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5 Vegas Torpedo: Diamond in the Rough
The Little Boutique Cigar That Could

For a while now, I have been seeing advertisements for 5 (pronounced sin-ko) Vegas cigars. I had seen the hype: Cigar Aficionado gives it a 90 rating! Well, there are few cigar lines that CA has not given a stellar rating at least once (or so it seems). So how do you know whether a cigar is the real deal or not? The answer came to me in the form of a new supplier.

I had not tried the brand earlier because I had not seen it in the local cigar shops. Fortunately, one day a great guy named Brandon dropped me a line to check out the deals his company has on some cigars, especially a few rare ones. When I received the catalog, there it was staring me right in the face "5 Vegas."

The main thing that attracted me was the word "Esteli". Specifically, this is Esteli, Nicaragua. It is known for the habano-seed Nicaraguan tobacco that goes into the making of such cigars as Perdomo, Oliva "O' and most notably, Padron. Still, I found it hard to order a full box of a cigar I knew little about. Lucky for me, when I received my most recent order of C.A.O. Black Label cigars, there was a 5-pack sampler of various brands enclosed. One of these cigars was the 5 Vegas Torpedo.

The first thing I noticed about this cigar was a feature that left a lasting impression on me throughout the smoking experience: the wonderful construction. Along with Nicaraguan, these cigars are made with Dominican tobacco as a filler and Sumatra as a binder and wrapper. The construction was very solid with only a few tiny flaws. The Sumatra gave it a potent pre-lit earthy scent and a slight, appealing shine. After a perfect cut, I tested the draw. It was just right. Not so tight that I would have to suck on it to get enjoyment and not so loose that I would get more air than smoke. With that completed, it was time to light.

This cigar lit like a dream. A bright glow surrounded the foot as the heat from my Colibri lighter toasted it lightly. My first impressions of the flavor stayed consistent the whole way: there was plenty of nice, smooth smoke with a rough earth taste; the ash was a beautiful whitish-grey and it burned like a champion. After the first ten draws (my first landmark), the earthy flavor was complimented very nicely with a slight leather and nutmeg taste. In addition, an underlying sweet taste that I cannot fully characterize, but only have ever noticed in Nicaraguan cigars balanced the earthy taste out nicely.

After the first inch, the cigar was still burning strong. It had endured some slight problems, but evened itself out well without me needing to correct it. I began to notice other flavors as it burned down, including slight hints of chocolate and a woody, bark-like taste. The nutmeg flavor emerged further as the cigar burned down and mingled perfectly with all the other subtle flavors. The whole time I was smoking it, the smoke flowed freely from the foot and the head of the cigar and surrounded me with its aroma.

The cigar finally capped itself off with a gush of slightly peppery smoke and left me wanting more. The one thing I found to be wrong with it was that it failed the great challenge of every cigar. Though it burned strongly and evenly, with the ash hanging on until I decided it was time for it to go, once I did ash, I was forced to pull out the lighter to correct the burn. It was an imperfection, but one that is well worth enduring when I try a different size next time.

For those who enjoy the occasional drink with a cigar, a nice Bourbon or aged-Scotch would probably compliment this cigar very well without taking anything away from the enjoyment of the cigar itself. Beer drinkers may want to hold off as you may lose many of the flavors of the cigar, itself, and wine drinkers should put that glass aside as it would not likely make a very nice combination.

Would I recommend this cigar to my customers?

Definitely. This would be a great cigar for new and old cigar smokers, alike. It is very well priced at $4.25 a cigar and you owe it to yourself to try it.

Overall Rating- B
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