Sunday, August 06, 2006


The 5 Vegas (pronounced cinco vegas) brand was founded in Cuba in 1890. It was resurrected by cigar-man Kiki Berger in Esteli, Nicaragua, and is now maufactured by La Aurora. They consistently score in the upper 80’s to lower 90’s in blind taste tests.

Size: 6.0 x 50 (Toro)
Wrapper: Costa Rica maduro, Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican Republic
Price: $3.50”

Location: Lounging on Anthony’s pool deck, after swimming but before dinner. Consumed with chips, salsa, and a strawberry daiquiri.

Construction: A deep chocolate-brown wrapper. A strong, striking aroma. Fairly loose draw, which burned hot but evenly.

Taste: Of the 5 Vegas line, I expected to like this cigar the best because it is the strongest and most flavorful blend. It began with strong spicy pepper tastes (very reminiscent of Comacho), which evolved to a milder chocolate flavor, but then quickly became hot and somewhat bitter in the final third as the draw loosened.

Final verdict:A decent full-bodied smoke but not as good as Comacho, IT Super Fuerte, JR Ultimate, or JR Limitada Edicion.

Size: 6.0 x 50 (Toro)
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican Republic (Aged 5 years)
Price: $3.50

Location: Lounging on Anthony’s pool deck (again), after dinner, playing poker. Consumed with a glass of chianti and vodka-soaked watermelons.

Construction: A flawless, light tan wrapper. Very light, sweet aroma. Slightly tight draw. A slow cool burn, with no problems.

Taste: A mild, creamy smoke that manages to keep enough flavor to avoid becoming bland or boring. Very similar to other cigars with the “gold” moniker—such as CAO Gold and Royal Jamaican Gold. As far as mild cigars go, this would rank above the CAO, RJ, and Padilla but probably not as high as Onyx Reserve or Macanudo Crystal CafĂ©.

Final Verdict: Even though I’m not usually a fan of mild cigars, I would still purchase again, to be enjoyed as a before-dinner smoke.

Size: 6.25 x 52 (BELICOSO)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Filler: Cuban-seed, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Corojo long-leaf fillers
Price: $5.50

Location: Lounging on Anthony’s pool deck, after dinner, playing poker. Consumed with a few glasses of chianti.

Construction: A few very, very minor tears in the wrapper, which did not affect the smoke. Medium draw, slow cool burn. No problems at all with the burn. I nubbed this cigar until it finally extinguished itself under the 1/4th” mark.

Taste: Easily the crowning jewel of the brand. The medium-bodied cigar began with soft hints of pepper, which progressed to a citrus tang, and finished strong with solid smooth flavors.

Final Verdict: Will purchase again (while supplies last)

Size: 6.25 x 52 (TORPEDO)
Wrapper: Sumatra Wrapper
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan and Dominican Republic
Price: $4.25

A creamy, medium-bodied cigar very reminiscent of the non-Cuban incarnations of the Montecristo #2 and Punch After Dinner -- but at a better price. It had a slow burn, a firm draw, and no construction deficiencies at all. It also sported a mellow but substantial flavor, a strong finish on the tongue, but perhaps a un-noteworthy bouquet.

I have been able to consistently win 5 Vegas cigars for around $2 from, making this a great value.

5 VEGAS brands I have not tried:
Limitada '06 (not yet released)
Vintage (rare, soon to be re-released)

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