroin addiction.

But Butch had no intentions of quitting demon rum.

The project lasted almost two years. I have a shit load of outrageous stories associated with this project and I’ve told most of them here already. So I will try to bring some new material to the table.

To be continued…

eddie-front

eddie-back

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