When word got out about a new, maduro version of the top-selling 5 Vegas Gold, I instantly grew nervous. The Connecticut-wrapped Gold Series is the golden goose of the 5 Vegas line, a mellow but flavorful stud that outsells bigger name brands like Macanudo and Ashton. You don’t want to mess with that kind of success. However, I soon learned that 5 Vegas Gold Maduro would be sporting my beloved Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, making me eager to sample the blend. A mild-bodied cigar using this thick and chewy leaf as a blanket? This could be good....damn good.
I was in Nicaragua a couple weeks ago and had the pleasure of sampling the new 5 Vegas Gold Maduro right off the rolling tables of Nestor Plasencia’s massive Segovia factory. This factory is gorgeous. A massive operation full of top rollers crafting some of the industry’s biggest brands, an endless tobacco inventory with countless varieties, a beautiful central courtyard with a 10-foot fountain, and a labyrinth of hallways leading to various bodegas, aging rooms, storage rooms, and even a separate rolling floor and team of torcedores specifically made for the 5 Vegas brand.
But I digress, back to the cigar. Upon first glance, this cigar is dark as night with a thick, toothy wrapper glistening with natural oils. No doubt, this PA Broadleaf wrapper is legit. Each cigar is well-packed and feels heavy in the hand with not a single soft spot to be found. There’s a slight barnyard aroma when smelling the foot, and a touch of sweet tobacco on the nose.
The cigar opens with a warm, toasty bouquet and charcoal-like aroma. The smoke is thick and heavy on the palate, coating my taste buds with a silky, chewy feel. White pepper finishes the first few puffs and is more prominent through the nose. Had I not known that this cigar was mild to medium in body, I might have assumed I was in store for a medium to full or full-bodied ride. After the initial few puffs, the rich maduro wrapper takes over, taming the aged Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers within. The bouquet is soon dominated by meaty notes of coffee and dark tobacco, while the smoke leaves my palate in butter-smooth fashion with each exhale. Yeah, this is nice. A supremely rich and toasty bouquet deep in dark, maduro flavors without the kick. Midway through and I’m still enjoying rich notes of coffee. The white ash is perfectly straight, no flakes, and seems to be holding on with both hands. I tapped it off to produce a lovely cone at the foot of the cigar. A subtle sweetness now enters the fray, as the filler leaves mellow further into a rich, smooth array of sophisticated flavors, letting the thick broadleaf wrapper take control. This sweetness becomes somewhat oaky in the final third and remains a major player til the end. Coffee, toast, oak, dark tobacco, and sweet notes....while never leaving the mild to medium-bodied realm. Lots of flavor, no oomph, and my temptations caused me to light another right when the first was finished.
Since returning to Pennsylvania I’ve burned through at least two dozen of these cigars, and handed out equally as many at a BBQ last weekend - I think I made a few new friends.
If you are primarily enjoy mild-bodied cigars with Connecticut wrappers - or, if you are hesitant to try anything darker than Connecticut-seed - I urge you to try this cigar. It truly shows that darker does not mean stronger, and is a perfect gateway to bigger, bolder flavor profiles without going up in strength. Additionally, if you're a fan of Macanudo Maduro, Ashton Maduro, Gurkha Doble Maduro....while those are all great cigars, I think this may become a new favorite.