Cigar Reviews

2008 Oliva Serve V Maduro Especial

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Seems I’ve been putting off this review for quite awhile now and I’m not sure why. I was just waiting for the right time to review it when I had a good chance to sit down and enjoy. A while ago you might remember I reviewed the the 2010 blend of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial and had some mixed feelings about it. In that post I had a VERY generous offer from one of our readers to send me one of the highly praised 2008 blends to compare, and I gladly took him up on that offer.

So today’s is review is brought to us by Komodata, one of our many awesome readers, who was kind enough to send me a 2008 Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial. Thanks so much Komodata! Really appreciate the chance to get to enjoy a nice cigar like this.

So this blend was launched by Oliva on October 15, 2008 to follow up on the success of their 2007 limited edition release. There were a couple differences in the release though. Firstly, the name was slightly changed from the original “Oliva Serie V Liga Especial” and the ring gauge was knocked down a bit to 54 but the length was extended to 6.5.

Now the original plan on this 2008 Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial was actually to make it to make it a 54 ring gauge. As the story goes, this vitola it was too strong and overpowering so they actually took out some filler and ligero to make it a 52 ring gauge. All-in-all, 50,000 sticks were made and distributed to approximately 250 retailers, most of those were US but some were sent across the ocean to a few select European retailers. They are pretty hard to come by now a days but there are still a few aging in some lucky people’s humidors. So without further adieu, let’s see how this cigar stacks up!

Cigar: 2008 Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial
Drink: Mill Street Brewery 2011 Barley Wine
Vitola: Torpedo (6.5 x 52)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley Ligero and long filler
Price: Original MSRP $6.75 (Gifted by Komodata)
Burn Time: 2 hours

• This is a tough looking cigar with a deep dark chocolate brown wrapper, with just some subtle hints of gold here and there
• The is finished nicely with just a few visible lines and the foot looks to be very tightly packed, tons of leaves inside this stick
• Despite looking to be over packed, the cigar has a nice spring when squeezed and is consistent from cap to foot
• The smooth and toothy wrapper has almost no visible veins, very nice looking leaf
• The cut was strong and tough to cut but it came off cleanly with my double bladed guillotine cutter
• I kept the cut short for now and the draw seems to be a bit tight, if it stays that way I may need to clip off a bit more
• I decided to clip off a bit more after the draw didn’t improve through the first third

• The toasting on this cigar was super easy, it lit up evenly with very little effort
• The burn has started out nice and sharp and is moving very slowly, let’s hope it stays this way
• Burn continues to be razor sharp and even through the first third
• The burn has been awesome all the way through to the last third now, not even a tiny touch up required here at all
• It’s also burning nice and slow and is giving me time to enjoy it slowly
• The last 3rd of this cigar seemed to slow down on the burn even most, staying completely even but allowing me to prolong the smoking experience
• There was one small touch up required near the very end, most people might have put the cigar down at that point but I wanted to keep going! haha

Smoke & Ash:
• As I mentioned before, the draw is a bit tight right now so there isn’t a ton of smoke but there is still a fair amount to not warrant chopping off more leaf for the moment
• Resting smoke is practically non-existent, just a little bit right after I take a draw then it’s like it practically turns off
• The ash has a ton of striping and is alternating colors between light and dark grey
• So far, the ash is holding strong past an inch and it has no flaking or signs of weakness
• I had to tap the ash off shortly passed the inch mark since it’s pretty windy and it was gonna end up in my lap soon… lol
• After the little bit of extra clipping the smoke volume increased a tad, but not much
• Ash continued to be strong, even and clean throughout the whole experience
• Smoke volume increased a bit more at the halfway mark, making for a nice full billow from each draw

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper of the Oliva V Maduro 2008 has mostly an aroma of barnyard scents and a bit of earthiness
• The foot carries the same aroma but tosses in a fresh cedar and grassiness to the mix
• The pre-light draw brings in more of that cedar flavor and maybe just a touch of sweetness
• Initial flavors are interesting, very deep and dark roasted wood and espresso with some hints of clove or nutmeg
• The espresso/coffee flavor is developing nicely already in this first third, very tasty
• Body so far is in the medium range and the retrohale has no bite, but it does have a smooth coffee finish that is darn tasty
• I am getting a bit of dryness on the back of my throat but the creamy finish seems to be balancing that out
• All the flavors are playing nicely together so far with the roasted coffee and cedar notes being the most dominant
• There’s also an interesting aftertaste that I can only describe as something like fresh cut hay (Not to say I eat hay, but it tastes like what fresh cut hay smells like, lol)
• There is some interesting complexity to this cigar if you sit and pay attention to the flavors, some subtle notes I’m picking up in the background include a bit of meaty flavors, a bit of vegetal notes, and even some roasted nuts of some kind.
• The roasted nut flavor is really starting to shine through as I get into the last third and all the flavors are intensifying nicely, also picking up a bit of licorice flavors here and there
• The body continues to stay in the medium range and the huge burst of flavors from each draw is just delicious
• The body did pick up a bit in the last third, maybe to the low end of full, but not overpowering
• The flavors continued to intensify and surprise me to the very end with hardly any bitterness at all, I enjoyed this cigar down to the very nub and even busted out the toothpick to get maximum enjoyment!

Final Thoughts:
I think the sheer number of flavors I mentioned in my tasting notes is a good indication of how complex and enjoyable this 2008 Oliva V Maduro cigar was. It kept me on my toes the whole way through and teased me to pay extra attention so all the subtle notes as well as the ones that were obvious and super tasty. Everything kept in great balance and the smooth creamy finish was a perfect touch to end each draw. Some people had warned me this would be a full bodied smoke but I think it stayed in the medium range for the most part and I didn’t even have a big dinner before smoking this. The age of this particular stick may have contributed to a little loss in body but the flavors were still in full swing. These are obviously super rare to come by these days but if you manage to track one down I’d highly suggest fighting to give it a try, it’s a great experience to add to your cigar journal.

So this was one of my first forays into Barley Wine and I decided to chose a local brewery, Mill Street, based out of Toronto. This happens to be from their 2011 batch. It comes in an awesome bottle which I think is some kind of ceramic or something, along with a nice swing top cap. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I knew it had some high alcohol content(11.5%) so I saved it for a time when I could enjoy it at night. Well to my surprise I was met with what I can best describe as a stout on steroids! It’s so thick and creamy with dark notes of roasted malts and roasted coffee. The creamy finish really sells this brew and I enjoyed the heck out of it(as Tony would say 😉 )! I can definitely say it was an awesome pairing to go with the Oliva V Maduro, the roasted coffee and malt notes matched with the cigar perfectly. Other great pairings would include a stout, port, scotch or a strong coffee.

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


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