Saturday, April 30, 2011

5 Vegas Triple A revisited

About a year ago I got my hands on two 5 Vegas Triple A cigars and was not impressed by the first one. It seemed harsh and bitter.

However after a 11 months of humidor rest, I took out the second one and can only say: Wow! Other reviewers are right: This is a deep, delicious, full-bodied smoke with a straightforward maduro flavor about as rich as they come. What lacks in nuance and development (there is none) is made up for in volume and cool strength. The Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper is a winner and makes the Triple A completely different than the "Standard" 5 Vegas Series A.

If you have liked the flavor of the standard Series A but wished it just had more depth and power, the Triple A may please you very much. I am tempted to buy a box of these as a "go to" cigar.

The Triple A  reminded me of some of the better Cu-Avana Intenso robustos I've had (Intensos are not always good, but some of them are excellent). Also reminded me of Pepin JJ maduros, La Flor Dominicana Grand Maduro #6, and Montecristo Media Noche.

Here's the good part: The 5 Vegas Triple A tastes better than all those cigars.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5 Vegas Limitada 2009 - Respectable

I give a respectful nod to the 5 Vegas Limitada 2009, a medium-bodied belicoso (6.2 x 52) with some gentle, understated flavor suggestions of nutmeg, vanilla, and pepper. I expected a little more lushness at its price (box of 25 for $200 at Cigars International). However it draws well, burns perfectly, and looks fantastic.

It is obviously a well-constructed cigar. The subtle flavors start to come through during the middle and play out to the end. A gentle ride that gains in intensity, never venturing past medium strength.

If you like mild Ashtons, Montecristos, etc, the 5 Vegas 09 will probably make your taste buds sizzle. I found it bit mild for a corojo-wrapped cigar. The Limitada from a few years back - 2006 - was much fuller and exciting, and the 5-Vegas Miami line remains so, along of course with the knee-knocking 5-Vegas Cask Strength.

Though not the richest dessert in the store, the Limitada 09 is an interesting blend that deserves a try. Do not be discouraged by the awfulness of the standard 5-Vegas "Classic" cigars. The other 5 Vegas blends are all worth trying, and the Limitada 09 is no exception.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Your brain on "Acid"

I've tried several Acid cigars, and in a nutshell: Either you like Drew Estate's unique flavor (resulting from curing in a "secret mixture of oils and herbs") or you don't. All the Acids I've tried share a similar but interesting flavor - I don't think he varies the curing - it's all the same formula from what I can tell.

That being said, I do enjoy that "secret blend" on occasion. I don't enjoy the fact that he often adds a flavored tincture to the head of his cigars - which smacks of Swisher Sweets - and in my book a cigar should stand on its own, no silly gimmicks. Short reviews:

Acid Liquid: I've smoked several of these and they tend to have a pleasingly open draw and nice flavor, on the mild side and getting stronger as you smoke. Again, either you like the oils and spices or you don't. A straightforward cigar with no sugar painted on the head.

Acid Blondie: Tastes like a miniature Liquid, but a tighter draw and milder at first. The tip is flavored (yuck!) but the smoke tastes good. This is a narrow, 4-inch long cigar which bored me at first but became wonderfully thick and flavorful in the last 2 inches. I wished it would go on. I managed to get nearly 40 minutes out of it by nubbing.

Acid "Juicy Lucy" - the flavored tip wiped out any possibility of actually tasting the smoke in this itsy-bitsy cigar. I've heard it's good. Good luck tasting anything but sugar.

Java robusto by Drew Estate and Rocky Patel - Not really an "Acid" blend, I guess, but a cousin of the family. Again, the flavored tip ruined this for me. I could sense the smoke had some nice coffee flavor lurking forlornly beneath - but my tongue had fake honey all over it, so I could only surmise.

Acid Opulence 3 robusto - not exactly as "rich and chewy" as the blurb at Cigars International would indicate. It's a dark-black bomber that is surprisingly mild and rather high priced. Again, that pesky flavored tip ruins everything. Get rid of it please, Mr. Drew!

Acid Ltd. Def Sea (6.0" x 52) - a nicely rolled torpedo which tastes- guess what - almost exactly like the Acid Liquid but a bit more refined. No sugar on the tip - so this actually tastes like a real cigar.

Summary: If you're in the mood for an Acid (think: cigar meets incense) almost any of them will do. I prefer the Liquid and Def Sea because they aren't painted with sugar tips.