Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2012
It is that time of the week again for my weekly review. Man, time flies by when you are smoking great cigars! As Tony mentioned in his latest review of the Tatuaje Petite Cazadores Reserva, Tony and I made a purchase from Atlantic Cigar Co. of a box of Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2012. They carry a vast selection of cigars and their site is extremely easy to navigate. While Tony had a personal customer service experience with them, this purchase was done completely online. Within a few days of placing the order, the cigars arrived at my door and to my surprise they threw in an Oliva Serie V Melanio Churchill and Oliva Atlantic Cigar 15th Aniversario Diadema! How cool is that? So, if you are unable to acquire the cigars you are on the lookout for from your local shop, check out Atlantic Cigar Co.
I have been a huge fan of Oliva cigars since I first started smoking. Between the price point, the excellent construction and wonderful flavor profiles, you just can’t seem to go wrong with most of their lines. The Oliva Cigar Family has been releasing a Maduro edition of their Serie V on an annual basis since 2008. This year’s production is limited to 5,000 boxes of 10 cigars. While we haven’t reviewed all of the years, you can find the 2008 and 2010 releases below:
Price: $85.00 Box of 10
Size: 6 by 50
Wrapper: Mexican – San Andres Maduro
Smoke Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
The band is almost identical to the regular Serie V band except for the word “Maduro” on the side, taking place of “Liga” in the regular Serie V line. The San Andres Maduro wrapper is quite appealing being coated with tons of oil. The deep brown wrapper is bumpy with a fine tooth and mainly small veins. However, there are two medium veins running on opposites sides of the cigar. As I check for soft spots, I can feel the oils on my fingers. The half closest to the foot is somewhat spongy and the foot is extremely soft.
Visually examining the foot, I am able to tell that it is somewhat under filled. The wrapper gives off a vinegar pungency with an underlying cocoa sweetness. The foot presents chocolate, earth, and a slight spice that is tickling my nose. The triple (maybe quadruple) cap has been neatly applied and clips clean. Unlike the foot, the head of the cigar is packed full but a beautiful draw is revealed with the least amount of resistance.
Right off the bat, a nice amount of spice hits the back of my throat. Instantly, I can pick up similarities between the Serie V Liga and the Serie V Maduro 2012. Pepper and spices are in the forefront of the flavor profile. About a half inch in, the pepper and spice give way to a rounded profile of earth, cocoa, and some woodsy notes. The retrohale is sharp with tons of spice and black pepper. The spice sting runs from the back of the throat all the way through my sinus passage. Ouch, that woke me up! The burn is just about perfect with a layered salt and pepper ash. Additionally, the smoke volume is outstanding, with a single draw pulling a mouth full of smoke. The flavors are full and the strength is coming in at the high end of medium. Approaching 1.5 inches of ash, it easily knocked off into the ashtray.
The flavors of the San Andres Maduro are really highlighted. I think a great example of a San Andres Maduro wrapped cigar is the Ortega Serie D Maduro, which is a stick I smoke by the box. If you are familiar with the Ortega Serie D Maduro, you will note some flavor similarities between the two sticks. Some sweetness is beginning to pull through and darker, toasted flavors linger on the palate. Dark fruit, specifically cherry, is peeking its head out. No changes in the burn or ash. Both are exceptional so I have nothing to add. A bulge has formed causing a crack in the wrapper that runs about three-fourths of inch below the burn line, which is surprising due to the smoke being so cool. So far this has had no impact on the performance of this Serie V Maduro. The flavors are delivering full and the strength remains in the high end of medium.
A noticeable saltiness is now in the flavor make-up and the earlier woodsy notes are now identifiable as oak. The retrohale has calmed in the spice department allowing some cedar notes through. The crack is running underneath the band and I am concerned that the band is the only thing preventing the wrapper from cracking all the way down. Removing the wrapper very carefully, my fears are calmed as the crack is only running another quarter of an inch. The combination of spices, pepper, and cocoa reminds me of Mexican style hot chocolate, which is made with cinnamon and chili powder. A coffee bitterness is now on the finish of the smoke. Burn line remains razor sharp and ash is still firm. Flavors have remained full and strength remained in the sweet spot (for me) of borderline full but never made it over the hump.
Well, I am a little upset at myself. Going into the box purchase, I thought it was a good idea to find someone to split it with. Now, having enjoyed this stick so much, I wish I hoarded the entire box. Good thing I know Tony’s work schedule, he may have a few Oliva V Maduro Especial 2012 missing from his humidor when he comes home. While this is a limited production cigar, the price is comparable to the regular production Serie V line. I love when I come across a stick that is so good it could be considered a “celebratory cigar” but at an everyday price point. My words of wisdom: Get them while you can because they will not be around forever and you won’t be disappointed with your purchase.