APS Brands Reviews
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Chef Michael Giletto
Niño Vasquez : cask aged Connecticut cigar
It was a cool Sunday in New Jersey, 60 degrees, slight breeze off the Ocean water…
As I reached for my NV Cask aged cigar, slowing undressing it from its plastic wrapped the aromatics released as I slid the wrapped off centimeter by centimeter…
The aroma was so inviting my family asked what the scent was from across the table, as I acted like a child in a candy store, I giggled as if it was mine all mine! I encapsulated the classy cigar in a cupping like grasp to smell the cigar.
As the elegance set forth by this eye catching work of art, I closed my eyes and slowly open up my olfactory receptors, the aromatics of the outer leaf was inviting, hints of Vanilla, Cinnamon and slight cocoa…
I slide the cigar across my upper lid and inhaled using my nose, opening my eyes to find a classy end capping on the tip of the cigar.
I snipped the end so I can begin to prep for the relaxation of the Connecticut smoking, placing the snipped end on my lips wetting it and tasting the flavors. I slightly flame up the capping and remove it to fire it up!
Torch, fueling….and slight inhaling and turning the cigar as I flame up for the driving of this sleek, classy goodness…I sit back and inhale, intake nice and smooth, lots of flavor and clearly freshness in the leaves.
Delivers an Even burn, delicious mouth feel and a fantastic way to spend the night…
The NV cask aged Connecticut cigar is a great ending to an evening and or a great meal!
I recommend spending some time with this cigar after a great meal which was my 22 ounce Veal chop stuffed with Prosciutto Di Parma, Buratta cheese, Veal glace and a rosemary scented roasted fingerling potatoes!
A great connection of Cigar meets Culinary delivered with Passion
Another cigar that will surprise some of you is called Nino Vasquez Cask Aged (4 stars) and is distributed by Tony Serino of APS Distributors. Tony is still focusing on good cigars at reasonable prices, and the new Nino Vasquez delivers the message. It is a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed tobacco in the filler with a Connecticut Shade wrapper. The head has a traditional Cuban pigtail and the foot is closed. The draw is excellent, the aroma is that of a very nice traditional cigar and the flavors are little bourbon or rum-like.
Jason – BestCigarBlog
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 easy going 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.
Brian Hewett – Brian’s Random Thoughts
I enjoyed this El Taino cigar. The cigar is a solid, well-priced smoke with a good flavor profile. It starts a bit mild at the beginning but the flavors improve significantly during the second third. I’d say this is a great cigar to accompany your morning coffee if you’re a seasoned smoker, and probably one mild cigar smokers will find rather enjoyable.
Dr. Bennington – Dr Bennington.blogspot.com
Nino Vasquez – Antonius
These cigars use a top quality Connecticut wrapper combined with full flavor, robust Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. Many cigar smokers have written excellent reviews about these smokes and they do come highly recommended. Cigar Aficionado has constantly given high scores to many of the Niño Vasquezes lines. The Antonius line was awarded a healthy 93 rate.
If you’re looking for a good, powerful smoke with great construction where evidently attention to detail, try Antonius, Cask-Aged or King Series.
Mitch Fadem – IPCPR Gala Opening Reception in Las Vegas 2011
One of the things that the IPCPR does is to help smaller and newer cigar manufacturers and distributors get to meet the retailers that make up their organization. All of the new exhibitors are placed right up near the entrance of the trade show floor to give them good exposure. One of these that I met were the folks from APS Distributors and Nino Vasquez Cigars from Pompano Beach, Florida. I spoke to Tony Serino, President who told me, “My cigars are the every-man cigar for the everyday smoker. These cigars are for the guys working hard, enjoying life and smoking 6 or 7 cigars a day.” These are pretty good smokes.
Tony and his staff are old fashioned cigar folks giving good smokes for a good value – something that is hard to find and in his words, “We are one of the best kept secrets in the industry”. He admitting to me that he does not want to be such a secret anymore.
The reception was packed and all the big names in the industry were there. It was like a ‘who’s who’ of cigars. Many of the old timers were there sitting at large tables “holding court” with crowds of people around them hanging on their every word. All of these brave and industrious men that left Cuba 50 years ago have built empires, and it is important for the industry’s enterprising young men to listen to what they have to say for the future. I felt like a little league ball player seeing his heroes from the Baseball Hall of Fame up close.
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Mitch Fadem’ subtitle=’Last Cigar Reviews From 2013 IPCPR’ link=” linktext=”]
Okay folks, I am coming down to the last several cigars I collected from the2013 IPCPR. The reason these are very quick and short reviews is not just because there were so many, but mostly because I only had one and rarely two to smoke, so it is difficult to give an in-depth review. Cigar Guide Gary and I usually smoke a minimum of three cigars to give an honest objective evaluation. These reviews are more like quick snapshots of what you might find with these cigars.
Another cigar that will surprise some of you is called Nino Vasquez Cask Aged (4 stars) and is distributed by Tony Serino of APS Distributers. Tony is still focusing on good cigars at reasonable prices, and the new Nino Vasquez delivers the message. It is a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed tobacco in the filler with a Connecticut Shade wrapper. The head has a traditional Cuban pigtail and the foot is closed. The draw is excellent, the aroma is that of a very nice traditional cigar and the flavors are little bourbon or rum-like. The final cigar in this series is from Villiger, theVilliger Anniverary (4 stars). This cigar was 4¼ x 56, and although short and stout, it was big on flavor and aroma. The cigar is very firm and although the draw was a little tight, the cigar smoked well. It lit easily, burned evenly and the aromas were of fresh cut grass (or maybe tobacco J) with the additional aromas you might experience in a European coffee bar.
Brian Hewitt – El Taino Vintage Connecticut Torpedo
It’s that time again. Time again for another cigar review! And once again, I’m about to introduce you to a cigar you probably haven’t heard of before. This time around we’re taking a look at the El Taino Vintage Connecticut Torpedo, which has been generously provided for me to review by Tex Cigars.
If you haven’t heard of them, you’re not alone. Before I opened up this eagerly anticipated shipment, I hadn’t heard of them either. After some time spent scouring the internet for information on these cigars, the most I could come up with is that they are made by Nino Vasquez and come with either Brazilian or Connecticut wrappers. Now you know what I know, let’s check this mysterious new cigar out!
Size: 6 1/2 x 52
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
My first impression of the El Taino torpedo was that somebody really went all out with this cigar. Not only does it have a shiny, ornate band and a cedar tube, it has a second, equally shiny ornate band at the foot of the cedar tube. It’s clear the manufacturer wants to draw your eye, and the eyes of the people around you when you light it up. And you know what? Mission accomplished.
Before sliding off the considerable length of cedar, I tested its scent to for comparison. I’m glad I did. This was the nicest smelling cedar I’ve come across in a while. It had a sweet aroma that made me wonder if the cedar was infused with some botanicals. That really got me curious as to what I was in for. Is this an infused cigar? A sniff of the wrapper answered that question. The portion of the wrapper that wasn’t covered by cedar had a sweet almost buttery flavor, but no botanicals. The part that was under the cedar did pick up some of the sweet cedar aroma, but also had a light compost aroma.
As I do with most torpedos, I clipped the head on about a 45 degree angle (called a “Dickman cut”) to take a cold taste. Unfortunately in the cigar photographed for this review, the wrapper and binder split at the head making it very difficult to get a taste. I believe my less that razor sharp (and as always, flamboyantly-red) Xikar was to blame for this, but it’s hard to say. In previous cigars, I noted a sweet molasses flavor in the cold taste.
Overall, the burn was pretty good with this cigar. It burned evenly and produced respectable inch and a half long ashes. And the draw was good. Surprisingly, even the cigar with the head split was very smoke-able, with only a slightly less that optimal draw. (That is until it burned down to the split, then it was nothing but that pesky oxygen with a hit of smoke.)
Creaminess is the name of the game with this cigar. The cigar opens up with a great creamy coffee flavor throughout the first third makes minor flavor transitions between woodiness, mild bits of spice, and a light cherry sweetness. I have to say though, that for a while in the first third, the cigar was somewhat bland.
In the second third the cigar remains pretty light and creamy, but flavors like leather, some dark chocolate and a more distinct cedar begin to appear.
In the final third the flavor became fuller in body. And I a vegetal flavor was added to the leather and dark chocolate flavors that appeared in the previous third. At times this vegetal flavor got to be a bit harsh, making me suspect there might be a slight bit of tar building up. But this harshness didn’t last, and I didn’t notice any build up.
Considering that the torpedo vitola is a more challenging shape to roll, and given the bonus aromatic cedar sleeve, I’d say you’re getting some decent value for your money.
I enjoyed this cigar. Even the one with the annoying split was a good smoke. The cigar is a solid, well-priced smoke with a good flavor profile. It starts a bit mild at the beginning but the flavors improve significantly during the second third. I’d say this is a great cigar to accompany your morning coffee if you’re a seasoned smoker, and probably one mild cigar smokers will find rather enjoyable.
I’d like to thank Tex Cigars again for supplying me with the cigars for this review. If you’re interested in trying one out, I encourage you to head on over to theTex Cigar website to buy them. Jarrod is a great guy, and he’ll take good care of you!
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Likely
Recommend It: It’s definitely worth trying.
Sumatra Samurai- Cigar Dojo
Named among the bargains of the year in 2010 by Cigar Aficionado, the Vallejuelo went from being relatively unheard of, to something people want in their humidor. A bargain cigar is something every stogie fan should be constantly on the prowl for. Because, there are those gems that line the top shelf of any collection, and then there are the rest. The tricky part is making sure “the rest” are up to par, it’s not as easy as it sounds! So when I find this “bargain of the year” siting at the bottom of my humidor, it’s almost as if it’s my duty to smoke it, I happily oblige.
The Vallejuelo had actually been hiding out in my humidor for over a year. I got the Vallejuelo as a free throw-in cigar, part of a bundle that usually accompanies a ticket to the larger cigar festivals. Packaged in a promotional, 2-pack box (Robusto Gordo & Gran Toro sizes) that boasted its rather high 92 rating by Cigar Aficionado, I chalked the high rating up to a marketing tactic and let it sit.
Now let’s get down to business: I chose the larger, Gran Toro size (6 x 54) and gave it a nice clean cut. The pre draw is smooth and the smells are a light hay and sweet tobacco, with a stronger tobacco smell coming from the foot. Lighting up, I can tell right away this is a mild to medium body cigar, which was plenty fine with me, I had this as an early morning smoke with a warm cup of coffee. I’m glad I chose to smoke this with a coffee, because that’s exactly what I got:smooth creamy coffee throughout! The smoke output is decent, it’s no chimney stack, but you certainly won’t need to double puff this guy.
Moving into the second half (yes I’m reviewing this cigar in halves, not thirds, you wanna fight about it?), it’s important to note the fine construction of this cigar. Aside from a few notches and waves, the burn line stayed true to course, only requiring one relight near the end (I could’ve stopped, but I was really enjoying the smooth flavors). The wrapper did peel a bit, but didn’t affect the smoke. The flavors began loosing some of the creaminess – creamy coffee became more like black coffee, some added bread notes, and a nice sweet tobacco and spice aftertaste now accompanied the palate. This was a welcome progression and made for a relaxing smoke that lasted longer than expected, right up to the band.
I might not give this cigar the generous 92 rating CA did, but I would certainly smoke the Vallejuelo again. The flavors didn’t stand out as being particularly interesting or complex, but sometimes that’s just what you need – something that isn’t demanding your attention, just sitting back, complimenting the ambiance of a peaceful morning.
|Draw||7 1/2 stars|
|Price/Value||8 1/2 stars|
|Rating: 7.6/10 (5 votes cast)
|Draw||7 1/2 stars|
|Price/Value||8 1/2 stars|
Rating: 7.6/10 (5 votes cast)
Mitch Fadem – Review of Premium Cuban Hand Rolled Cigar
Everyone is always on the look out for a good cigar that is also an inexpensive cigar. At this year’s IPCPR I found one and it is the first review I am writing after getting to try some of the best. I will just call them “Premium Cuban” for the review. They are sold in the U.S. by Tony Serino, President, APS Distributors in Pompano Beach, Florida. He told me that he no longer wanted to be “the best kept secret in the industry”. I liked the cigar and I think you will, too.
Draw and Construction
This is a long fill cigar hand made in Honduras. It comes in several shapes and sizes such as Churchill, Torpedo, Double Toro, Pony Tail and the Double Robusto 5” x 54 ring gauge that I smoked for the review. The filler is Esteli Nicaraguan Viso and Ligero. The binder is Nicaraguan Morron Habano and thewrapper is a nice dark brown Jalapa Valley Habano. I tried out my new Shuriken cigar cuter to open the foot of the cigar, and it drew nicely. This cutter has six blades mounted inside a tube that makes small slits near the cap of the cigar. With the slightest bit of pressure, you can control the draw so that it remains free and easy through the entire smoke. The burn was slightly uneven and stayed that way until the mid-point of the cigar. The ash came off at 1” and I put it down with about 1 ½” left. I smoked the cigar for one full hour.
Flavor and Aroma
The flavors in this cigar were mild and woody. The wrapper had a little natural sweetness and the aroma was that of fresh wood chips. There was no spice, no bite, no pepper, just a nice smoking mild to medium cigar. I would classify this as a good beginners smoke.
This is a bit of a tricky question, and you will see why in a minute. Tony does not sell retail, only wholesale. I know what the wholesale price is, but telling you would not be fair to the retailer, both local and internet. I can tell you that based on what he is selling these cigars to the retailers for (and allowing them a reasonable mark-up), you should be able to get these in bundles of 20 at very reasonable prices. This is a cigar that you should ask your local shop to get for you. It is not often you find a good cigar at a bargain basement price. Tony has several other good deals like these and I plan to review more of them in the future.
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Tony Clifton – Cigar Federation’ subtitle=’Review: Great F****** Cigar Torpedo’ link=” linktext=”]
Hello all, this is the m************ Tony Clifton writing you from the grave b******. I was called upon by the grace of the Cigar God’s to write a review for the Cigar Federation about a Great F****** Cigar. That’s right, the name of this cigar is THE GREAT F****** CIGAR and the band has a picture of two people f******, so whom else should review this bitch but me? I was hanging around IPCPR this last year, floating around like an angel and shit, sipping a martini when this slickster approaches me to tell me about his cigars. He hands a bunch of stuff, but this one in particular, had people f****** on the band, and divine intervention took place in Vegas baby. Since I was reviewing a cigar of such epic proportions, I paired it with a beer named Zues, a double IPA at 11% that would break both of Anderson Silva’s p**** twig legs. If you are taking the time to read this, prepare yourself for some magical once in a lifetime shit. It’s not often a genius graces you with his presence. And I don’t mean genius like that godless fuckstick Kanye who thinks it’s funny to tarnish the word. I am talking about Belushi snorting heroin genius, Nikki Six slamming Jack Daniels genius, Marilyn banging Johnny cause she can genius baby.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican, Cuban Seed
Filler: Dominican Cuban Seed San Victor and Olor. None of that nasty Nicaraguan shit you young fellows call tobacco these days because you took sandpaper to your palate.
Dry Draw: wet grass but not like weed you schmuck, hints of honey similar to smell of a fresh Vegas dancer yet to be tarnished by sleepless nights, stale cigarettes, and the cologne of old scumbags like me.
****You see that? 100% Long Filler Baby!****
First Third: The draw was creamy, with some cedar on the finish. At times, I had hints of vanilla on the draw, and the finish was damn good considering this is a bundled cigar. The retrohale was better than b****** in a back alley of Brooklyn. Actually, the retro was the best part of the first third of the great f****** cigar, with vanilla, cream, hints of pepper, and a night with Tina Fey. I like Tina, specifically when she does the Palin bit, that’s what the retro reminded me of. Tina Fey dressed as nailin Palin.
Second Third: Less body at this point, starting to look like a runway model that needs to eat some damn cheeseburgers and quit puking up the starbucks and green smoothie foofoo drink thing she had for breakfast. I got more pepper on the retrohale, and the finish had a bit more as well. Not so much like Salma Hayek’s body is so unreal spicy, more like Penelope Cruz hung over after a coke binge without makeup. I did pick up some coriander on the draw and retrohale, suggesting there may be some aged shit in this f*****.
Final Third: The coriander finish was still hitting my lips and tongue, and really stood out to me. You know, I have an amazing palate, so for some random stick to stand out like that, I have to flick the tip of my mustache to the maker of the Great F****** Cigar. The creaminess of the profile was still there, with hints of vanilla reminding me of sucking on Nicole Kidman’s neck one night in London after a gig. She was shitfaced on rum and I took my chances given Tom is a midget prick.
Construction: F****** Awesome
Final Thoughts: Well, I must say, the Great F****** Cigar is worthy of sporting a band of people f****** on it. It was worthy enough for me to grace Logan’s shithole of a webpage with my musings. If you own a cigar shop, and you are not a p****, grow a pair and carry this cigar. Most bundle cigars aren’t even worth Monica Lewinsky’s time, but this bundle is on par with Susan Lucci baby. The man behind the product is named Tony Serino with APS Distributors. Go figure we have the same name, he must be f****** genius too.
Boca Benningtons – Nino Vasquez King Series – Video Review
Bryan Glynn – Vallejuelo Robusto Cigar Review
This 5×50 stick features a firmly packed dark chocolate mottled wrapper with minimal veins, tight seams, triple cap and rich sweet chocolate aroma. First light reveals a perfect draw with just a touch of resistance putting out copious amounts of thick rich full bodied smoke with zesty chocolate earth pepper and spice all with a rich long finish. The first third mellows quite a bit to a medium body still keeping the same blend and getting a bit smoother. The finish is very long carrying over a big bit of pepper and spice lingering over the tongue and lips to the next draw. The 2nd third goes by in 40 minutes continuing to decline in body now at a mild-medium, dropping the sweet chocolate leaving a mellow smooth earth on the draw. The finish drops the pepper and spice, growing shorter and cleaner. Ending at 1:10 the last third brings back a bit of the sweetness with an almost minty nut, also ramping up the strength. Thank you very much to viewer Arthur
Cairo for sending this sample in!
Vallejuelo cigars were named one of the best bargain cigars of 2010 by Cigar Aficionado with a huge rating of 93.
These beautifully-rolled Dominican stogies feature an Ecuadorian-grown Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and aged Dominican and Nicaraguan filler for a smooth, medium-bodied smoke with notes of coffee, cedar, and blackberry sweetness. The Vallejuelo Robusto cigar, is a medium to full bodied cigar with the perfect blend of flavors, and the tobacco used comes from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The flavors deliver an exquisite mix of coffee, cedar, and nuts.
The Vallejuelo Gran Toro cigar is crafted using the highest standards of cigar making. It combines a delectable blend of red pepper, coffee and cedar nuts. Purchasing a cigar from Absolutecigars.com is fast an easy and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They offer a secure transaction and their cigars are shipped worldwide. Online since 1998, they are a trusted provider of excellent quality cigars. In addition to cigars, they also sell cigar accessories including humidors, cutters, lighters, and much more.
I’m very impressed with the craftsmanship of your cigars. They never got soft and never had to be touched up. They held a tight ash and burned even. The flavor profile was full bodied and flavorful. These are definitely for the experienced smoker. Overall great smoke and well constructed. Thank you for the opportunity to test drive your premium cigars!