The Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso, the new regional edition Cuban cigar from Mexico, has arrived in the country's Casas del Habano retail shops. The fat belicoso, 5 1/2 inches by 52 ring gauge, has a rich, dark, reddish-brown wrapper, and is being sold in boxes of 10. The shapely smoke retails for 5,500 Mexican pesos per box—about $265 at current exchange rates, or $26.50 per cigar.
The Belicoso joins two previous Edmundo Dantes cigars in the Mexican lineup—the Conde 109 (7 by 50), released in 2007 and the Conde 54 (6 1/2 by 54) from 2011. Each of those cigars are parejos, and are long gone from the market; the 109 was released in two batches of 600 boxes each in 2007 and 2008, and 1,000 boxes of the Conde 54 were shipped.
The Conde 109 is a double robusto but with a rounded, blunted belicoso-shaped head, a traditional 109 form (No. 109 is the factory name) that had not been produced in Cuba for years. Cigar Insider scored it 92 points upon release, but it has continued to improve with age. A 7 year old version of the cigar scored 99 points in an edition of Connoisseur's Corner.
The Conde 54 is called a Sublimes in Cuban factory jargon. This cigar also performed extremely well, and was another sought-after regional cigar, receiving 93 points upon its release.
Only 6,000 boxes of the new Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicosos are being produced. According to Max Gutmann, who distributes Habanos cigars in Mexico, this figuado will be the last of the Edmundo Dantes line to be sold exclusively in Mexico. The Edmundo Dantes band resembles Montecristo in color and frontmarks, and was specifically created for the Mexican market. Gutmann says that Habanos apparently is planning to start selling Edmundo Dantes worldwide. It is unclear whether the brand will be sold as a Regional Edition for other markets or as a full-fledged brand for the rest of the world.
For a rating of the new cigar, see an upcoming issue of Cigar Insider.
A version of this article first appeared in the December 5 Cigar Insider.