Among the many samples that made their way back from IPCPR in Las Vegas this year were a few sticks of Nino Vasquez‘s new Cuban Stout Habano blend. These reasonably-priced big-ring smokes are handmade from Nicaraguan ligero binder and filler tobaccos farmed by the Oliva family and an Ecuadorian Sun-grown Habano wrapper leaf. For today’s review I decided to kick back with the Cuban Stout Habano Gran Toro (6×54.)

Before lighting up I noted that the cigar was evenly filled and just slightly soft to the touch. The chocolate-brown wrapper had a nice oily sheen to it and construction was punctuated by a sturdy triple cap at the head. Pre-light draws gave off a very unique taste of coffee beans and anise

The cigar opened up to flavors of black pepper, earth, and espresso. About a half-inch in a heavy cream note kicked in and became the center of the Cuban Stout’s profile. The smoke suddenly became ridiculously smooth and creamy to the point where it pushed most of the flavor to the finish. Another half inch later and the peppery flavor of the first few puffs had returned. This was already shaping up to be an interesting smoke.

Burning into the 2nd third I was rocking a neat, light-grey ash and enjoying the contradictory nature of this stick. It was smoking incredibly smooth with light and creamy flavor while pumping out relentless waves of vitamin N all the while. I just kept thinking that nothing this strong should be able to taste this smooth, but it did. Eventually the heavy cream barrage let up a little again, revealing tasty notes of graham, bread, and cedar.

Smoke production was fantastic in the final third, and the flavors had a little more “punch” here as well. A rich tobacco flavor tamed by the creaminess and a strong note of bread were joined by an unexpected malty sweetness for one final surprise before I ended my session with the Gran Toro.

The Nino Vasquez Cuban Stout falls into the “wolf in sheeps clothing” category as far as strength is concerned. This full-bodied cigar was among the creamiest I’ve ever tasted and is easily one of the smoothest smokes you’ll find for around $5 a stick. The burn required a couple of minor touch-ups during the course of the smoke, but to be fair, this was a sample cigar acquired at the trade show and hadn’t exactly been stored in ideal conditions. The quality of the tobaccos used in the blend were evident in the cigar’s taste, which comes as no surprise considering the fact that they come from Oliva, a company well-known for their high standards. I award the Nino Vasquez Cuban Stout Habano Gran Toro a solid B grade and highly recommend it to fans of full-bodied and super-smooth stogies.

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