Oliva Master Blends 3 Robusto
New Camera this week, and a loonnnggg overdue review. Oliva’s Master Blend 3 Robusto.
Again, I am using a 1 day old camera, and I have no idea how to use this thing properly yet, so you will have to excuse the crappy pictures. This is a cigar that I have smoked the crap out of in the last few years, yet I never got around to reviewing it. In fact, one of our very own readers Jeff even sent me one cause he “noticed we didn’t have a review up”. Point taken sir, and here is your review.
The Good Stuff: Oliva’s Master Blend Series is the third installment in the Liga Maestra or “Master Blend” Limited Edition Series. I smoked the 2nd cigar in the series, but wasn’t lucky enough to get my hands on the Master Blends 1, which I hear is an absolutely amazing stick. There isn’t a whole lot out there as to why this cigar was created, other than it was specifically blended to deliver the richest characteristics of Nicaraguan ligero fillers and broadleaf sun-grown wrappers. Clear and simply put, a showcase of what Oliva can do. These run about $9.50 a stick.
Size: 5 x50 – Wrapper: Connecticut Sun Grown Broadleaf – Binder: Nicaraguan Habano – Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero
Prelight: Oliva has always carried with it a great value, without skimping out on quality and construction. The Master blends series is a perfect example of the paramount quality we have a grown to expect from the factory. Starting with the semi-box pressed, almost oval, wide body leading up through the dark chocolate, darker spotted body, up to the round, seamless double cap you can see exactly what I mean by the flawless construction. Ian Hummel from Regional Sales Manager for Oliva (@OlivaIan) actually noted “the “almost box press or oval” shape you are referring to on the MB3 is what we call “flat press” in the factory.” Flat press eh? I REALLY wish more lines carried this format. It has to be one of my favorite shapes of all time. The wrapper is real tough and toothy giving off a hell of a lot of shine from the oils. The composure of the cigar is really hard and barely has any give when I squeeze it. There are almost no visible veins throughout the entire body of the cigar. The band on the Master Bends series is remarkable in design. Tobacco Fields, golden “3” crest, “Oliva Family MB” logo, Portraits, more crests, and even a nice gold embossed back band, this cigar band has it all. The wrapper on the Oliva Master Blends 3 gives of a really sweet, strong cedar and nutmeg smell. You don’t even have to hold the cigar too close to your nose to pick it up. The foot has much of the same cedar and nutmeg along with a really strong spice that actually tingled my nose a bit as a took a big whiff.
Oliva’s Master Blends 3 cut clean and easy as hell using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw produces this absolutely awesome sugar cookie, cedar, spice mashup. If this is any tell as to the flavor of the cigar then I am in for a real treat.
First Smoke: I really love the format of this cigar. It feels so confortable in hand. The Master Blends 3 starts out with just a tiny, little pepper kick before fading right away and leaving behind a very powerful cedar, sweet tobacco, cinnamon, and even some of the sugar cookie I picked up in the cold draw. The draw on this Master Blends is right where I would want it to be. It takes a few puffs and then my mouth is full of this super thick, lingering smoke. The burnline on this cigar is razor sharp with some very small waves, leaving behind this awesome looking, tight, white and light grey zebra-striped ash. I was about to take a picture of just how awesome the first inch of ash looked when I realized that the flash on my new camera likes to pop open whenever it feels like, shooting the ash into my face. Alas, you guys will have to deal with whatever I give you. Sorry!
Halfway There: Ahh, that wasn’t too bad I hope. I am still playing around with this thing and trying to develop a new scheme for my photos. The ashtray pics just don’t do the cigar justice anymore. Anyways. We are now in the second third of this Oliva Master Blends 3 and what an nice experience this has turned out to be. The flavors are still this dominant cedar, sugar cookie with some nice cinnamon and even some creamed coffee coming in now complimenting the nutmeg. Maybe it’s the cigar, maybe it’s the change of weather, but this cigar is something that would go great with some nice pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. The retrohale is really smooth coating with a very strong cedar flavor. I am feeling very little nicotine from this cigar at this point, if any at all. The burnline is still solid, and so is the ash, which says a lot considering just how windy it is outside right now.
Finish: I don’t know what kind of magic Oliva used on these bands but that huge thing slide right off without a hitch! Now rounding the corner on the final third of this Master Blends 3 and the flavors have, for the most part remained the same. The cedar is still the main storyteller and has actually became much sharper as the coffee and nutmeg have completely faded away leaving behind some subtle sugar cookie and cinnamon. The cigar is the epitome of winter in my house while my wife is baking. I am still only feeling very little nicotine, but there was absolutely no harshness even into the final inch of this cigar. It did start to burn a little hot into the nub, but a lot of that weighs heavily on the fact that I could not put this cigar down.
Overview: It’s obvious that I liked this cigar. I have always liked Oliva, and even more so considering the value of each of their lines. Producing high quality cigars and very low prices. The Master Blend series is their run at showing just how premium they can be. Although it’s one of their more expensive cigars, the Master Blend series is comfortably priced at a standard in which many other cigar manufacture’s base lines are priced at today. Well worth it. The great and complex flavors were a treat from the very beginning and continued to tell the Master Blend’s story through the very end. There wasn’t a lot of change-ups, but considering the flavors in the mix, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This is a perfect cigar for any novice trying to break though to the high-range area, or even the most seasoned cigar smoker looking for an all around solid stick. Every humidor should have a few of these cigars in it.
Pairing: Another Belgian beer Tony? Yes! And if I had my choice I would paid ALL MY CIGARS with Belgian beer. Hell, I’d pair everything I ever smoked, ate, or even drank with Belgian beer. Belgian beer paired with MORE Belgian beer? Now we’re talking! Although that’s far from true, Belgians have, and will always be my beer of choice. This week’s pairing is Van Steenberge’s Gulden Draak. I’ll go out on a limb and say that means “Golden Dragon” which is strange, given that the beer is actually an amber brown. Even more strange is the fact that this is classified as a Triple, yet the only resemblance to a triple is the 10.5% ABV. This beer is a very sweet, very smooth strong ale. It boasts creamy flavors such as orange, hops, caramel, cherry, and clove as it transcends into one of the smoothest stronger beers I have ever had. Needless to say, this was a perfect choice as it really accompanied the Oliva Master Blends 3’s sweetness, and nutmeg/cinnamon medley. This cigar would go PERFECT with some sort of sweet latte, and even a Bruin or strong brown ale.
Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn’t loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.