Cigar Review

by Steve Rowbottom

5 Vegas Limitada 2019  



Honduras                   6.0” x 50                    Medium                93-Rated

I always look forward to this annual release. The 2019 variety is blended with aged ligeros from the Dominican and Nicaragua bound by a genuine Cameroon leaf. A chestnut-brown Nicaraguan wrapper completes the cigar. I find this handmade to be medium in body, but rich and smooth throughout. I get notes of espresso bean and oak up front and sweet cedar on the finish. Now and then a peanut-like flavor from the Cameroon binder shines through. The finale has a dash of pepper, completing a complex yet soothing cigar fit for anytime enjoyment.

CAO Flathead V19  



Nicaragua                       5.5” x 50                      Full             94-Rated

Dark and oily. Solid from head to toe. Heavy in the hand. CAO Flathead V19 is a dense handmade with a luxurious, barnyard pre-light aroma. Well-aged long-fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican reside within a Connecticut Habano binder, which is then hugged by a dark chocolate brown Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. I find this to be CAO’s fullest and most flavorful blend to date. Rich, dense smoke offers notes of leather and earth, while a semi-sweet molasses lingers on the aftertaste. I enjoy this cigar after a big feast from the grill.

Diesel Whiskey Row Sherry Cask  


Nicaragua                   6.0” x 58                     Medium                       92-Rated

A dark, toothy Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper conceals a vintage blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers secured by a feisty Arapiraca binder from Brazil. The binder, which has been patiently aged in oak sherry casks, lends layers of flavor to an already complex bouquet. Sweet cedar and bittersweet chocolate mingles with pepper and a unique, stone fruit nuance on the finish. A satisfying and eventful profile, that’s smooth, medium in body and would pair extremely well with a bold red wine, port or aged bourbon.


Tatuaje Mexican Experiment II  | Belicoso
Nicaragua                    5.0” x 52                       Full                         94-Rated

Big, heavy in the hand, dark and oily, solid from head to toe and softly box-pressed. That’s the look and feel of this 60-ring Man O’ War. From the get-go, the flavor is bold and pronounced. An earthy spice blasts the front of the palate, while each puff pumps out thick, pillowy clouds of gray, aromatic smoke above. The spice mellows after an inch, giving way to notes of leather and oak that linger long on the aftertaste. Midway through, the cigar grows more powerful down to the nub, with satisfying spices returning just before the end. A complex and eventful cigar.


Zino Platinum Scepter Series  | Grand Master
Nicaragua                     5.5” x 52                           Mellow                      93-Rated

To me, a good cigar is something I can light up, enjoy and not think about. If I’m thinking, something is off. With the Scepter Series, everything is on. Every Grand Master I’ve ever had has been perfectly soothing and smooth. I find it elegant, displaying subtle hints of coffee and cream with a touch of nougat and nuts. The smoke is velvety, forming thick clouds of white smoke and a sweet, cedar aroma. Few cigars pair as well with coffee than this Connecticut-wrapped, Dominican and Peruvian-filled premium.

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