Since this is a pre-release there is very little information about the Dante Cigars Vita Nova out there, but let me fill you in about what I do know.
According to Cigar Coop, the Vita Nova will be released at the DC Tweetup this March. When you can’t find anything on the interwebs about a cigar, it is best to head to the source. I got the following from Dante Cigars owner, Michael Huff.
The Vita Nova is the name of one of Dante's lesser known works. It translates to "new life". The Vita Nova is a Nicaraguan Puro that is rolled in Miami. The wrapper is Crojo from Estili, binder and filler leaf also comes from Estili. My idea behind this line is to focus on the sweeter flavors of classic Cubans I have smoked over the years, and to provide an opposite style to the full strength spicer flavors I also enjoy that my Dante Classic provides.
Enough with the facts though, time to smoke.
Dante Cigars Vita Nova Canto III
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Esteli Corojo
Beverage: Earl Grey Tea
Cigars Smoked for this Review: One
Smoking Time: 85 Minutes
Price Point: $9
Cigar Purchased: Sample from Dante Cigars
Normally I rate cigars on my own ranking system, but since this is a pre-release, I am going to let you decide; although, I am going to give you my overall thoughts.
What is my opinion on the Dante Vita Nova; the jury is still out. I feel like smoking the Vita Nova could be compared to Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. The first half of the cigar was pretty rough while the second half was pretty sublime. I personally think when the cigar was bunched, how many ever months ago that was, it was bunched incorrectly. I hate the fact that I can’t give you a solid read on the cigar and that I only had one to write about.
At the end of the day though, don’t make this review the reason you pass on this cigar. Cigars are handmade products and are prone to human error, especially ones which are pre-releases, like this one.
After these initial few puffs the flavors lined out nicely into an inviting pool of black pepper and earth. I was expecting more strength and body, but it didn’t come right out of the gate, like the Dante Classic does.
I almost did a head fake after the first few puffs, though. I don’t know if it was me, or the Vita Nova, but there was a very odd mixture of wet grass, harshness and bitter notes. From there the flavors continued down a very strange and ill-regular path. There were some definite burn issues, and it was easy to spot that some of the filler was charred black and had tunneled a bit to the outside of the Vita Nova.
The first half of the cigar almost made me want to put it out, until……
The second half of the cigar kicked it into high gear. There were rich notes of leather which mixed with almost a cashew like note which was pretty amazing. There was a nice bit of spice in the back ground that popped in and out, and it was almost jalapeño like in nature.
I almost feel the second half of the cigar was a completely different cigar. Along with the spice notes was a very interesting floral note which almost reminded me of standing in a sunflower field. Yes, I know that is extremely strange, but it is what it is.
What I liked
On the Dante Classic, I think the band is almost too dark and doesn’t pop against the SA Maduro wrapper. On the Vita Nova though, this isn’t the case. I don’t know if this was on purpose, but I liked the flat top cap on the Vita Nova.
What I didn’t like
The first half of the cigar frankly burned like shit and really impacted the smoking experience. A lesser man would have thrown it out and picked something else up, but I didn’t.
I know the Vita Nova is a pre-release, but I hate it when a cigar is going to launch in a few weeks, and the manufacturer’s website isn’t updated. I am not asking for them to give me the freaking blend information, but just some basic information about pricing, release date, vitolas and so on would be appreciated.