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Hand-crafted in the Dominican Republic by Intercigar, Nino Vasquez Cask-Aged Connecticut cigars are comprised of a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan Cuban-seed tobaccos beneath a rare, sixth-priming Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf. The cigars, whose interior blend undergoes extensive aging in rum-soaked barrels, are limited in production and becoming somewhat hard to find due to the scarcity of the wrapper. This week we were fortunate enough to receive a batch of these unique sticks, so for today’s review I cracked open a box of the Toro Grande (6×54).
The Cask-Aged Connecticut had a thick and smooth Connecticut Shade wrapper with some very pronounced veins, unlike most Connecticut wraps I’ve seen. It also had the nicest band I had ever seen from this brand, and great construction. Besides what seemed like a perfectly even fill throughout the cigar, this thing was decked out with a tight little pigtail cap and a closed foot. It had all the markings of a high-end stogie, and a quick pre-light taste gave off notes of cinnamon, cedar, and toast.
Because of the closed foot, the first tastes I got from the cigar were simple, light, creamy, and nutty- it was all wrapper. Once I had burned past that, I was met with a fuller taste of toasty cinnamon and cedar. Both burn and draw were off to an excellent start, and the smoke was silky with absolutely no bite, just a bit of savory cinnamon/nutmeg spice on the end of each puff. The mellow profile of this first third had a nice, relaxing vibe to it.
In the next portion the smoke became thicker and gained a heavy note of bread, with just a touch of white pepper on the finish. This, along with some smooth cedar was the main flavor in this creamy 2nd third. The stogie was burning evenly and solidly, and only after a hearty 2 ½ inch stretch did the thick grey ash finally come tumbling down.
Things got a little more interesting as I neared the final third- roasted nuts and coffee added some depth to the still-smooth profile, and notes of salt began to pop up now and again. In the last couple of inches a bit of caramel sweetness trickled in, and the culmination of all the different flavors at play made for a robust and eventful finale.
I initially thought that the Nino Vasquez Cask Aged Connecticut would be pretty straight-forward in terms of flavor. It started off with a smooth, classic taste, and then somewhere around the middle of the smoke it switched gears and started to show some real complexity. The pigtail and closed foot made for a nice presentation, not to mention an easy cut and light, and this stogie smoked like a champ from start to finish. I have to think this particular vitola would be a great golf cigar, both because of its size and its easygoing character. I give the Cask Aged Connecticut a solid B grade and highly recommend it for anyone looking for an affordable cigar with top-shelf character and ultra-smooth smokability.
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