Country: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Habano Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Jalapa Valley Ligero
Size: Double Robusto 5″x54 ring

The newest offering from the Oliva Family is the Serie V Ligero Especial. This cigar has taken the industry by storm receiving glowing reviews from enthusiasts and professional alike, even scoring a 94 in Cigar Aficionado (take that however you like). Here is the official story on this cigar from the Oliva website.

Serie V is a complex blend of Nicaraguan long filler tobaccos. Blended
with specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero, and finished with a high
priming Habano Sun Grown Wrapper.

Blending Notes:This cigar is blended to deliver full body taste
while maintaining an unparalleled smoothness. This flavorful blend
exhibits complex tobacco with rich coffee and dark chocolate tones.
A subtle and well balanced spice is present throughout.

Today I’m smoking what Oliva is calling a Double Robusto, but I’m not sure why they don’t just call it a Robusto. I guess you might say the 54 ring gauge is a bit big for a robusto which more commonly measure in at 50 or 52 and that could be the justification for it, but to me it’s just a Robusto. The whole idea of a double robusto is silly to me but before I get too side tracked lets get back to this cigar.

The wrapper is a beautiful rich brown and it is smooth and oily looking with only a few small veins running through it. The cap really catches your attention. It’s huge Covering the almost a full half inch of the cigar and it looks like a 4 seam cap winding it’s way up the head. Here’s a picture (click to enlarge):

(Sorry, my camera sucks for closeups)

The monster cap on this beefy cigar clipped nicely with my Palio. There was no evidence of any rib veins anywhere is the thick head or foot. The bunch of the filler looks perfect and the cigar is well filled, firm its entire length with no soft spots. Sometimes these large ring gauges can be tricky to get a good even light on but this one took the flame nicely. The well executed light made for a nice even burn right from the start.

This cigar is very smooth and refined. It started off with a classic tobacco flavor with cocoa notes. The finish is smooth with a subtle sweetness. I have heard a lot of talk of how this is a robust full bodied cigar but I just wasn’t getting that. it is on the fuller side of medium, but I’d still describe it as a medium bodied smoke. At about the halfway point the flavors change a little. The tobacco flavor is still dominate but it gets more earthy with some pepper and it maintains that cocoa undertone. It also split a bit vertically and the wrapper also cracked horizontally around the diameter of the cigar right next to the vertical split. it still held together though and smoked fine. I talked to some who had this cigar literally blowup and unravel on them so I guess I was lucky it wasn’t worse that it was. the issues were not caused by the band which came off the cigar perfectly without damaging the wrapper at all.

I found this to be a very enjoyable cigar and liked it more than any other Oliva I’ve tried since the original Master Blends. It didn’t live up to the hype on strength but the flavors were really good so that fact didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the cigar. Unless the vitolas are that drastically different, I just don’t agree with the exceptional 94 rating CA gives the Serie V. It is certainly a good cigar but I would expect more, especially in the construction department from a cigar that rates that high. I look forward to trying some of the other vitolas because I’ve seen some glowing reviews of them, particularly the Figuardo and the Lancero. I am rating this cigar a B+ even given the minor construction issues because flavor wise this was a really good cigar.

Rating – B+