Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oliva Series V

Oliva Series V- The Oliva Series V Double Robusto is getting a lot of hype lately. The Oliva brand has consistently placed one of their cigars in Cigar Aficianado's "Top 25" the last few years. The most recent CA Top 25 put this particular cigar at the #5 spot. At an average price of $6, and a reputation for full flavor- this cigar begs to be tried by every full-flavored smoker out there. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan tobacco all the way around and being that I'm a fan of Nicargauans, this should be a good smoke.

Prelight- This cigar is nicely made. The wrapper is smooth, almost veinless and near flawless. The cap seaming looks a little strange, but that should have no affect on the smoke. I'm probably being picky because the cigar looks so nice. The stick has a classic look and all signs point to a burn without issue. The cigar smells like straight tobacco; nothing special. With my senses and curiousity heightened, I'm ready to smoke. With a cutter to the cap, I'm excited to see what the prelight draw is like....And then it happened. The prelight draw tastes like shit. Well not literally shit. But it isn't good. To put it in over-the-top, fancy-pants cigar reviewer lingo- "The Oliva Series V eminates subtle overtones of a chemical cocktail with hints of a half burned Newport. Intrigued with such a bouquet of tasteful aromas I remove my monocle and retire to my chamber to enjoy this delightful cigar." Ok, back to normal writing. I hope this cigar smokes better than the prelight draw tastes.

Sparking it- Ok, I have to let out a sigh of relief.....And exhale. The initial puffs taste better than expected. A little strong, but anything is better than that prelight draw. The Series V is known as a powerhouse and it lives up to its reputation. If this cigar were a woman, it'd be a fat one- wearing a fresh pair of spandex pants. Well-contained, but way too much. I can't hate too much though, the construction is solid and the cigar starts with a nice burn. Lets see where this smoke goes.

Smoking it- The cigar is good, but the hype is exactly that...hype. It is over the top strong, with no flavor variation to back it up. All I taste is pepper. It doesn't satisfy my palette as much as I thought it might. For such a high CA rating, I expected a little more in the way of complexity. Instead of complexity, this cigar offers pepper flavor. Lots of it. The flavor is strong and towards the end I taste a little bit of whiskey and dirt. The back of my throat tastes a little bit like tea. I think the prelight set me up to be a harsh critic. But with the possibility of bias in mind, I still don't like the cigar. I wouldn't pick up this cigar again, but it is a good value for a lot of flavor. I'm also getting a little bit of a headache. Nasty nicotine buzz. Good cigar if you want to look like you're in the "know" of hip cigars amongst the guys, bad cigar in the taste department. It is well-made though, I give it that.

Overall- C

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