Welcome to Miami. Or more specifically, welcome to 5 Vegas Miami. If you’re a regular around these parts, you’re probably quite familiar with that name. But here’s my big, ironic surprise: 5 Vegas Miami is now actually made in Miami….right here in the good ol’ USA. The blend is better yet the price remained the same, an inconceivable outcome considering the drastically different economics of making a cigar in America versus Nicaragua. Don’t take my word, the proof is within every box. Just prepare to be impressed.
The new and improved 5 Vegas Miami is handcrafted in Miami, USA at Gran Habano’s factory in Miami’s cigar center, Calle Ocho. Outdoing the original blend seemed impossible, but owner and master blender George Rico succeeded with ease. Utilizing a vintage, Cuban-seed blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers and an oily and golden brown Habano Ecuador wrapper, this Miami-made beauty delivers a quintessentially Cuban-esque profile that’s layered with notes of pepper, earth, nuts, and a toasty-sweet finish. It’s bold, but perfectly balanced and brimming with flavor. My advice: smoke it slow and take it all in. Legally, this might be as close as you’ll get to that island’s forbidden wares. Keeping all the jobs and business in the USA is just icing on the cake.
“I recently finished up my usual afternoon nine hole walkabout on my favorite local golf course with another one of favorite golf companions--a premium stogie. This time it was the 5 Vegas Miami "shaggy toro." It was the last of a ten-pack that I purchased a while back. This bad boy had been napping in my humidor for some four or five years, and I finally broke down and fired it up. IT WAS AWESOME! It aged really well, perfect burn, great taste that lasted a good hour and a half. I hope you bring these back! Soon!”
JL of Boca Grande, FL
“I bought some of these a while back (summer 2013), shortly after they were discontinued, or so I thought. I see that they are bringing them back out, to which I must give a hearty "SWEEEEET", "YESSSS", or "YIPPPEEE"!!!!! The first one that I smoked shortly after arrival was full of flavor, very robust, nice draw, and burned perfectly. It was right up the alley of cigars that I tend to gravitate towards. I am thoroughly excited to try the new blend as I have heard rumors that they are even better than before. How can it be? Dunno, but I'm game.
The others that I bought I let rest in the humi so that I could savor them as I though they would not return. They only got better. Thus this leads me to be even more excited that they have returned. Think of some of the other great cigars that have rolled out of Miami in recent years and I will honestly say that this cigars can hold its own against them.
As soon as the torpedoes are available by the box, I will have an order placed, no hesitation.”
SW of New Albany, IN
“They totally change character with some aging. I have recently tried over 100 different cigars from CI and noting what I thought about them. as to these I first made notes that they were "peppery, not rich or dark enough, just OK at the end" but 2 or 3 cigars later, after they aged for months, I made notes that they were "complex, dark and good" to finally noting months later that they were "great if aged and the last half was especially great." I have not yet tried the new made in Miami version, but if they are the same or better they will work as a change of pace cigar (from Cain Maduro and Diesel Unholy) for me.”
WD of MIAMI, FL
“I understand all the fuss over the 5 Vegas Miami, as I have enjoyed them for years in the dark blue and gold band, but despite all the recent fuss over the remake of this cigar in the USA, I have to say that I was disappointed. This is not the same cigar in my opinion. This recent rendition lacked much of the vigor and richness of the older version, and the 5 pack sample I bought had issues with wrapper quality, looking mottled, with color variation, and dullness which the previous version never did. Burn in both of the stogies I smoked was inconsistent also. I can't say that I did not enjoy the new cigar to some degree, but if you are a long term fan, don't be surprised to be let down a bit. Amen, 50ft. Jesus
RR of San Diego, CA
“"Quoth the raven, never more" was very disappointed with the new 5 Vegas Miami, it is not the same cigar, the rolling was off in some of the ten pack I purchased and the coloration too, it's such a shame that such a good cigar was discontinued, to come back as a mock. The taste was also different and the notes too, thank God I had some of the old 5 Vegas Miami Churchill's to compare them to and really notice the difference between the two. 5 Vegas please bring back the old five Vegas Miami, it feels like I have lost a loved one, really! And the new ring design does not do it justice.”
“"By Far the best american made yet" Smokes great start to finish even burn. Taste great flavor are on point not over bearing but strong enough to enjoy. 71 minute smoke. Needs one week in good humidor, however, it can be smoked right out of wrapper just slight flavor difference. 1. 5 Vegas Miami 2. Man of War Amada. Can't go wrong. Must have. The Man!”
CJ of PHENIX CITY, AL
“Definitely box worthy! Signature george rico flavors but a little spicier and becoming more complex in the second half. All the while producing tons of smoke from a straight burn and easy draw. Flavor and strength are right on balance but for me it was in the finish. This blend is delicious!”
CB of Saint Petersburg, FL
“Great smoke, nice blend of flavors and taste. Texas humidity didn't effect the experience at all haha.”
SO of Richmond, TX
BS of san antonio, TX
“I have smoked many of these bad boys but its been quite a while. After hearing of the new changes I ordered a 5 pack hesitantly. Right out of the shipping box I fired the Toro Gordo up and pow! My wife came out and asked if I wanted to make love and I told her to go away, this thing is that good! Seriously though the changes are good, I don't know if I've forgotten how good this was or if the changes made it even better but if you want a hearty, spicey, peppery smoke that tastes almost like a steak, this is it! I will be buying many more. And the burn is great and the draw, fantastic. Buy it!”
DG of JACKSON, OH
“6.1 x 52 Torpedo reviewed...to me it's just an average smoke. Burns well, but not much taste. Bitter, dry straight tobacco. Not much complexity. Might be an acceptable yard gar...”
RA of MESA, AZ
“It's a decent cigar, got it in my cigar of the month pack. Very full flavored, too much for me. It's very peppery and spicy. It will be great for those friends that like a full flavored cigar. They'll thinkin generous.”
GD of groton, CT
“Picked up a box of the Toro Gordo's recently and couldn't be happier.”
GH of Chino Hills, CA
“Wow! Real smooth smoke with an even burn! Great for after dinner or just a relaxing hour of bliss!”
RA of Forney, TX
“Tried the 60-ring beast with about a week in the humidor, was not impressed. Threw them back in the in the humidor and let 8 months pass .... WOW am I glad I waited. When I am lookimg for a big cigar to toke on, this will be my go to. Another great cigar from Cinco Vegas :)”
DH of Calexico, CA
“Just lit one one these up a couple days ago and must say the aroma was exactly what a cigar should smell like. The flavor was a little strong for me, but perhaps it just needed to sit in the humi a while longer (only had it for about a week and a half). I believe I will try another and let it sit a while longer.”
BS of Moore, SC
“Decent draw, even burn, is a medium to full flavor cigar. Starts out without anything special, but quickly settles down to a decent smoke. Not my favorite; however, after smoking numerous other brands I have come to really appreciate this cigar so much I ordered some 5 Vegas Gold Maduros.”
CIGARfest 2014. It literally happened a month ago. Amongst the madness, this fabled event was utilized by the fine folks at 5 Vegas as the official launch party for their new 5 Vegas Miami. I spent some time in the 5 Vegas booth at CIGARfest. I rubbed elbows with some of the attendees. I saw some instances of disappointment, as some attendees realized the latest 5 Vegas Limitada (TENTH) was not the featured cigar, as is the tradition with every CIGARfest. But I saw many of them return with wide, toothy grins only to dish out positive feedback on 5 Vegas Miami.
So what’s this cigar all about? First off, it’s back in Miami. Each size is carefully handmade by George Rico on ‘Calle Ocho’ (8th Street) in the cigar-making heart of Miami, Florida. The blend is impressive – a well-aged blend of bold Nicaraguan long-fillers skillfully combined inside a hearty Ecuador Habano wrapper. Aesthetically, every cigar is perfect. Golden brown in color, glistening with oils, and smooth to the touch. I’ve had a few dozen since CIGARfest, and must say, construction has been flawless. I’ve only had Toros, but each and every one has been jam-packed with tobacco, free from soft spots, sits heavy in the hand, and burns slowly and evenly with a perfect draw. Then again, you’d expect nothing less from George (aka Spider, aka Pitbull) Rico.
So what does made in America mean? Normally, either extremely high prices for superior, well-made cigars, or extremely low prices for short-fill yard burners. What Senor Rico has been able to do at G.R. Tabacaleras Co. Miami, with 5 Vegas Miami, is something of an anomaly. This small-batch creation is super-premium to the core, with a per-cigar-price that’s approachable, if not inviting. ‘Merca, where dreams come true.
I’ve already said each cigar performed extremely well when it came to construction, combustion, etc. What I’ve yet to discuss is the flavor. Will this cigar taste like the Cuban Montecristo No. 2 you think you had? Thankfully, no. America, let alone Miami, doesn’t do that. Blending does, and Mr. Rico is quite good at crafting expertly made morsels with a tasty (if not familiar) twang.
From memory, 5 Vegas Miami is rustic in nature, offering a smooth bouquet loaded with earth, white pepper, and raw tobacco. To confirm my memory, I lit another up about 5 minutes ago, and she’s just as expected. A rich and toasty opening, with an earthy finish and dusting of white pepper – with even more through the nose. A third of the way in the tobaccos are warm and the oils begin to run through the barrel of the cigar, releasing a big, toasty, somewhat zesty aroma, while hints of leather and peanut begin hitting the front and sides of my palate.
The middle third is just plain tasty. A well balanced bouquet of earth and leather with a touch of peanut followed by a long, toasty finish complemented by white pepper. In fact, if you enjoy some of Pepin’s earlier offerings, you will likely enjoy this cigar, especially if you’re looking for balanced flavor over spice and strength. Despite the powerful tobaccos at play, and the underlying complexity of the bouquet, at no point does this cigar overwhelm you, or force your taste buds to focus on one flavor. Instead, these flavors smother your taste buds and soothe them with each puff.
The final third is sweeter than normal. Not a sugary-sweetness, mind you, but a gentle sweetness on the lips and tip of the tongue, much like you’d receive from a well-fermented broadleaf maduro wrapper. This sweetness pairs perfectly with the toasty profile, and is one of the primary reasons I tend to light a second Miami shortly after my final puff. I wait for this sweetness, and it never fails to disappoint.
There it is. 5 Vegas Miami. Handmade in America and delivered to your door at third world prices. It ain’t Cuban. It doesn’t try to be Cuban. But it’s a damn good cigar that promises – and delivers – a delicious experience every time you pull one from the box or humidor. Guaranteed, by the Pitbull.