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Stogie Reviews: 5 Vegas Triple-A

2 Mar 2011

A.J. Fernandez, the subject of yesterday’s interview, is a prolific cigar maker who has crafted smokes for the likes of Rocky Patel, Padilla, Graycliff, and Gurkha. He also has a wonderful new solo project—San Lotano—and several limited distribution lines, including Man O’ War, Diesel, and 5 Vegas Triple-A.

The latter is not to be confused with the original 5 Vegas Series ‘A’, which sports a Costa Rican maduro wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and a three-country filler blend. For starters, it isn’t mentioned on 5 Vegas’ website. Second, the Triple-A is available in only one size: a robusto-sized smoke that measures five inches long with a ring gauge of 56. Third, while Series ‘A’ is marketed primarily as medium-bodied, Triple-A is described as a powerbomb.

With a recipe that includes Cuban-seed ligero tobaccos from Condega, Jalapa, and Estelí, that description sounds plausible enough to me. A quick examination of the Triple-A reinforces that perception. The Pennsylvania broadleaf maduro wrapper is incredibly dark, the feel is firm, and the potent pre-light notes smell of rich coffee.

Online descriptions of the Triple-A feature phrases like “earthy nuances,” “black pepper,” “oak and leather,” and “espresso and cocoa.” For the first few puffs I couldn’t really taste any of these. At the outset, the taste is so bold and overbearing that it’s difficult to pick out individual flavors. Not terribly enjoyable or interesting.

After the preliminary puffs, though, the profile settles considerably. Even though the body is still very full and the strength is still quite powerful, distinct flavors are now discernible, including a cocoa-like sweetness, dark espresso, spice, and charred meat. The overall effect is agreeable, albeit straightforward. Smoking slowly helps bring out fleeting notes of roasted nuts and cream. This is pretty much how it tastes until the nub.

While you may expect a ligero-laden cigar like the Triple-A to have combustion deficiencies, this robusto smokes like a champ. The burn line is straight, the draw is effortless, and the white ash holds tight for well over an inch.

I rarely reach for cigars that are so brash, opting instead for subtlety and balance over shear force. But enthusiasts in search of a reliable, full-bodied cigar that won’t break the bank would do well to pick up the 5 Vegas Triple-A, which retails for $5-7 online. That value helps this A.J. Fernandez creation earn three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: 5 Vegas Triple-A”

  1. Dave in Ashburn Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 4:24 am #

    Thanks for the review! I've been curious to give these a try as I find the regular A line decent as everyday smokes (especially when picked up through cbid). Looks like I can cross this one off the list as I'm not really in the market for "powerbombs."

  2. Bill C Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    This is one of my favorites. A.J. Fernandez did a great job on this. Best smoke I've found at this price, and better than many at much higher price. Suggest humidor time before smoking.