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Stogie Reviews: Oliva Master Blends 3 Churchill

6 Dec 2010

The Oliva Cigar Co. has only been around for about 15 years. In that short time, this decorated Nicaraguan manufacturer has built a well-deserved reputation for quality and affordability. The brand’s foundation is built on blends like the Habano-wrapped Serie V and the Cameroon-wrapped Serie G—two highly-rated cigars that can be bought on the cheap.

The Master Blends 3, or “Liga Maestra,” is considerably more expensive. It is the rarest regular production Oliva, “specifically blended to deliver the richest characteristics of Nicaraguan ligero fillers and broadleaf sun-grown wrappers,” according to Oliva’s website. “It is a complex cigar crafted for the most developed palette.”

Four traditional sizes are available: Churchill (7 x 50), Double Robusto (5 x 54), Robusto (5 x 50), and Torpedo (6 x 52). They sell for $10 to $14 apiece. Each is a box-pressed Nicaraguan puro with a picturesque band of green, gold, maroon, and orange.

The Churchill sports a dry, milk chocolate-colored exterior leaf with several long, albeit unobtrusive, veins. It is moderately firm to the touch with an effortless pre-light draw. The foot gives off a faint fragrance of coffee and caramel.

After establishing an even burn, the cigar produces an initial taste of cedar spice, cinnamon, and sweet syrup. The medium-bodied profile is slightly dry though otherwise balanced. Each easy puff yields voluminous tufts of white, aromatic smoke.

As the Churchill progresses to the second third, creamy notes join in the fray to round off the once spicy edges. Here the cigar lives up to its promise as a super-premium worthy of the Oliva name. All the while the burn line is impeccable and the sandy ash holds firm. The flavor’s cedary core regains prominence in the final third and the spice increases—especially on the short, crisp finish. Towards the end, one of the three samples I smoked for this review began to unravel at one of its seams. Construction was otherwise flawless across the board.

All told, the Oliva Master Blends 3 Churchill is a very respectable smoke from light to nub. I find it completely worthy of its elevated price tag and award it four stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Oliva Master Blends 3 Churchill”

  1. Marc E. Monday, December 6, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    The double robusto is quite frankly a dream smoke. Putting it down at the nub is like saying goodbye to an old friend.

  2. Chris V Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    I agree, these are great smokes indeed! That said, there's variation in them. I had (now consolidated to one) two boxes, one a super dark brown wrapper, one with wrappers more like that pictured. Regardless, both were delicious!