Thursday, January 29, 2009

5 Vegas Limitada 2007
Size: 6.5 x 52 (bellicoso)
Tobacco: Nicaraguan (wrapper), filler blend consists of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Peruvian
Price: $6.00

Every year, usually in early fall, 5 Vegas introduces a limited production run of a one-of-a-kind blend. In 2007, the production run was limited to the smallest batch yet: only 500 numbered boxes. Since 2005, I’ve tried each of the Limitada blends, and for the most part, I’ve been impressed. However, 2007 was hands-down the best one yet. I bought a 5-pack in Feb ‘08, smoked three in October (aged 8 mos), gifted one to a friend, and then saved the last one until Jan ’09 (aged 11 mos).

The first two were the most memorable, perhaps because it was a long, relaxing weekend in a state park cabin, or maybe because I smoked them to celebrate Alabama’s victory over Tennessee on the Third Saturday in October. The game was a blowout, propelled Alabama to the top of the AP poll, and signaled the end of the Phillip Fulmer era in Knoxville. Yes, it was definitely the game…

The cigar itself featured a sun-grown, medium-brown Nicaraguan wrapper with a wood-and-floral prelight aroma. According to its press release, the tobaccos in this cigar were aged 7 years, so I was expected something mellow. I was surprised at how spicy and flavorable it tasted, waxing and waning in intensity as the flavors shifted between pepper in the beginning to a sweet, pungent “hoppy” taste near the end. The burn was consistent, the draw easy but not loose. Paired well with both Yuengling lager and single-malt scotch.

The only disappointment was the last cigar, the one with the most age on it. I’m not sure why, but it had mellowed considerably, and traded its spicy notes for a nondescript woody flavor. Construction was still ok, and it burned for over an hour, but it never hit the high notes I remembered.

I bought a 5-er of the 2008 blend last month but I doubt it can live up to the 2007 blend. The 2008 is an oscuro, which I don’t usually prefer, but I’ll give it 6 months to age, then give it a try…

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