Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar Review
We all know how much I loved the Serie V Melanio (you can read my review of that here). I’ve always been a fan Oliva’s Serie V line in general so it was much to my excitement when Oliva announced they would be making a Maduro version of their Melanio this year.
The Good Stuff: Much like last year’s release, Oliva’s Melanio Maduro made it’s debut at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. The blend is based on the Melanio with only one tweak, they replaced the Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper with a Mexican San Andreas Maduro, much like the one used on the past year’s Serie V Maduro (you can read Jeremy’s review here).
Like the Serie V Maduro the Melanio Maduro is a limited to only 10,000 boxes and are already starting to hit shelves. The blend still carries the same Nicaraguan filler and Binder from the standard Melanio blend. The Melanio Maduro will come in boxes of 10 and will run $130 a box of $13 a cigar. The 6.5 x 52 Boxed pressed torepdo is the only format offered in the Maduro line. I got these from the beautiful people over at Bonita Smoke Shop who already have them in stock, and ready to ship! go. now.
Size: 6.5 x 52 Box-Pressed Torpedo
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Pairing: Terrapin Dos Cocoas (Chocolate Porter 5.6% ABV)
Prelight: The Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro stats out with this beautifully dark wrapper. The standard Melanio wrapper already carried a pretty dark wrapper and you can see a considerable difference between the two. The wrapper is a dark chocolate brown with a few darker webs throughout the leaf. There are a few very low, almost seamless veins running through the body. Like the Melanio, the Melanio Maduro is box pressed and comes to a very sharp point in it’s torpedo style cap. The wrapper has some slight oils to it and interesting enough the wrapper showcases more and more tooth the closer that you get to the cap. The wrapper is also very, very tough. It feels as hard as a rock and the entire cigar is firm giving almost nothing as I squeeze it between my fingers. The Melanio Maduro carries the same band as the standard Melanio but the secondary band is primarily gold instead of brown and states “Melanio Maduro” on it.
The wrapper on the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro has a very strong spice aroma while the foot smells like sweet chocolate and tobacco. The cap was a bit tough but after a bit it cup very clean using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw produces lots and lots of chocolate, sweetness, and spice.
First Smoke: Oliva’s Serie V Melanio Maduro starts out with a nice pepper greeting followed up by lots of spice, cinnamon, chocolate, sweet tobacco, and soft cedar. The sweetness is considerably strong right off the bat. The pepper faded quickly, which I wasn’t expecting. I remember the standard Melanio carrying much more pepper than the Maduro so I am pretty sure the wrapper had a lot to do with that. This is such a sweet, creamy, and bold smoke right from the start. The draw is perfect producing lots and lots of thick white smoke with every puff. I need to mention again how much I love this format. The draw is always perfect and the cigar fits so comfortably in your hand. The burnline is razor sharp and dead even right from the start leaving behind a beautiful white, and light gray tightly compacted ash which held on for a bit over an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Halfway There: The flavors in this Oliva V Serie V Melanio have become much more creamy. The chocolate and sweetness are still the main factors along with a milky cream, cinnamon and spice, with a bit of nut. The retrohale is very sharp, and very spicy with lots of pepper and cedar. I found it a bit rough and didn’t retrohale this cigar very often. The burnline is stick perfectly even and razor sharp while I am feeling only a very slight nicotine kick as I close out the second third of this cigar.
Finish: The strength in the cigar began to ramp up in the final third. I really didn’t feel much until now which is strange considering the strength of the Serie V lines. With that, the cedar began to fade out while the chocolate and sweetness remained powerful with some spice, and nut in the background. This cigar is a lot more creamy than the standard Serie V, but not as bold in terms of flavor. I didn’t experience any harshness into the final inch, but there was a big drop off in flavors as the sweetness finally fizzled out. The Melanio Maduro left me with a nice little nicotine buzz. Keep in mind, I did smoke this in between a big breakfast and lunch so that may be a factor as well. The cigar took me almost 2 hours to take down to the nub and I never had to touch it up or relight it the entire time.
Overview: Yeah, it’s obvious that I was a big fan of this cigar. I was a big fan of the standard Melanio. I even coined that as my cigar of the year last year (you can see the list here) and I think the Maduro version has a very good chance of sneaking into this year’s list as well. From the construction to the flavors this cigar is top-notch. It’s a full bodied, full strength experience that won’t leave you lying on the floor. The Melanio Maduro is bold, with a complex profile that ends in creamy sweetness. You can’t ask for more than that. While some people may shy away from the price I think it is more than justified for the experience you receive. I really can’t pick a favorite over the two. The standard Melanio seemed to have a bit more punch and stronger flavors while the Maduro is a bit more balanced and carries much more sweetness than the standard. I guess it all depends on what you are in the mood for, but neither will disappoint.
To Sum it Up: Buy it. By the box. Now. Really, it’s a bit pricey but if you are willing to shell out the coin you will enjoy it. It’s complex enough for the seasoned cigar smoker and balanced enough not to overpower the novice. My only suggestion is to make sure that you can handle a bit of power. If you don’t smoke full-strength cigars then you may want to pass on this one.
Pairing: I don’t see many, if any Terrapin brews in my area. I was lucky enough to score this one in a trade with the almighty Timmy D who hooked it up nicely. Terrapin’s Dos Cocoas is a 5.6% ABV Chocolate Porter that sadly, is no longer in production. I know what some of you may be thinking, “A porter, in the summer, really?”. Well I haven’t ever tasted it before, and when I was looking in my pantry I saw it, thinking that the chocolate would pair very nicely with the Melanio Maduro. A quick text message to Tim confirmed this and we were off. The mission was a success too. The Dos Cocoas tastes like straight up chocolate milk. It’s incredibly sweet and smooth with a bit of malt mixed in making it a perfect pairing for the Melanio Maduro’s sweet, chocoately, and creamy profile. Too bad this beer isn’t available, at least at the moment cause I can think of a ton of cigars it would go nicely with.