Wrapper: Broadleaf Maduro
Filler: Cuban-seed Nicaraguan
Size: Toro (6x52)
The 5 Vegas Cask Strength is near the top-of-the-line for 5 Vegas Cigars. The Cask Strength is available only in a box pressed toro that measures 6x52. The stick I'm smoking appears quite nice with the box press. There are no big veins. It does feel, however, a bit soft and spongy. Opening up the head with much punch reviels a very easy pre-light draw that had a certain chocolate flavor to it that reminded me of browny batter--you know, the stuff your mom let you eat off the beaters. With such a light draw, though, I was no longer surprised that the cigar was so soft. I would definitely say it's a bit under packed. The cap also did not much care for my punch and began to unravel immediately (yes, it's sharp, it's only 2 weeks old)
Toasting and firing up the foot immediate shows off this is going to be a smokey stick. I like cigars with a lot of smoke to them, so I'm already pretty happy with the Cask Strength. While there is a lot of smoke being produced, the flavors are quite mild featuring wood and cocoa. The retrohale shows of cedar. A LOT of cedar. In fact, at this point it's too much for my sinuses. It does, however, help produce a bit of a dry grass flavor as well. Other than the eye-burning retro, this is still a mild cigar.
The ash falls on its own just before the start of the second third. With that I got a huge shot of coffee. It was actually quite a welcomed surprise. That coffee shot mellows outs some and is joined by an earthy-wood flavor. As I smoked through the second third, the coffee notes continued to decrease and were replaced with a good creaminess--imagine if all the espresso floated on top of your latte, it's kinda like that. The flavors are slowly becoming more and more pronounced. There is now a bit of a cinnamon spice found in the retro, which is slowly becoming less harsh. Again, the ash falls on its own right at the end of the third.
The final third of the 5 Vegas Cask Strength brings a cacophony of flavors. The coffee flavors from the second third are completely gone at this point and replaced by a nice creaminess. That cream carries along some herbal spice notes that seemed to vary with each puff--I couldn't quite nail them down. Finally some leather starts to build up, and this leather is much more pronounced in the retrohale--which is easily managed at this point, and not nearly as harsh. Partway through the last third, the leather begins to subside and make way for a full-flavored cedar finish.
It was a long wait for the last third of this cigar, which was the part I enjoyed the most. This is a great cigar, IMO, if you're new to cigars and looking to experience a variety of flavors and strengths all in one stick. The burn was clean and straight for the whole cigar, which was nice. I wasn't expecting that with some of the build problems I was seeing (softness of the stick and the cap problems with the punch). In the end, the 5 Vegas Cask Strength really left me wanting for another cigar. Suffice it to say this might make for a good appetizer...