Something pretty damn awesome just arrived. Actually, I lie. Awesome stuff has been hitting the docks for months, and we’ve been selling the crap out of this new, totally awesome stuff ever since it took residence in our massive warehouse humidor. Our inventory levels are growing with each waking day. I think we’re up to about 80 million cigars as of today....no joke. Anyway, back to the really awesome thing that just arrived today. It’s awesome, and I remember burning it right off the roller’s tables in Nicaragua about 7 months ago. And since I haven’t written a review since grandma was a girl, it’s high time for me to actually do some work and fill you in.
5 Vegas High Primings. 5 Vegas Awesome High Primings, actually. In case you don’t know, I’m a 5 Vegas freak. I love just about everything this fan-favorite brand dishes out....and practically every blend is a regular in my standard rotation. However, I’ve been especially digging the brand’s more full-flavored varieties: Triple-A, Cask-Strength, and the new, soon-to-be-released-at-CIGARfest-2012 Limitada 2012 Belicoso. I’ve also been reaching for Series ‘A’ a lot lately (if this fantastic blend fell off your radar, grab a few....the latest batch is....well, awesome). Back to High Primings. This thing is full-throttle to the bone – by design. It’s rich, heady, chewy and delivers gobs of satisfying flavors unlike any I’ve ever experienced from a 5 Vegas cigar, let alone any other cigar.
Before I talk about the smoke, here’s the gory details. The concept behind 5 Vegas High Primings is simple. Every tobacco leaf in the cigar is cultivated from the plant’s highest priming. The top leaves, which receive the most sunlight and, in turn, nutrients, producing a thicker, darker, oilier and ultimately more flavorful piece of tobacco packed with ample strength. In other words, ligeros. Tasty, tasty ligeros grown from Cuban seeds in Esteli, Nicaragua and the Dominican’s famed Cibao Valley. Even the wrapper leaf is ligero. A dark, Nicaraguan Habano ligero wrapper grown in full sun from seedling to cultivation. While the concept is simple, the execution took over a year to master. Producing a strong cigar with a lot of flavor is simple. Hell, the simple-minded gringo writing this review could probably do it. But perfecting a strong cigar with a truckload of flavor delivered in smooth, balanced fashion requires a tremendous amount of skill and know-how. Fortunately, 5 Vegas has a wealth of the latter.
Now let’s discuss the cigar. It’s dark, oily and has a luxuriously rich, barnyard pre-light aroma with spicy-sweet notes. The cigar sits heavy in the hand without a soft spot from head to toe. I’ve got the Toro, my favorite size, and the cap has been clipped to offer a perfect draw releasing some gentle spices on the front of my palate. At first light my taste buds get smacked with a feisty series of spices and dark tobacco flavors. A generous opening which fades quickly, pushing the spices to the backend of each smoke-filled puff. Damn, this cigar is chewy. Rich, chewy, Nicaraguan flavors dominate. A dense core of coffee, earth and cream with a zesty, somewhat toasty aroma. The long finish lasts longer than my breaks between draws, with spices teasing the front and both sides of my palate. Midway through I begin to pick up some softer, somewhat sweet notes. It’s a nutty flavor....I want to say toasted almond, but I’m not 100% sure. Either way, it’s a great change of pace and adds to the underlying complexity of the cigar. Then, out of nowhere, a touch of dark chocolate and black cherry enters the fray. I don’t remember this from my experience in Nicaragua, but it’s damn good and somehow marries with the deep core of dark, roasted flavors and lingering spices perfectly. During the final third I notice the strength has become significantly stronger since first light. Not head-spinning strong, but I no doubt feel this chewy smoke in my gut. That’s good stuff right there. As expected, the spices build along with the strength as I approach the final quarter. A signature move for most full-bodied cigars, but something that never gets old. Especially when done right. And with that, my 5 Vegas High Primings Toro has come to an end, as does my review, and I can go back to doing nothing – and burning another one while I do it.