Tabacalera Oliva

Oliva, Esteli, Nicaragua

Oliva serie V Maduro Short Robusto Edición Europa 2010

In 2006 the Nicaraguan cigar producing and tobacco growing family of Oliva and their Oliva Cigar Company, not to be mistaken by the Oliva Tobacco Company who are also tobacco growers but not related, released their strongest cigar to their portfolio, the Oliva Series V and with succes, the torpedo made it into the top 25 of Cigar Aficionado the next year and the blend has been voted in that top 25 for 6 years in a row, an industry record. In 2008 Oliva released a limited edition maduro version of the Series V in a torpedo shape and a Broadleaf wrapper and repeated that in 2009 with a different wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano Maduro this time. In 2010 they changed the size to a 6×54 with yet another another wrapper, Mexican San Andres Maduro and they not only released a limited edition for the USA but also a different size just for the European Market. For Europe they picked a 4 1/2×50 Short Robusto, 1500 boxes of 10 cigars were made. I really loved the 2008 release but wasn’t impressed with the later releases until I smoked this one.


Now this review is not the only one this cigar. I gave a few to Brooks from Halfwheel.com a few years back and he posted a review. The prices mentioned on Halfwheel come from U.K. based websites and the U.K. has crazy taxes. In The Netherlands the cigar had a fixed price tag of €8,50. The cigar has been aging for a minimum of 6 years so the cellophane is discolored from the inside. The band is the normal Oliva serie V band, big, beautiful and printed in my home country of The Netherlands at Vrijdag Printing. The wrapper is dark, toothy, rough and leathery with some veins and it feels leathery. It is not a good looking wrapper when you base it on esthetics but it’s beautifully intimidating. The construction feels good. After a punch I had a tight draw so I made a cut with my xikar butterfly cutter and then the mild spicy cold draw was good. The aroma is thick, rich and deep, reminds me of a horse stable.


I managed to lit the cigar with the last remaining gas in my vintage Ronson and straight away I taste espresso with a lot of cane sugar, it’s like Cuban coffee. After a centimeter the espresso becomes a little milder and the sweetness also toned down a little. The flavors are getting a little toasty though.


Halfway I still taste sweetness but now with more earthy flavors and a little bit of pepper. This Maduro wrapper surely lives up to the ‘Maduro is sweeter’ people always say but it’s not overpowering. After two thirds I get more of a woody flavor with some pepper and the sweetness, which now reminds me of honey.


The smoke from this small cigar is medium thick, not as thick as I like and not as much as I like either so there go some points. The ash on the other hand is amazing, white and very dense. The burn is a little bit off but not enough to correct. The draw is great, but I always expect good draw from Oliva. This cigar is medium plus bodied and medium to full flavored. The smoke time of this enjoyable cigar is close to 90 minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? They are nowhere to be found, its been over 6 years since they were released but I’m glad I bought all the boxes I could find.

Score: 91

91

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cain F Lancero

The people that know me and my cigar preferences know that I’m a big fan of thinner ringed cigars and that my favorite vitola is probably the lancero. I have a decent selection of lanceros in a dedicated ‘lancero humidor’, an old 50’s refrigerator turned humidor. My collection currently has about 600 (petit) lanceros. Now because it’s a cigar that requires a lot of attention, I don’t smoke it when I have company, I don’t smoke it when I’m watching a game, I don’t smoke it when I’m watching a move, I only smoke them when I really want to focus on the cigar. And maybe because it’s such a hard cigar to smoke, smoke too fast and it gets bitter, smoke to slow and you get to relight it often, it’s not a popular size but boy, do I love them. For me the wrapper filler ratio is the best there is, a lancero or any other thin cigar has so much more dynamic than the large ring gauge sticks that are so popular nowadays. My goal for this year is to review at least one lancero each month and post my findings on the 15h of every month, at the end of the year I will not only make a top 25 but also a top 12 of the lanceros I smoked.

The first lancero I will review this year is the 7×38 Cain F lancero. I had this Nicaraguan puro in my humidor for years, I smoked several in the past and always quite enjoyed them. The Cain F was designed by Studio Tobac, Oliva’s think tank, in the hay day of the strong cigars and it contains a lot of ligero tobacco and the body flavor ratio in the thicker sized was way off because of it. The wrapper has a nice color with three small water spots but I’m not bothered by that. The veins have been rolled flat, like Oliva always does, before the wrapper is applied and that gives a smoother appearance of the cigar, the bands are simple, the regular Cain F foot band with an added skinny Studio Tobac band. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice yet very faint cedar aroma. The cold draw is flawless with a mild peppery flavor to it.


Since it’s a small cigar there is no way to punch it, so I used my xikar cutter and Ronson lighter to decap and light the cigar. It’s a thin cigar so lighting is quick and easy. Straight from the get go I taste coffee and pepper with soon a little nutmeg. After a centimeter there is also a little sweetness and a mild acidic aftertaste on my tongue. After an inch the cigar loses the coffee and gets spicier with a sharp pepper on the tip of my tongue. Slowly but surely the cigar gets spicier and more peppery. The ligero strength also kicks in. The flavor doesn’t change dramatically but in little nuances every few puffs, just like you can expect from a thin stick. Halfway the strength toned down a little and I taste a lot of pepper with some licorice on the background. After two thirds i also taste sweetness with the pepper and the licorice changed to an earthy flavor.


The smoke is a little thinner than I would like, but still reasonably. The amount of smoke is fine and it’s white. The ash is beautiful, colors range from dark to light gray and it’s firm for such a thin cigar. The burn is razor sharp. This cigar is full full bodied and medium full flavored. Just like it’s bigger brothers the body flavor ratio is off, but not as bad as the thicker versions of the Cain F. I suspect this Cain F line was blended for strength with flavor as a second priority. Now I don’t mind a strong cigar, but it has to be balanced. I didn’t have to relight the cigar and it lasted me for almost two hours.


Would I buy this cigar again? This is a limited edition so that is impossible and I still have plenty.

Score: 90

90

Categories: 90, Cain, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

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: , ,

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