The Oliva Cigar Family is known in the cigar community for their smooth wrappers, complex flavors, and excellent prices. They have four lines of cigars: the G, O, V, and Master Blend. Technically, you can say five lines, with the G, O, and V series coming in maduro and natural wrappers to add even more variety to some excellent blends. Today I chose an O series in a natural wrapper in a robusto size. This Nicaraguan puro has a unique and distinct taste that Oliva is well known for, being woody with hints of nuts and coffee among other things, and as always, excellent quality across all lines and vitolas. The wrapper is a Sun-Grown Habano seed leaf, the binder and filler Nicaraguan Habano seed leaves as well. I let my two German Shepherds run outside while I enjoyed the cool breeze on my face, sound of leaves rustling, creek burbling, and crickets chirping. It almost seems too picturesque to be real, and it made for a great setting to light up and kick back.
I took the cigar out and looked it over slowly, enjoying the appearance of the smooth brown wrapper, almost like velvet between my fingers. You could see small veins that are just part of the tobacco leaf, with nothing huge or unsightly. It feels firm and well rolled with no soft spots, no large veins… just well rolled tobacco. I bring the foot to my nose to take in its scent: it’s a sweet strong rich tobacco mixed with cedar and a little bit of oak. It looked like it would be a promising cigar.
I toasted the foot before cutting the cap with three matches. Sorry, there won’t be a prelight draw with this one, but I’m not a huge fan of prelight draws to begin with. The cap is cut easily with a decent set of cutters and gave enough resistance to show that the wrapper is nice and thick, and the cigar is indeed firmly rolled. Another match and the cigar is lit. The initial flavor I get is toasty with a burst of pepper that flows into cedar and fades into a sweet nutty flavor. The pepper fades away quickly though, barely noticeable, if at all, after the first inch. What follows for me was a nice deep woody flavor, medium to full in body, that reminded me of the cedar closet and oak dresser in my old home. I picked up a hint of leather, like I had stepped into the closet and brushed past an old well worn leather coat. The further into the cigar I got, the more the leather note came to the front, adding a hint of sweetness. About halfway through the cigar I picked up a hint of coffee. It didn’t come too strong, more like a light roast coffee that blended with the wood and leather notes that dominated the flavor profile. Overall the cigar tasted of cedar and oak with hints of toast, leather, and coffee.
The burn was very even throughout the entire cigar. There wasn’t a moment when it tunneled or canoed on me. The burn wasn’t razor sharp, but it was very even and consistent. The ash lasted a while, and only dropped because of a sudden gust of wind. The ash itself was solid, staying together even after falling three feet onto the ashtray. I’d say that’s a good indicator of a well rolled and well constructed cigar.
Overall thoughts on the cigar are good. You can find these for about $4-5 on average, which I find to be quite a bargain for what you get. The cigar lasted me about an hour, maybe a little more, and I probably could have gotten another five minutes out of it. I enjoy Oliva cigars quite a bit, and find the O series to be very enjoyable and made with excellent tobacco. This is a cigar that I would buy a box of, and have no issues suggesting to friends to try out.
My choice of drink during this review was plain bottled water so that the flavors I tasted were purely the cigar and weren’t affected by anything else. I think a medium roast coffee would go well with this since I find coffee tends to favor being paired with most cigars, and won’t overpower the flavors in this particular one. This particular cigar has been in my humidor for three years, so I suspect a fresher one to be a little more on the full bodied with a little less of a woody scent. I definitely enjoyed this cigar, and look forward to picking up some more down the road.