Tabacalera Oliva

Oliva, Esteli, Nicaragua

Studio Tobac ST-EF401

This is an old review that somehow never got posted when it should have been uploaded.

Studio Tobac, the think tank of Oliva, used to do a world tour with events and if you bought a box there you would get a sampler with some unreleased cigars. Now world tour is a big name because only one of those years a country outside of the United States was visited but because I worked for the Oliva distributer who also ran the Oliva warehouse for every country outside the USA, I managed to get my hands on the samplers anyway.
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I picked this 5×50 ST-EF401 test blend from the sampler. The light colored, probably Connecticut shade, wrapper has a few veins. The construction feels good and I smell an aroma that reminds me of horses. The ring is just a photocopied piece of paper with the code ST-EF401 on it. The cold draw is fine and I taste dry raisin.
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The cigar is acidic and musty, now I know for sure that the wrapper is Connecticut shade. The flavors are harsh, peppery and with some spiced. After an inch I taste some licorice, hay and wood and the flavors are still musty. Halfway I taste (still musty) wood with some herbs. After two thirds the cigar gets very ashy.
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This cigar had a smoke time of an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw is great but the smoke is thin. The light colored ash is compact and firm. The burn is good but the smoke, which is good in volume, has a very nasty smell.
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Would I buy this cigar again? That’s impossible because this test blend never made it to the market and in my opinion that’s a good thing
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Appearance: 7
Construction: 7
Draw: 8
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 7
Aroma first part: 5
Aroma second part: 6
Aroma third part: 5

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Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva

Oliva serie G Robusto

A Nicaraguan classic with a Cameroon wrapper grown by the renowned Meerapfel family, who grows about 80% of all Cameroon tobacco. The blend has been a staple for Oliva for many many years, I’m reviewing the robusto.
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The thin Cameroon wrapper isn’t the prettiest, but then again, Cameroon wrapper usually isn’t the best looking wrapper anyway. A simple classic band rings the cigar that feels well constructed and has a minor hay aroma. The peppery  raisin flavored predraw is fine.
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Spicy flavors, like you expect from a Cameroon wrapper. The flavor is a bit harsh though, which I never tasted in any other Oliva G series before. It soon turns to green herbs with some sweetness.After a centimeter the harshness is gone, mildly sweet wood with some white pepper is what I taste.

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After a third the sweetness disappears, herbal flavors with pepper and some wood, halfway the sweetness returns but way on the background and way mild. The wood is the main flavor, by far. After two thirds I taste cinnamon and other spices too. Slowly a nutty flavor shows up, which I like a lot. Nutty flavor gets stronger with some sweetness.
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Nice amount of smoke, not too thick though but not too thin either. The ash is white, tight and firm. The draw is great. Burn is razor sharp. The cigar gave me an hour and 20 minutes of pleasure.
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Would I buy this again? Yes, it’s a nice change of pace.

Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

Oliva Serie V diadema

Oliva, just browse my reviews and you’ll see that I love the brand (except for the Connecticut Reserve but that is because I dislike Connecticut shade with a passion) so you can imagine that I had high expectations for this 9×56 Oliva series V diadema. This is a limited edition of only 2500 sticks, just for Europe. 1000 sticks made it to The Netherlands, the other 1500 ended up on the German market.
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The cigar looks fabulous, a beautiful and smooth Colorado colored wrapper with a strong and peppery barnyard smell and not a lot of veins. The construction feels great and the predraw confirms the flawless construction, I taste raisin and pepper.
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Straight from the start I taste a full coffee flavor with some earthiness and pepper. There is also a smoky flavor. After half an inch I taste wood, pepper and coffee. The wood slowly grows stronger and far far on the background I taste some dry, very dark, chocolate. The chocolate disappears again and all I taste is wood with herbs. The flavors are mild creamy now.
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After a third I taste creamy chocolate with wood. The herbs are gone, just like the pepper. Halfway I get that typical Oliva sweetness that only an Oliva cigar can produce. The wood, the sweetness, the creaminess all blend together while the pepper makes a comeback. After two thirds the pepper is strong and the cigar gets more spicy. Near the end I get wood, some herbs and a little bit of cacao.
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This cigar lasted me for two hours and forty-five minutes and I loved every minute of it. The draw is amazing for a cigar this size and shape. The light gray ash is firm and the burn is fantastic too. The only negative thing I can say is that the smoke could be a tad thicker but if that is all, it is a great cigar. The flavors of the cigar are dry so I got thirsty a lot during smoking. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? A whole box, even with the steep price

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 10 / 10
Draw: 9 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

Cain maduro tubo

If you keep track of my reviews you may remember that in the past I have not been very pleased with the Cain and Nub cigars, with exception of the Cain F550 and the Nub barberpole until the recent releases of the Cain F lancero, Cain Daytona series and the Nub San Andres from the Studio Tobac sampler. As a Studio Tobac advisory board member I also got a Cain Maduro tubo, as the tubes are new. I decided to review this Cain 5¾x50 maduro robusto again, to see if my taste changed or that the new Studio Tobac are just better.
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The wrapper is nice, dark and oily with a few bumps and veins. The foot band is pretty and the construction feels good. I smell wood and earth. The predraw is fine and I taste an earthy flavor with tobacco.
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I taste an earthy flavor with pepper and a little bit of coffee, the flavors are full. I also taste a little bit of chocolate on the background. After half an inch I taste earthy flavors with lots of pepper, even in the aftertaste. I also taste a little bit of chocolate with the pepper. After an inch less pepper, more wood and something mild sweet.
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After a third I taste earth with a little bit of citrus and a herbal aftertaste. After two thirds the flavors have changed to herbs, pepper and a hint of chocolate. The turning point is reached with an inch to go
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This cigar lasted me and hour and fifteen minutes. The draw is great just like the high volume thick smoke. The white ash is firm and the burn is great too. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, still not my thing

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cain, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

Oliva series V #4

After last year’s success story with the Oliva V maduro short robusto Edicion Europe Oliva decided to create another European exclusive cigar and they chose a 5×43 #4 size with the Oliva V blend for us Europeans. A select group of American retailers had the opportunity to buy a limited amount of boxes too. The price is set for 5 euro a stick.
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The wrapper has the colour of dark chocolate with a few veins. The cigar has a strong smell of an old wooden barn. The construction feels great and the predraw is just like I want it. I taste tobacco with chilli peppers.
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I taste pepper, coffee and an earthy flavour. That earthy flavour with quite some pepper on the top of my tongue is the aftertaste. On the background I taste something sugar sweet. After half an inch I taste lots of pepper with some chocolate on the background. After a third I taste pepper with terroir. The chocolate and the sweetness have disappeared. I do taste some herbs too though.
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Halfway I taste a little less pepper and I do get some chocolate and a little bit of nuts. Some puffs later I also taste terroir again. Near the end I taste more pepper with terroir. Even though the pepper is strong, it is not as strong as before. The nut flavour remains.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw is great and I got a lot of thick white smoke. The ash is quite dark and medium firm. The burn is great and the cigar is full flavoured and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? You can count on that

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8/ 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , ,

Cain Daytona lancero

Cain Daytona Lancero, yes, you read it well, lancer. Now before you start to google to order them: these are not for sale, heck, they are not even in production and it is still undecided if they will, although I can’t imagine Studio Tobac deciding not to start producing these. Even though the Cain Daytona lancero is not in production it won the ‘Nicaraguan cigar of the year’ award from the European Cigar Cult Journal at the IPCPR last week.
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This 7×38 lancero has a deep brown and oily wrapper with a few pretty veins. The construction feels a bit soft but the predraw is great. I taste tobacco with raisin and I smell a strong barnyard smell.
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I taste spicy coffee and an earthy flavour and the flavours are mild bitter. After a quarter of an inch I taste herbal wood with a little earthiness. The coffee and the bitterness have gone. After three quarters of an inch I taste wood with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavours are subtle and smooth. After an inch I taste wood, autumn leaves and some spiciness in the aftertaste.
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After a third I taste a beautiful mix of mild sweet spices with wood and autumn leaves. I taste a mild spicy earth flavour in the aftertaste. After two thirds I taste wood with spices and a little bit of pepper. After three quarters I taste a nice flavour that I can’t name with some spices that for some reason remind me of the autumn.
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This cigar lasted me an hour and forty minutes. I got a lot of smoke, which is thick too. The draw is great, the pepper and salt coloured ash is firm. The burn is straight as an arrow. This cigar is full flavoured and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I will, if they go into regular production.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8/ 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 9 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cain, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , ,

Padilla Studio Tobac figurado

Studio Tobac, part of the Oliva Cigar Company and responsible for all the non-traditional cigars like Cain and Nub, announced a collaboration with Ernesto Padilla a while ago and the result is a 6½x60 figurado with a beautiful Padilla band with a second small Studio Tobac band. Only 10,000 cigars are made in this limited production.
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The cigar is beautifully shaped and has a nice oily chocolate colored wrapper with a lot of thin small veins. The band is awesome, I love the lion but maybe that’s because I’m a Leo. The construction is great and the predraw is fine. I taste wood with raisin and a little pepper in the aftertaste.
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I taste a soft coffee flavour with some wood and a little bit of citrus. After the top I taste some sweetness with the other flavours and the aftertaste is herbal. After half an inch I taste some herbal wood, mild sweet, with herbs and pepper in the aftertaste. A quarter of an inch later I also taste some dry chocolate and after an inch the sweetness gains some strength. A quarter of an inch later I taste some leather with the sweetness and wood. The aftertaste is leather and herbs and some pepper.
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Halfway I taste chocolate with wood and an herbal aftertaste. The pepper has disappeared. Just passed the middle point the flavours get mild creamy. I taste wood with leather and some nuts. The aftertaste is herbal, just like the background flavour. The nut flavour slowly grows in strength, also in the aftertaste and I also taste herbs. After two thirds I taste nuts with herbs and a little bit of a bitter flavour. The aftertaste is peppery, but still smooth and subtle.
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This cigar lasted me for two hours. The draw was great and I got a lot of smoke, but the smoke is a bit thin. The light colored ash is firm. The burn is beautiful. The cigar is medium to full flavoured and medium bodied. The cigar is quite subtle. I have a feeling Studio Tobac is expanding and exploring more subtle blends. The Cain and Nubs are pretty straight forward and in your face, but the Cain Daytona and this Padilla Studio Tobac are much more subtle.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I wish, these cigars won’t make it across the pond

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Padilla, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , ,

Oliva masterblend 2 robusto

The Masterblend series from Oliva are supposed to be the cream of the crop of the Oliva cigars and the Masterblend 1 and Masterblend 3 that I smoked really impressed me. I never had the Masterblend 2, until I ran into a box of 5×50 robustos recently. The cigars are € 10,50 each here. The cigar is tattooed, like the Masterblend 1. The production of the Masterblend 2 was limited to 120.000 cigars in total.
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The oily wrapper is chocolate brown with the mentioned tattoo and quite some veins. The construction feels good and the cigar smells like chocolate with dried grass. The band is beautiful and accentuates the tattoo. The predraw is great, I get a lot of flavour, mostly hay but with some raisin.
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The first thing I taste is a bitter mixture of earthy flavours with leather, coffee and a hint of white pepper. The bitterness quickly disappears and after half an inch I taste that earthy flavour with leather and wood. After an inch I taste some white pepper and lots of herbs. After a third I taste wood with some leather and hay, the aftertaste consists of some white pepper and herbs.
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Halfway the hay flavour gains strength with herbs, some leather and a big splash of that earthy flavour. The flavours change to earth with some herbs and a hint of leather. The aftertaste is pepper. After two thirds there is some citrus with the earthy flavour. Near the end the citrus is replaced by wood.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and three quarters. The draw is great, just like the bur. The silver-grey ash is firm. I got a lot of smoke. This cigar is full flavoured and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I liked the cigar but the Masterblend 1 and Masterblend 3 are better in my opinion

Appearance: 9 / 10 because of the tattoo
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , ,

Oliva masterblend 1 torpedo

About 5 years ago, when I was still a noob, I started smoking cigars just a few months before, I went to a cigar shop and got me some singles including a few cigars I bought just for the look as it had a lasered tattoo which made the cigar stand out from the others. I learned that it was de Oliva Masterblend 1 torpedo. In may of 2007, about two years after I bought it, I smoked my last one and reviewed it. Ever since I regretted not taking pictures and I was never able to get myself another Masterblend 1 cigar as they are impossible to get until last december when a cigar shop owner told me he bought half a box from a client and had a few left. I wanted to buy them all, but my friends who were with me wanted some too, so generous as I am, I only bought one and let my friends buy the others. I just wanted one so I could take pictures for my old review. Well, if I’m taking pictures, I can take notes too right? A lot has happened since may 2007, it’s been four years, I am an experienced smoker now and the cigars have more age on them, so why not write a new review?
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This cigar is 6 inch long with a 52 ring. The chocolate brown and leathery looking wrapper has a tattooed logo, which disappeared after the masterblend 2 series, because tattooing caused 15% of the quality wise great cigars got destroyed by the tattoo machine. The construction feels a bit hard and I smell wood and straw. The predraw is fine, I taste raising with a little pepper on the background.
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I taste dry hay with some chocolate and the unique Oliva sweetness. The flavors change to wood and chocolate after half an inch. After an inch I taste dry hay again with some wood. Both the sweetness and the chocolate have disappeared.
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After a third the chocolate returns and gets stronger with some pepper and herbs on the background. Halfway I taste wood with herbs and some chocolate in the aftertaste. Later on the wood disappears and I taste herbs, chocolate and hazelnuts. After two thirds I taste wood with herbs.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and forty five minutes. I got a great draw and a decent amount of smoke. The light colored ash is not firm at all. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied. It has a great burn and I got a huge flame when I purged it.
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Would I buy this cigar again? That would be close to impossible, I got this one with a lot of luck.

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , ,

Cain Daytona double toro

Like the last few days I smoked a Cain Daytona today. As I had all six different vitolas (the five regular production cigars and the short robusto from the Studio Tobac sampler) I decided to smoke them all in one week, post the reviews so you, my readers, can compare my experiences. This 6×60 double toro is the last of the series.
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The wrapper has a latte color with a lot of veins and even a quite large water spot. The construction feels good. I smell a mild acidic barnyard. When I punch the cigar I notice that the wrapper is very thin. The predraw is fine, I taste tobacco and raisin with some pepper in the aftertaste.
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The flavors are spicy, I taste a lot of pepper with a little bit of citrus, some wood and the mentioned pepper. I taste something sweet in the aftertaste. After half an inch the pepper gets a bit less strong but it is still the dominant flavor. After an inch I also taste some chocolate. I also taste some herbs with some mint. After a third the cigar tastes like wood, herbs and something sweet while the pepper almost completely disappears. I only taste the pepper in the aftertaste. The sweetness turns to honey and a mild nut flavor joins the wood.
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Halfway the main flavor is honey with some wood and herbs, on the background I taste some nuts. After two thirds I taste sweet sal ammoniac like in candy with wood and some herbs. A few puffs later some citrus joins these flavors. The flavors have a warm feeling to it. On the background the nut flavor gets stronger.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and forty five minutes. The draw was too easy. The smoke started out medium but turned thick and plenty quite quickly. The ash is light colored, almost white, it is coarse but firm. I had to correct the burn a few times. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied, but not Cain F full bodied. The wrapper tears after two thirds.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, I mean, I loved the flavors, but ring 60 is over the top. I’ll stick to the torpedo, which I liked best from the regular Cain Daytona series.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cain, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , ,

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