What a whirlwind the holiday season can be! I’ve hardly had time to think, let alone write a review. So I was pleased to finally sit down with a cigar I’ve been saving; the 5 Vegas Cask Strength Torpedo. The wrapper note revealed a mild cocoa scent, presented in an attractive maroon and gold label with white trim. The label has a bit of the flash and yes, even the cheesiness, of Vegas.
I was delighted to see that they’d taken the time to wrap their six inch, 52 ring gauge, box cut torpedo in a solid triple cap. It was constructed with small veins and no seams in the reddish Nicaraguan Connecticut-shaded wrapper, so dark it almost suggested the light side of maduro. I guessed by the look and scent that it was a Corojo; it turns out that I was right. Maybe I’m getting to know my way around a good smoke after all this time! I understand that it is made with a combination of well-aged, mostly-Nicaraguan and Honduran ligeros. It cut easily in a V cut with our tabletop cigar cutter from Famous Smoke.
“Cask strength” is a reference to Scotch whiskey (and yes, I enjoy Scotches too; in particular I love the peaty stuff, blends from the Isle of Skye and the like). Cask strength whisky is undiluted, with a high alcohol content and ample, full-bodied flavour. Would the Cask Strength live up to its name?
The room note on toasting the cigar was primarily of nutmeg and maybe clove or cinnamon, which I found difficult to differentiate because it was a subtle undertone to what was otherwise a very powerful scent. I also smelled cedar rather strongly, but since I lit the cigar with a cedar spill, I can’t say for certain if the scent came from the cigar. The first few draws were very much in the same vein with a strong undertone of toast. For about the first twenty minutes it tasted a bit like Yuletide; pie spices and cedar and oak. Delicious!
As the cigar progressed, I found more shades of Yuletide in that the strongly flavoured (and full-bodied) cigar offered up elements of molasses, hot chocolate, and something floral. When I sat down to write this review and compared my notes, I could see that other reviewers had not noticed these things, citing a much more “manly” cigar that should evoke images of John Wayne staring down a couple of gunfighters. This is not what I experienced, and I wonder if the difference is due to the extensive aging I have engaged in? I’ve been trying to smoke one sampler set at a time, so that I can review the set as a whole, and thus the 5 Vegas cigars have been resting comfortably in my humidor, blending flavours, for almost two years now. Perhaps this mellowed what might otherwise have been a very sharp-set cigar. I think I could have comfortably enjoyed this paired with a Yuletide cocoa (which, of course, contains a shnort of brandy or rum to add “flavour” to the cocoa.)
About 45 minutes in the cigar began to take on more of those sharper flavours, however; a touch of smokey wood, just like a good Scotch; cedar still, toast, and earthiness. Works for me; it had transformed into the drinks of the Yuletide evening. I think I’d accompany it with some “special coffee” at this point, or maybe Scotch or even rye. By this point I was having some difficulty with the draw. I’m a lazy cigar smoker; I don’t want to work at it because I hold the smoke in my mouth and have no interest in inhaling. So I clipped off the end with the guillotine function of the tabletop cutter, and that solved the problem nicely. It lasted another half hour after that, with its last gasps being of, I kid you not, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. When it finally went out, leaving nothing but a stub, I felt it owed me nothing. I found, however, that just like when you indulge in too much tasty Christmas cheer, I was surprisingly woozy when I stood up! Definitely a full bodied cigar with lots of Vitamin N, so not at all for the beginner.
I really enjoyed this one! And with such an excellent profile, and no construction issues whatsoever, I must give it an enthusiastic:
I got mine in a random sampler from Holt’s Cigar Company. Unfortunately I can’t find anyone who’s selling the Torpedo variation of this lovely smoke right now. But they’re having a sale on the Gordo and Toro variants at Cigars International, where a five pack of the Toros will run you a friendly $30 USD.
Happy Holidays everyone! That’s a lady’s perspective!