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Stogie Reviews: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2009

17 Feb 2010

OlivaSerieVMaduroFor smokers who enjoy full-flavored smokes, the Oliva Serie V needs no introduction. The highly-rated smoke has appeared on Cigar Aficionado‘s Top 25 list every year since its release, including two top 5 showings.

Building on that success, Oliva released a maduro version of the Serie V in 2008 and 2009. Produced in only one size—a Torpedo (6.5 x 52)—only 5,000 boxes of 10 were made each year.

The Nicaraguan Habano wrapper is flawless and mouthwatering, reminiscent of a bar of dark chocolate. Inside, the Nicaraguan puro is made of “specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero” filler tobacco. The torpedo has an extremely firm construction.

Once lit, I find a full-bodied combination of earth, chocolate, and espresso. There’s also a hint of pepper, particularly in the first third of the smoke. The finish is long with dry cocoa notes.

As it evolves, a rich and chewy roasted nut flavor evolves that reminds me of cashew. In the final third more leather emerges, occasionally showing some rare bitterness.

Construction is impressive with a solid gray ash and an even burn. Despite the tight feel, there is no resistance on the draw.

I realize this may put me in the minority, but I happen to think the Maduro is even better than the highly acclaimed original Oliva Serie V. While smoking samples for this review, I found myself comparing the Maduro Especial to another favorite maduro of mine, the Padrón Serie 1964 Maduro.

That makes the price of $10 per cigar or $90 for a box of 10 eminently fair. It also earns the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2009 an impressive rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

17 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2009”

  1. dmjones Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    I guess the question is "are these better than the 2008 release?" I bought a box of 2008 V Maduros. Right out of the box they were full-bodied and full-flavored, but also full of nicotine (a sign of insufficient fermentation)–enough to make me want to hurl. Then there was the issue of sap, tar, or whatever it is that bubbles to the cut head when smoking these things. Out of 4 that I smoked and 1 that I gave to someone else, all of them had that nasty bitter crap come to the head by the halfway mark.

    After letting them sit for a year, I tried another one and it was much better, but it seems to me that Oliva released the 2008 vintage too soon.

  2. Sureshot81 Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    I've never had the 2008, but I have purchased a box of 2009s. Besides a one wrapper problem, I've had no issues. I've heard several say they prefer the 2009s over the 2008 release.

  3. Robert Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    I personally was underwhelmed with the 2008 release – it had burn issues and tar build up, and, IMO, the flavor was only slightly different from the regular V. The 2009, I loved, and like Patrick's review, it kept reminding me of Padron Anniversary Maduros. Lots of cocoa and espresso, and for me, an occasional dark fruit type of sweetness.

  4. dmjones Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    Sounds like the 2009 stick may be a totally different experience from the 2008…I may just have to break down and give it a try.

  5. Marc E Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Where can I find the 2009s? All the online shops I've tried have it listed as "sold out"

  6. keith Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    marc e:

    Try Taboo cigars.

  7. chris Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    is it still wrapped with a ct. broadleaf?

  8. Rocco XL Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    I was also unimpressed with the 2008's. Will check out the 2009's based on this glowing review)))Rocco

  9. Marc E Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Thanks Keith…don't see them listed on the site in the Oliva V section but I will call them.

  10. LibertyToad Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    I had a box of the 2008's and about half of them had a poor (tight) draw–even after resting at 65% for many months. Aging them does seem to get rid of the tar. I didn't get any of the 2009's after the problems with the 08's. The 08's were good cigars but they're no Padron. Maybe I'll try to see if I can still get some 09's to try.

  11. Dannyboy Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    I just smoked the 09 last night and really enjoyed it. A good mix of maduro and spice flavors. Draw was near perfect, burn somewhat wavy but never needed correcting. I paid $9.50 locally. I might buy a couple more and let them sit for several months. I enjoyed it more than the V liga as well. Never really cared much for the liga honestly…always felt it was a bit overrated…

  12. Mark "ezmoney51 Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    I definitely like the 2009 better than the 2008. Not that the 2008 is bad, I just prefer the Habano wrapper over the Conn. Broadleaf that was on the 2009

  13. Mike Wilson Monday, March 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Anybody know where to get these? I had one a few months ago and waited 'til employed to try and find a box. Everybody seems to be out.

  14. pacman357 Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    I absolutely LOVE the original 2008 maddie. In fact, one place I had ordered from incorrectly advised me that they were out, and did I want a refund, pick something else, etc. So I bought a couple boxes elsewhere…then received the first 2 I ordered from the place that said they couldn't fill my order.

    I decided to wait and try one before doing anything else. It was love at first puff. Complex, powerful (albeit dialed back a little from the regular V), and I found myself wishing I had purchased even more, as I paid about $70 a box.

    Tried the 2009, and it wasn't even close IMHO. I could tell the wrapper wasn't the same, and after quite a bit of snooping, I found out they were Nic wrappers, not the original CBL. Decent cigar, but not fit to carry the 2008's jock strap.

    I just ordered a box of the 2010. I'm apprehensive about the Mexican wrapper on it. I still think this cigar is wonderful all day long with the CBL wrapper. In fact, I caught up with the Olivas in 2009 at CigarFest, thanked them for the 2008s, and begged them to make more. I got half of my wish.

    Come to think of it, it's been nearly a year. May be time to see how the 2009s have aged. Oh, and I have never had a single burn problem, construction issue, etc. I've smoked about 1.5 boxes so far, and every cigar was built properly, with none of this bubbling I'm seeing for the 1st time in posts above.

    Oh, and I totally agree the V maddie is better than the regular V line. Wish I'd have known before getting several regular Vs.

  15. Stephen Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    If anyone liked the 2009 maddie, CI has a great price on them RIGHT NOW – and they've been aging for four years!

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