Cigar Reviews

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010

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Just a couple more days left and Tony will be choosing a winner for his Winter Cigar Giveaway! Did you enter yet? There’s lots of different ways to enter so no one is excluded. Make sure to read Tony’s Winter Giveaway and enter quickly!

If you are a follower of ours on Twitter or Facebook, you will have seen recently that Tony is off slacking again. That’s right, again! lol. Ok maybe not. He’s actually on a trip to the Dominican Republic and visiting lots of people, cigar factories, and even some tobacco fields. I’m sure he’ll have lots to tell everyone when he gets back. In the meantime, keep up with what he’s doing by following him on Twitter or following the Casas Fumando Facebook Page.

So I’m still stuck at home and while Tony is probably burning up in the Dominican, and I’m pretty much freezing over here. Terrible forecast for the week full of rain and near freezing temps, winter is almost here! The summer flew by… So for no particular reason I made a mess in my humidor searching for my next review and what I came up with was my very last Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial from 2010.

Now Oliva should be a name most people know by now, they’ve been around for a long time and have a great reputation of turning over quality cigars year after year. They haven’t been much in the past for really branching out with drastic ideas but rather have been that “staple” cigar brand that you could always fall back on. Their 4 main lines are the Serie G, Serie O, Serie V and the Connecticut Reserve. Of their 4 lines mentioned, the Serie V is the fullest on the body scale.

If you have been keeping up with the cigar news, you would actually see that Oliva is starting to bring a lot more variety to their lines. They’ve had the Master Blend series for awhile now and are also hitting a few winners with the Studio Tobac project. Tony actually just recently posted a review of the cigar made by a joint venture of Studio Tobac and Padilla, appropriately named the Padilla – Studio Tobac Figurado. As you can see from his thoughts, Oliva is on the right track with their new project.

Oliva’s core lines don’t usually change much but a few years ago they decided to bring out a special edition of their Serie V. It was to be wrapped with a Maduro leaf, limited in production quantities and restricted to a single vitola. It’s full name is the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial and usually a year is appended to that. In the case of today’s review it is the 2010 to mark the year it was released. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to distinguish some of the various years.

With regards to the 2009 and 2010, you will find 2 main differences, firstly, the 2010 is a slightly larger ring gauge than the 2009 even though it maintains the same vitola. Also, the 2010 is wrapped in a nice dark San Andreas wrapper versus the previous years Broadleaf wrappers. Looking a little forward to 2011, the vitola is changing to a 6×50 Toro and should actually be hitting shelves very soon. It also has the same San Andreas wrapper. The production for the 2011 is also the same as the 2010 I’m reviewing today which is 5000 boxes of 10 cigars.

With a price point of $10.70/cigar they aren’t that steep but aren’t cheap either. It seems to strike a nice balance of a slightly high end or limited production stick. I’m also told that the 2011 version is dropping the MSRP to $9 which is a welcome change. Each of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial cigars are packed with a Ligero longfiller from the Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua which is well known for producing tasty and quality leaves.

The band on this cigar is fairly unassuming and doesn’t venture far from the standard Oliva lines. It adds “Maduro” on one side and “Especial” on the other but I’m disappointed that it doesn’t include a year. Not a huge deal but it would be a nice touch. I’m sitting down to enjoy this cigar on a fairly chilly evening here. The cigar also has a fair bit of age on it so that will affect the flavors. I have smoked a few of these before so I’ll make a quick comparison to then and now in the summary. Enjoy!

Cigar: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010
Drink: Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005
Vitola: Torpedo (6 x 54)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: MSRP $10.70
Burn Time: A little over 1.5 hours

Construction:
• The Oliva Serie V Maduro is surrounded by a dark chocolate brown wrapper that has a rough look to it and an oily finish
• The exposed edges of the wrapper jump off the cigar a bit, especially near the cap which is extremely firm to the touch, this worries me
• The rest of the cigar has a nice little spring and give to it when squeezed
• The foot of the cigar appears to be very well packed with almost no room left in there at all
• I started with a small cut which clipped off fairly easily but I was met with a pretty tight draw
• I cut just a bit more and got a good draw, we’ll start here with a little more than a half inch clipped off the cap

Burn:
• Toasting was nice and slow but it kept even and glowed nicely
• Unfortunately, the cigar started off with a pretty drastic canoe despite what seemed to be an even toasting, needed to be touched up fairly early on
• Another little touchup after about 2 inches as the cigar tried canoeing on me again
• The cigar requires a small touch up pretty much every inch or so, luckily it’s not ruining the flavors
• The last 2.5 inches of the cigar REALLY slowed down the burn, making the cigar last that extra special bit longer

Smoke & Ash:
• There is a good amount of smoke coming from each draw
• Even while resting the cigar is producing a decent amount of smoke
• The ash is coming out to be a wonderful white color when it’s burning properly, my touchups are turning the ash black in some spots
• Even though the ash was looking clean, neat and strong, it still fell off into the ashtray after just about an inch

Tasting Notes:
• I was surprised to notice that the wrapper had barely any aroma to it, maybe just a touch of hay and that’s all
• The foot is also not too strong of an aroma, just a slightly more concentrated hay-type of aroma with just a little touch of a peppery spice
• The pre-light draw is also pretty bland here with only hints of hay again, I really hope the full experience will be more than this
• The initial draws were much more enjoyable with some roasted dark chocolate almond type of flavor and a hint of spices, maybe some coffee tucked in there too
• The chocolate almond flavors dwindled down a bit and I’m left with mostly coffee, spices and now some cedar. It’s still good but the start was much more enjoyable, let’s hope it returns!
• The body started off in the low end of medium and the cigar has a soft bite on the retrohale with an interesting cedary/peppery finish
• The coffee notes are really developing nicely and I’m also getting some nice warm earthy notes in the mix
• All the flavors are balancing well and the cedar finish is a nice touch
• As the 2010 Oliva Serie V Maduro progressed into the last third the body is slowly building and I’m on the edge of full now
• The spices have remained fairly soft so far and the retrohale reflects that with a soft bite and retains the smooth cedar finish
• The last bit of the cigar was still enjoyable until my fingers were burning, a nice buildup of coffee, light spices and cedar rounded out the final flavors

Final Thoughts:
Overall this was a pretty good smoke that I enjoyed. I feel that it never really did recreate that initial awesome roasted almond flavor. The beginning of the cigar was great and the remainder was good. Nothing about it was really bad, my only complaint would be the burn issues. Thankfully they didn’t negatively affect the flavors but it did take away from the whole experience a bit. I think the cigar could have earned itself a few more points with a bit more age as it already has. The ones I smoked earlier this year were not as good as this one. So my suggestion, grab a few and let them sit a few more months and they should be excellent. If those roasted almond flavors can linger a bit longer this would have been a fantastic cigar. The little bit of body buildup at the end was a nice touch for me as well. The price is a little high at just over $10 but I’m excited to see what the upcoming 2011 release brings since it will have the same wrapper and be $1.70 cheaper!

Pairings:
Tonight’s pairing is a new Port wine that I picked up at the liquor store the other day. It’s from Dow’s Winery which comes from the Symington Family Estates in Portugal. The 2005 Late Bottled Vintage Tawny Port has a fairly light and fruity feel on the palate with some deep notes like a touch of chocolate and woodsiness. It’s probably not the best Port I’ve had but it’s not bad in it’s own right either. It paired excellently with the flavors of the 2010 Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial. Other than Port I think this cigar would pair wonderfully with a heft stout, a strong or chocolate flavored coffee or even a nice scotch.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

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