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Stogie Reviews: Oliva Connecticut Reserve Lonsdale

17 May 2010

When I think of tasty, consistent, well-constructed cigars that don’t break the bank, a few choice brands come to mind. Oliva is always near the top of the list.

Oliva Connecticut Reserve LonsdaleThe Oliva Cigar Co. has only been around for about 15 years but, in that relatively short time, it has built a well-deserved reputation for quality and affordability. The brand’s foundation consists of blends like the Habano-wrapped Serie V and the Cameroon-wrapped Serie G—two highly-rated cigars that can be found for under $5 apiece. The Serie V Maduro Especial, although more expensive, is another fine specimen from this decorated Nicaraguan manufacturer.

Last year, Oliva diversified its portfolio by launching Connecticut Reserve. This mild-mannered blend was introduced at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Trade Show in August. It comes in five sizes: Churchill (7 x 50), Lonsdale (6.5 x 44), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), and Torpedo (6.5 x 52).

I recently purchased a five-pack of Lonsdales for $22. With a golden Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, a pre-light aroma of sweet hay, and a firm feel from head to foot, this slender vitola makes a great first impression.

The cigar’s cap clips neatly to reveal a clear draw with just a bit of resistance. Then, once lit, the initial taste is of spicy oak and creamy almond. The Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos combine to make the first third bolder than expected.

At the halfway mark of this 80-minute smoke, the medium-bodied flavor settles into the mild spectrum. But, even as smooth cream becomes the dominant texture, the finish remains peppery and sweet—an appealing interplay from light to nub.

Remarkable the Connecticut Reserve Lonsdale is not. I can’t see myself reaching for this cigar if I’m in the mood to celebrate. It simply doesn’t have the complexity of fine tobacco that has been aged to perfection. And its definable flavors can be found in many other Connecticut-wrapped smokes on the market (i.e., the Camacho Connecticut).

That said, the consistency and construction this new Oliva offers—including a solid gray ash and a set-it-and-forget-it burn line—can rarely be found for such an affordable price. I’m happy to keep a handful of these in stock as morning or mid-afternoon cigars to pair with coffee. That justifies a respectable rating of three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

10 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Oliva Connecticut Reserve Lonsdale”

  1. Adam Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    I'm not much of a mild bodied cigar smoker but when I am in the mood for something simple and mild this cigar always does the trick.

  2. Dave in Ashburn Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    I like the robustos. I've been looking for something more economical than my beloved Ashtons for the morning commute and so far these are at the top of the list. Add in a box of Os and Vs and you're set for everyday smokes.

  3. mighty Monday, May 17, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    I really enjoy the Oliva Connecticuts. They have a great price point, good flavor, and a natural hint of sweetness. THese and the Butera ar some of my go to mild cigars when I want a mild cigar. You say this cigar is not remarkable, but keep in mind that a complex, keep you on the edge of your seat "mild" cigar is extremely hard to find, especially at this price point.

    The most complex mild cigar I have personally found is the Cabiguan natural. But, it is also much more expensive.

  4. mighty Monday, May 17, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    I really enjoy the Oliva Connecticuts. They have a great price point, good flavor, and a natural hint of sweetness. These and the Butera are some of my go to mild cigars when I want a mild cigar. You say this cigar is not remarkable, but keep in mind that a complex, keep you on the edge of your seat "mild" cigar is extremely hard to find, especially at this price point.

    The most complex mild cigar I have personally found is the Cabiguan natural. But, it is also much more expensive.

  5. Mike Monday, May 17, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    I've only had 1-2 of these (torpedos), but I liked them. They turned harsh a little early, however. I have found that with several Olivias.

  6. Sticks Monday, May 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    I did not find these to be memorable in any way. I would rather light up a Padilla Hybrid then one of these as it provides more in the way of flavor yet is still a nice mild cigar.

  7. ErikZR Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Can't decide if I agree with the 3.5 review or not. While I definitely agree they aren't an outstanding smoke, for the B&M price they're a pretty damn deal IMO (while I could get better cigars online for the same price, in my local shops for the $ that's about as good as you're going to get).

  8. vincent Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    I found these have to sit in the humidor for a while. When these are dry they're terrible IMO, like burnt paper with white pepper. Properly hydrated they're creamy and more medium than mild.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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