Saturday, January 29, 2011

Double Review: Oliva Serie V, cigar making at its finest.

Going back just a few years ago, you could not have convinced me that Nicaragua produced top notch cigars.  Well, that's harsh.  Let me just say that there were quite a few tobacco producing countries above them on my personal list.

Oh, how some good quality hours of smoking and a little education can improve one's mindset. has done it again.  I have been given an excellent opportunity to take a look at one of the world's premier cigar makers: Oliva.  And in spirit of the season, I have lassoed one of my cigar-living friends to aid me in the endeavor of taking an in-depth look at Oliva's latest contribution to the Cigar Aficinado Top 25 Cigars of theYear: the Serie V torpedo.
Oliva Serie V Churchill

Before, I dive right into this awesome cigar, let me just qualify my education on Nicaraguan cigars by simply stating that 3 of the Top 5 cigars of 2009 hailed from that country.  I have smoked them all, and agree whole-hearted with CA's assessment.

Oliva's roots , of course, began in Cuba in 1886 when the patriarch, Melanio Oliva, began growing tobacco in the lush Pinar del Rio region.  After a stint in the Cuban army, he returned to the tobacco fields and continued making cigars until his son, Hipolito took over operations in the 1920s.  As the familiar story of the Cuban Revolution ran its course, and the tobacco industry fell into government control Gilberto traveled the globe searching for soil worthy of his Cuban seeds.  The family eventually settled in Nicaragua and is now the second largest grower of Cuban Pulito Tobacco Leaf.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  I enlisted another of my cigar smoking pals to help me out with the Oliva V cigars supplied by Cigarsdirect.  SNOB nation meet Eric "Gus" Gustafson, a cigar-smoking, big game-shooting, music-loving Cheesehead (Go Packers!).  Gus and I went to college together and were members of the same fraternity.  His life-long aspiration is to record music for a living (he rocks on a drum kit).

To the reviews.

By Eric "Gus" Gustafson

I recently had the pleasure of smoking an Oliva Serie V Churchill. I have had prior encounters with Oliva cigars, none of which had really “floored” me as far as the overall experience of the cigar itself. After having tasted those cigars I had pretty much written off Oliva. They just were never impressive. They were all show and no go for me. That was until I had the Serie V Churchill.

The blend of flavors combined with the exquisite draw all came together in a pure, perfect moment. The flavors of earth, nutmeg and coffee mixed with the right amount of spice were mesmerizing. Needless to say, the cigar has an amazing bouquet that is a delight to the nostrils and perfect, not overpowering at all.

This cigar could be paired with a variety of different treats. For example, whiskey goes great with this cigar. I would definitely recommend a good glass of Crown to accompany the flavors of the Serie V. For those who do not prefer to take alcohol with your stogie, I would recommend either Coca Cola or Pepsi. The spice and flavor of any of these three beverages would compliment the flavor of the cigar perfectly. This cigar is prime for having after a nice, hearty steak dinner or a pure, redneck barbecue. Final Grade is an A+ my friends. Do yourself a favor and have one of these cigars ASAP.

In closing, I have always considered making cigars as being a form of art. The cigar maker uses his colors, contrasts and techniques while putting his spin on the cigar creating what could be viewed as his art. That is exactly what this cigar represents, art.

Rock N’ Roll,

Rating: A+

By Bear

I was really looking forward to this cigar.  After all, when a stick receives a 94 rating, it's usually as amazing as advertised.

This cigar had a little tooth to it, but had a pretty flawless construction.  The band is the most decadent of all the Oliva lines.  The pre-draw was rich with nutty, caramel nuances that gave way to what was going to be an amazing smoke to come.

The first few puffs warmed the palate with pepper and leathery spice.  As the cigar progressed through the first half it smoothed out considerably, with bountiful smoke and excellent rich flavors of coffee, nutmeg, and pepper.

The cigar burned uneven at first, but "corrected" itself and produced a firm, gray ash.  The ash held for up a solid 1" plus before falling off.

As the cigar began its second half, the roasted coffee, pepper, and leather amplified in strength as the flavor profile melded into full-bodied taste.  At this point, I realized why this cigar was so herald.  The complexity complimented the construction almost perfectly.

This torpedo smoked long, as I went to the nub with little challenge.  The flavor profile grew as the cigar progressed until it finished as a full-bodied, tasty treat.  The leather and pepper was prominent on the finish as it lingered for a bit.

This is definitely a Friday Night smoke.  With tons of flavor, and a very pronounced bouquet, this cigar will be a perfect compliment to a night on the town or as a night cap after an enjoyable evening.  Pick up a box or a sampler pack here at Cigarsdirect

My Ratings:

Appearance - 10
Pre-light taste- 9
Construction - 10
Draw - 9
Burn - 9
Aroma - 9
Flavor - 10
Balance - 9
Finish- 9

Total Rating: 9.3

Enjoy guys and gals, for Gus and myself remember:  There is nothing wrong with knowing you are the best.


  1. Sounds like a good one! Sully

  2. Bear,

    I looked at Cigars Direct per your recommendation. They have a great selection.

    Keep 'em burning,