The 2005 5 Vegas Limitada looks very similar to the 2006 version, with bright veins and an otherwise smooth texture. It appears to be a bit darker and not quite as oily as the 2006, and the wrap at the head is finished a little bit better.
It is roughly the same size as the 2006: maybe a quarter of an inch longer but the same ring gauge. The bigger differences lie within: here the binder is Brazilian, instead of “cuban seed” (whatever that means) and the filler is Nicaraguan and Peruvian. Interesting that there is no Dominican leaf in the older 5 Vegas Limitada.
The roll is perfectly solid prior to lighting up, and the scent of the fresh wrapper is rich and earthy. The tip clips off neatly and the prelight draw is spot on, not too tight, not too loose. The unlit taste is earthy with a little sweetness to it.
The construction of this stick is every bit as good as the 2006 version. It holds a long gray ash and needs no maintenance whatsoever. The draw is perfect, the burn is straight, and it produces a wealth of smoke with each puff.
The 2005 Limitada is overall much milder than the 2006 production. It starts out very mild with an earthy base and a pleasantly sweet aroma. The smoke is very smooth and the finish short, almost nonexistent actually. While there’s very little strength at this point, it’s still tasty, but a light taste, like an hors d’oeuvre. To be honest I was a little dissapointed. I was expecting a meal, not a snack!
Luckily the transition that occurs at around the half-way point is the opposite of what I found with the 2006 — instead of bottoming out, the 2005 picks up speed. The earthy flavor takes on a little more character, a little more body, becoming creamier. Then notes of cedar begin to float above the earth and eventually overtake it. And finally, some spicier flavors, a dash of pepper added to the woody element.
The 2005 Belicoso never becomes a truly full bodied cigar, but it certainly develops from its very mild beginning into something close to medium. The transition here was very nice, and I’d be happy to keep a box of these around as a morning pick-me-up or a leisurely afternoon cigar. They would also make an elegant introduction to the world of premiums for the new cigar smoker. Sungrown Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf has a distinctive spice that most smokers appreciate, and all cigar fans should experience. The 5 Vegas Limitada 2005 is an excellent example of this because the relative mildness of the blend lets the wrapper shine through.
Unfortunately, the 2005 line is sold out. If you happen to have a few squirreled away, consider yourself lucky. If, like me, you’ve reduced your last 2005 Limitada to ashes, well… there’s always 2007 to look forward to.