Sunday, October 18, 2009

5 Vegas Miami Churchill: Best of the Bunch

Of all the 5 Vegas Miami sizes, the narrow (48 ring) Churchill is the best. It has a perfect draw (easy but not loose), a pleasing aroma, and excellent medium-strength favor from beginning to end.

In my experience most Churchills, especially the thicker-ringed ones, waste the first inch warming up. You might as well buy yourself a Toro and save yourself the wait. I've had better luck with 48-ring Churchills, which are easier to light and tend to bring on the flavor right away.

Case in point is the 5 Vegas Miami, whose Churchill offers a wonderful combination of woody, spicy flavors - a nice warm broth which gets slightly stronger as you smoke away the inches. High performance and no bitterness to the very end - another outstanding feature, since many Churchills tend to peter out with two or three inches to go.

You can tell I'm not a Churchill fan. Which goes to show just how special the 5 Vegas Churchill is. It won me over despite my preconceived notions.

If you have never tried a 5 Vegas Miami, start with the Churchills, which capture the best flavor characteristics of the other sizes and are superior in construction and burn. The Churchill stands up to other medium-strength Pepin Garcia blends, and is more affordable than most of them.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

RP I-Press: Earthy as it Gets

You never know what to expect with a Rocky. I figured the RP I-Press would be a subdued smoke due to its length and the fact that it is box-pressed.

Not so. This is a powerful maduro cigar with a strong flavor kick. Question is whether you will enjoy this particular flavor, which I would describe as deep, stark and earthy, and just on the border of souring into charcoal.

You may love this cigar or hate it, depending on your tolerance for peat, yard-leaf and the like. It has a coarse, middle-brow quality rather than one of refinement. If you are in a coal-shoveling, stoke-up-the-furnace kind of mood, it might just be what you're looking for.

Compares favorably to:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5 Vegas Cask Strength II

The naming convention of this cigar is accurate: The 5 Vegas Cask Strength II is a rollicking, heavy cigar which I would describe as relentlessly strong and gravelly. What it lacks (slightly) in the flavor department, it makes up for in full-body mouth feel and hazmat-grade cloud production. It is simply a pleasure once in a while to smoke a cigar this bombastic.

This cigar is intense and unvarying from beginning to end. By the last inch, it was almost too much. I love strength and it takes a lot to humble me. By the end, I was relieved to put it down, like a kid getting off a carnival ride that turned out out to be a bit more than he reckoned for.

That's not to say I didn't like this cigar. It was wonderful on its own rough-hewn terms. You will probably find something to like about the Cask Strength II if you have enjoyed any of the following:
I like some of these cigars more than others (especially the Graycliffs) but they all share body and flavor characteristics that I found to some degree in the Cask Strength II.

Happy trails. Don't be surprised if this horse kicks you in the ass.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

5 Vegas Relic - Fairly Classy and Worth a Try

The 5 Vegas Relic is a well-constructed dark brown perfecto of medium-to-full strength that performs and tastes considerably better than the 5 Vegas "A" series... and is light years beyond the crappy "classic" blend. It burns with a musky fullness and tones of pepper and maple, putting it on the spectrum between the 5 Vegas Miami line and the stronger, coarser Cask Strength II series.

Something tells me the Relic is not going to be a gangbusters, bid-to-the-stratosphere hit, but a solidly respectable smoke whose price may relax a bit in the months ahead. If you want extra flavor, choose the Miami. If you want sand-blasting strength, choose the Cask Strength II.

I myself prefer the Miami, but the Relic is almost as good, and is priced appropriately in the $100/box range. You get what you pay for - a decent but not miraculous five-dollar cigar.

Just remember to stay away from the "classics"... they stink. Cigars International should stop misrepresenting them with rave blurbs written 6 years ago.