Cain F 550 Wednesday, Jan 5 2011 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Triple Ligero (Esteli, Condega, Jalapa)
Size: Robusto 5.75″ x 50 ring

A full-bodied, full-strength cigar.  Typical Nicaraguan profile of spice, earth, and leather.  Some coffee notes as well.  Finishes the same as it starts and remains consistent throughout.  Just straight forward flavors in a very robust package.  Excellent construction, with a even burn and an excellent draw. Not a bad smoke, but nothing special either.  Not much more to say about this one except to apologize for forgetting to take a picture.

Oliva Serie V Belicoso Sunday, Dec 27 2009 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano Sun Grown
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Jalapa Valley Ligero
Size: Belicoso 5.0′ x 50 Ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Two years ago when I tried my first couple samples of the then new Oliva Serie V, I was impressed by what I thought was a very tasty cigar but a little frustrated by construction issues I experienced with each one of them including the stick I smoked for my review of the Double Robusto.  I didn’t let those construction issues turn me away though.  Over time I kept revisiting the Oliva V in various different vitolas and ultimately the Belicoso really won me over to the point that  the Oliva Serie V Belicoso was second only to the Tatuaje Havana Cazadores as my most often smoked cigar this past year.  I guess that is a bit of a spoiler in terms of what is to come in this review but there you have it.

The Serie V Belicoso is a stout looking fellow.  Its tapered head creates the illusion of it being shorter that it really is.  At first glance you might suspect it is a relatively short smoke, but the truth is you’ll need more than an hour to work your way through this thick, slow burning stogie.  It burns slow, cool, and and even with a firm, dark gray ash.  I have found these to have a consistently nice draw offering up the perfect amount of resistance.  They are impeccably constructed and consistent from stick to stick and box to box.  The wrapper is a deep rich brown color and it is smooth and oily looking with only a few small veins.  The wrapper on the Series V seems a little darker to me now than it was when they were first released in 2007.

The V Belicoso starts off with a blast of pepper and earth.  It is a surprisingly smooth and creamy considering how robust it is.  A Medium to full bodied smoke, it has an earthy twang complimented by leather, black coffee and oak.  Mid way through it developed flashes of vanilla and nuts on the finish.  The last third actually mellows a bit and is dominated by creamy notes of wood and leather.  The V is a great complex smoke that never disappoints.

Rating – A

You can get Oliva Serie V’s @ CigarsDirect.com

Cain Maduro Torpedo Monday, Nov 9 2009 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero (Jalapa, Esteli, Condega)
Size: Torpedo 6.0″ x 54 ring

My previous review was of the Cain Habano Robusto.  In that review I detailed a bit about the makeup and story of the this straight Ligero cigar so click on over and check that out as well.  Today I am smoking the Maduro Torpedo.  I was trying to find some more information about this wrapper and was unable to find anything definitive about it.  I have seen it referred to as a Nicaraguan Maduro, a Mexican Maduro, and even a Brazilian Maduro wrapper.  I am not sure which it is at this point.  I am not inclined to agree with the Brazilian label though.  As Maduro wrappers go this one doesn’t have much tooth to it, and in my experience, the Brazilian maduro is on of the toothiest maduro wrappers I have seen.  That is just an opinion and a guess though.  It could very well be Brazilian, I just don’t know right now.

The wrapper on the Cain Maduro  is dark and mottled with a few prominent veins running across its surface.  It has a slight tooth and oily appearance.  This cigar starts off very similar to the Habano.  I ti s smooth and creamy, medium bodied without much power.  It has a very nondescript, sweet maduro flavor to it .  I began to wonder if this one would pick up in the last third like the Habano did, but it did not.   It was very one dimensional.  The flavors never changed and it never developed any power.  It was surprisingly light for an all ligero cigar and flavor wise it was pretty boring.  The Habano version was much better.  This cigar just never did anything for me.  I’ll be smoking the Habano again, but I don’t have any interest in revisiting the maduro.

Rating – C

Cain Habano Robusto Tuesday, Oct 27 2009 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler:  Esteli Ligero, Condega Ligero, Jalapa Ligero, and a small amount of “other tobaccos”
Size: Robusto 5.70″ x 50 ring

Cain – Straight Ligero.  For those that know what Ligero is, you are probably thinking “damn”.  Ligero is the highest priming of tobacco on the plant.  These are the leaves at the top of the plant that get the most exposure to direct sunlight and the elements.  Ligero tobacco is the thickest leaves and the strongest in terms of nicotine.  It is also generally considered the most robust in terms of flavor.  Most cigars only use a small percentage of ligero tobacco blended leaves from other primings on the plant.  The blending of the different leaves is done to produce specific flavors that the blender want as well as to give the cigar balance in flavor, strength and construction.  Now the Cain is not really 100% ligero.  It is actually around 82% or 84% (I have heard both numbers bandied around) ligero.  This is still way more ligero than is typically found in a cigar, but the addition of the non-ligero tobacco is done for construction and combustion reasons.  Ligero is the thickest leaf and as such is the slowest burning and hardest to keep lit.  The other tobacco used helps to balance things out a bit to allow the cigar to burn properly.  All that ligero still affects the burn though.  This cigar burns awfully slow but more on that later.

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The Cain comes in two different wrappers.  Habano and Maduro.  There is also a Cain “F” which is a special souped up blend that is even more powerful and robust that the regular Cains are reported to be.  These are the creation of Sam Leccia and Oliva Cigar Co. who also brought us the Nub.  They are available in three sizes that I know of:

 

  • Robusto 5.7″ x 50 ring
  • Double Toro 6.0″ s 60 ring
  • Torpedo 6.0″ x 54 ring

The “F” is only available in a Robusto and I believe is a limited edition.  On to the review…

The wrapper on the Cain Habano is the color of milk chocolate with a leathery look. It has lots of small veins and a slight tooth. The draw is a little firm but not unpleasant. It smokes slow and cool… very slow. I was completely surprised by this cigar at first. It was not at all like I was expecting it to be. Much was made of the fact that it is almost entirely made up of ligero tobacco. Because of that I was expecting a rich, earthy, peppery and robust smoke with a lot of power. In actuality, it begins as a medium bodied smoke that was smooth and creamy with out much of a nicotine kick at all. My specimen has no spice or pepper at all. It started off smooth and creamy with notes of cinnamon and a subtle sweetness that I want to describe as apple. Like a Rome apple or some other cooking type of apple that isn’t overly sweet. It also had an undertone of toasted tobacco. I was half way through smoking the Cain Habano and I was thinking it was a very unique smoke but it was not at all complex. In fact thought it a bit one dimensional, but still the flavors were unique and very enjoyable. The last third is where this cigar comes alive. Suddenly I began detecting a little bit of a peppery bite to the flavors and then the cigar quickly transitioned into that robust earthy, spicy smoke I was expecting and I also started to feel its power.  Although I wouldn’t necessarily describe this cigar as a “power house” it does back a nice little punch that kind of sneaks up on you.  My experience with the last third of the smoke makes me say that this is not a cigar for beginners.  Less seasoned smokers might get a little green from it.  Someone who is used to stronger and more robust cigars won’t really be phased by it. I had a bit of problem keeping it lit and it tried to tunnel on me a couple times. It took me almost an hour and a half to finish it. Like I said, it burned very slow.

At first I thought I was smoking Abel, but it was all a lie as Cain revealed himself in the end.  I enjoyed this cigar and it was interesting how it completely changed character on me there at the end.  I will be smoking more to see if this experience is consistent or not for me with this cigar.  It was also quite remarkable to me how long it took to smoke this cigar.  This was perhaps the slowest burning cigar I have ever smoked.  It took me almost two hours to smoke this nearly toro length robusto and I am not known as a slow smoker.  The Cain Habano is a good smoke that is worth a try and something I will probably keep in my humidor in small quantities for times when I want a change of pace from my Tatuajes.

Rating – B

Some other takes on the Cain Habano:

Oliva “O” Ovation Maduro (Old Embroidered Band) Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

Oliva Serie O Maduro

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper:Connecticut Grown Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Double Corona 7.0″ x 50 ring
Courtesy of Smokinson @ The HerfHut forum

I will refrain from rehashing all the background on this smoke here since I talked a bit about the old Oliva “O” cigars in the review I did just prior to this one on the Oliva “O” Bold Omni. I’ll just quickly thank Smokinson at The Herf Hut Cigar Forum again for his generosity in sending me this fine, aged maduro. I’ll also quickly touch on the fact that this is a cigar with some nice age on it. It has been several years since the Oliva “O” with the embroidered band as been produced. Like most avid cigar lovers, I really enjoy smoking a well aged cigar. So… lets get to it.

The maduro wrapper on this thick double corona is beautiful. leathery with some small veins running throughout, it looks delicious. The cigar is well filled and given its ample size it has a nice heft to it making it nice to hold. The wrapper is applied perfectly but the cap is a little sloppy although I’ve seen worse. It has a very good draw and the foot took a light readily.

Right off, this is a very different cigar from the “O” Bold. It is light and smooth and creamy from the first puff. It also has a very pronounced sweet maduro flavors. The Bold started off with a peppery kick. This maduro is medium bodied with nice toasty and creamy flavors of coffee and earth all wrapped up in a great maduro sweetness. It produces thick, snow white clods of smoke and the burn is perfect. I find it somewhat reminiscent of a Hemingway Work of Art Maduro. At the halfway mark it starts to pick up. It got more robust and developed some black pepper which seemed to mask the sweetness. It was less creamy, the flavor a bit dryer but still very earthy. That is how the cigar finished as well. It was a very good, enjoyable smoke that was smooth and well balanced.

Rating – B+

Oliva “O” Bold Omni (Old Embroidered Band) Thursday, Mar 19 2009 

Oliva O Bold

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Corona Gorda 6.0″ x 46 ring
Courtesy of Smokinson @ The Herf Hut Cigar Forum

So there I was minding my own business, walking out to the mailbox to get the latest pile of junk that had been delivered so I could throw it all in my trash ( I hate junk mail), when… KABLAM! I open the mailbox just to get “smacked” by a fine Brother of the Leaf over at The Herf Hut Cigar Forum. It came out of the clear blue sky. I was a victim of a sneak attack by Smokinson. In this random act of generosity was a selection of excellent smokes, two of which jumped out at me immediately.  In the package were two very nicely aged Oliva cigars.    The Oliva “O” cigars underwent a sort of re-branding a few years back.  It is now called the Serie O and the band and packaging has been completely redone.  Smokinson sent me two of the old “O” cigars, one of the Bold, and one Maduro from back before the re-branding.  Originally released in 2001 the Oliva “O” cigars were renowned for their presentation as well as for being a quality cigar.  They were very unique because the sported embroidered velvet bands rather than the traditional paper bands, and the boxes were unusually shaped as well, close resembling of all things, a toilet seat.  It is hard to find much detail on these  cigars at this point as it has been several years since this version of the “O” has been made.  Because of the age and the fact they are no longer made, this “O” Bold is a special treat and a very generous gift.  So I want to take this opportunity to once again thank Smokinson for his generosity and for sharing these cigars with me.  The “O” Bold that I am smoking today is a Nicaraguan Puro.  I am a very big fan of Nicaraguan cigars so I am looking forward to lighting this one up.

The wrapper is a dark, mottled brown and it seems to be very well filled.  The embroidered band makes for a very nice presentation.  The first few draws were very full and peppery.  It mellows out right away settling into a nice flavorful medium bodied smoke.  It has a classic Nicaraguan flavor, a strong core of toasted tobacco with some coffee notes.  It is surprisingly smooth yet still robust and a little chewy, signs of a well aged cigar.  It produces thick clouds of white smoke and the draw is absolutely sublime.  The draw could not be any better for me.  I noticed one odd characteristic of this smoke.  It produced a kind of numbing effect in my mouth.  Almost like a menthol feel but there was nothing in the flavor or aroma that was even remotely “menthol like”.  It was odd but not really bothersome.  At the halfway mark it developed strong leather flavors with just a hint of nuts layer over a consistent core of toasted tobacco.  The last third is all pepper and tobacco.  It maintains its smoothness and chewiness through the entire smoke, again a hallmark of a well aged stogie.  The “O” Bold is a fantastic medium to full bodied smoke.  A classic Nicaraguan through and through.  It is a shame they discontinued this smoke.  I wonder when I smoke a cigar like this, that is clearly a very good cigar, why manufacturers discontinue them rather than sticking with a winner.  Maybe it’s just that they don’t have the tobacco for it anymore. Either way it is a shame these aren’t made any more.  This is a solid smoke that has aged very well.

Rating – B+

Oliva Master Blends 3 Churchill Wednesday, Nov 19 2008 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Sun-Grown Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler:Nicaraguan Ligero
Size: Churchill 7.0″ x 50 ring

The third installment of the limited Master Blends release from Oliva, the Master Blends 3 doesn’t seem to be all that limited.  I had heard it is now a regular production cigar and it certainly seems that way given that they seem to be abundantly available.  It kind of goes against the whole premise that the Master Blends were predicated on, using limited supplies of very high quality tobacco, they were never intended to be regular production cigars.  It seems something has changed…

I am huge fan of the original Master Blends release.  I recently had the privilege of meeting Jose Oliva and got him to sign my original Master Blends box.  The original was a Nicaraguan Puro and it is a fantastic cigar.  The Master Blends 2 sported an Ecuadorian grown Sumatran wrapper and was a little disappointing to me.  The Master Blends 3 has a sun-grown broadleaf wrapper which raises my hopes for it as I find Sumatran wrappers to be very hit or miss.  I do enjoy a good sun-grown wrapper though.  This one found its way into my humidor from my friends at CigarsDirect.com.

The MB3 is dressed in a dark brown, toothy wrapper with an oily sheen.  Missing is the laser tattoo that adorned the first two Master Blends.  The boxpressed churchill is a firm cigar with a good heft hinting at the abundance of tobacco that is packed into it.  The construction on this and every master Blends cigar I have smoked is impeccable.  An ideal draw and an ash that holds its shape and hangs on tight.  You have to break the ash off rather than simply tap it.   Each puff delivers a thick cloud of smoke.  The MB3 starts off with a short blast of pepper but very quickly mellows out.  It is smooth and creamy with a slightly dry finish I like to refer to as “sun-grown twang” as it is a flavor I pick up on a lot of cigars with sun-grown broadleaf wrappers.   About midway through the flavors get very woody.  Lots of oak mixed with leather.  In the beginning I thought this cigar would be on the mild side of medium but the further in I got the more it picked up, becoming more of a medium-full bodied smoke.  The last third of the smoke was peppery and had a bit of a bite to it with a very dry finish.

I enjoyed the Master Blend 3 a good deal more than I did the MB2, but after a few of the MB3’s I have come to the conclusion that the original Master Blend is still the best of the series.  But the Fact is the original MB is no longer available and the MB3 seems to be in abundant supply.  It is a good smoke and sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys a good sun-grown broadleaf wrapped cigar.  I recommend giving it a try.  At the very least you’ll enjoy it as a good smoke, and depending on your tastes you might find a new favorite.

Get your Oliva Master Blend 3’s at CigarsDirect.com

Rating – B+

Related Posts:

  • Keepers of the Flame will tell you about the Robusto
  • CigarJack gives you his take on the Torpedo
  • Cigar Command files a CER on the MB3

Oliva Special “S” Torpedo Thursday, Jul 31 2008 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: Torpedo 6.0″ x 52 ring

The Oliva Special S is the Oliva’s top shelf offering in their regular production lines. The limited production Master Blends are the other top shelf line from the Olivas. One thing I noticed on the Oliva site is that they have an aging recommendation for their cigars. The Special S apparently should be aged for five years. I find this a little strange, because to the best of my knowledge Oliva does not date their boxes. I could be wrong because I haven’t bought a whole box of Oliva’s since I bought my box of the original Mater Blends several years ago. However, if I’m right and they do not date their boxes, the aging recommendation seems kind of silly to me because there is no real way to know how old the cigars are at the time of purchase. I guess you’d have to start counting from when you bought them. Anyway, as far as I know, this Special S is no where near 5 years old. It has been in my humidor for about 2 months.

The Special S is a handsome looking cigar with an elegant presentation. Unfortunately I failed to take a picture before I pt the cigar to flame and this one certainly deserved a photo display. I was unable to find an adequate picture anywhere on the web to share with you here. Thanks to the cigar band collection at StogieFresh.com I am at least able to display the band. In addition to the elegant band you see above, the majority of the cigars length is hidden in a cedar sleeve that is decorated at the foot with a deep brown band printed with the words “Special S” and the Oliva “O” logo in shiny gold lettering. The overall effect is a beautifully presented cigar. I have heard a rumor the the Special S’s days are numbered and that there are plans to discontinue this line. I have not been able to find anything to confirm that. I also heard the Master Blend 3 will become a regular production cigar, effectively replacing the Special S as Oliva’s regular production, top-shelf smoke. Again, these rumors are from a single source and I haven’t been able to find any more information on this to confirm it. If it does turn out to be true and you are a fan of the Special S, you may want to think about stocking up.

Even though the Special S sports some nice duds, the cigar can hold it’s own in the beauty department even if it were naked. The Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapped used on these smokes is flawless. Smooth with only very tiny veins, it is milk chocolate in color,has an oily sheen, and is perfectly applied to a well filled cigar. I clipped the tapered head with my trusty Palio and tested the draw. It was too tight so I trimmed a bit more off the head in hopes of opening up the draw a little more. It didn’t seem to help so I was left to hope it would loosen up a bit during the smoke. As it turns out it didn’t. The cigar wasn’t plugged and it was certainly smokable, but I had to pull harder than what feels comfortable to me. By the end, my jaw was tired and I developed a bit of a headache because of the tight draw. Other than the draw, which was probably a fluke and not common, there were no other construction related issues. The burn was perfect and the ash firm and well formed. Flavor wise this cigar was pretty good, but nothing I would call “Special” (pun intended). This was a very smooth smoke, medium bodied, and medium in strength. I tasted good flavors of leather and coffee and there was a bit of spice on the finish. The cigar never changed, never did anything to make me think wow, just good solid flavors that remained consistent from start to finish. Near the end it became difficult to keep the cigar lit because of the overly tight draw so I put it down a little sooner than I probably would have otherwise.

The Special S is a good smoke that is refined and smooth. Construction seemed excellent except for the draw problem and the flavors are very enjoyable but one dimensional. I would hope for a bit more from what is supposed to be a premium cigar.

You can get your Oliva Special “S” cigars at Cigars Direct.com.

Rating – B

Nub 460 Habano Sunday, Jul 20 2008 

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Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 460 4.0″ x 60 ring

The Nub is the brainchild of Sam Leccia.  Sam spent an number of years working for the Oliva Cigar Family.  He believes that every cigar has a sweet spot where it achieves the pinnacle of its flavors at some point during the smoke.  Sam wanted to see if he could create a cigar that could capture this sweet spot from the very first puff and hold it to the very last.  The Nub is what he came up with.  These cigars a very short and have huge ring gauges.  The smallest of the line is 54 ring, but the majority of them are 60 and above.  The largest of the line is a whopping 66 ring gauge.  Each size is supposedly the equivalent to a more traditional sized cigar.  For example this 460 Habano is supposed to have the same amount of tobacco in it as a 6.75″ x 50 Churchill.  You can get the whole story on the Nubs by clicking here.  I have smoked three of the Cameroon Nubs already and why they were decent flavor wise, all three spit apart on me and unraveled.  I hope I don’t have the same problem with this Habano.  Let’s see how it does…

The Nub Habano has a smooth, oily wrapper the color of milk chocolate.  The beefy ring gauge is a bit awkward but the draw was excellent. This cigar really did start off great from the get go.  It had a strong woody core accompanied by nuts and rich creaminess.  The flavors were very good and consistent throughout.  It lacks complexity but the flavors are excellent making it a very enjoyable smoke.  The ash was a bit flaky on the edges but it holds very firm.  I would have never needed to tap off the ash if I didn’t want to.  I did have one problem with this smoke though.  Even though i took my time with it, it was a solid hour to smoke it, the burn was extremely hot and once I got about half way through it was almost too hot to hold and taking a puff became a dicey proposition.  It was difficult not to burn my fingers and lips while smoking it.  As short as this cigar is it becomes almost unsmokeable too early.  I had the same experience with on of the Cameroons that managed to hold together long enough form me to get that far.  On the bright side I did not have those kinds of construction issues with this cigar.

Overall I was impressed with this cigar.  The flavors were really great and I enjoyed it a lot, but the heat issue makes me hesitant to smoke these very often.  I’ll give it another try at some point but if I have the same experience I’ll have to write these off.

Rating – B

Oliva Serie V Double Robusto Saturday, Nov 3 2007 

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+

Oliva Master Blend 5.0×50 Saturday, Nov 19 2005 

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Cuban seed Nicaraguan grown tobacco
Filler: Cuban Seed Nicaraguan grown long filler
Size: Robusto 5″x50 ring

This is a special cigar. Master Blends is a limited production, limited release premium cigar. Oliva uses rare and limited tobaccos to create it. The fine Nicaraguan fillers and wrappers used are not for mass production. They are limited amounts of tobacco which would usually be reserved for private family use. Master Blends are available every year; however, each year the blend and wrapper will be different. I have the current release, a Master Blend II currently resting in my humidor and I look forward to smoking it if this original Master Blend is any indication of how good it will be.

This was a superb cigar. Full flavored and strong, this cigar gave me a pretty wicked buzz. It had a strong woody flavor and was surprisingly smooth for such a full flavored cigar. I had a problem with the burn. It started out fine but then began to canoe a little on me. I tried to let it correct itself but it kept getting worse so I had to intervene with my torch to even it back out. After that I never had a problem with the burn again. It had a nice firm ash. I only had to tap it twice before putting it down. This was a great smoke and I am going back to the shop to pick up a couple more while they still have them. I plan to stow them away and save them for a special occasion.

I almost forgot. This cigar also had an interesting design printed on the wrapper leaf itself. It look like some kind of laser etching or something. A very nice, very unique touch.

Matt’s Top 5

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