17 Oct 2012
This addition to the line that introduced many smokers to Oliva comes after years of rumors. There’s a lot to live up to for a stick that bears the name of the 19th century patriarch of the storied tobacco family, in addition to that of the highly regarded Serie V moniker.
Melanio does the job. It’s a fairly strong cigar that’s both tasty and smooth, combining an Ecuadorian-grown Sumatra-seed wrapper with a mix of Nicaraguan filler in a Nicaraguan binder. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better constructed cigar, from the sharp burn to the excellent draw. Two standout components are massive smoke production and a fine, lingering finish to treat the palate.
Another job the Melanio accomplished was to get me smoking an Oliva again after a long, long layoff. I like and have smoked many of its offerings, but it’s been a while. Much of the company’s focus and attention seems to have gone into other projects, such Nub and Cain, and I think that’s helped divert me as well.
One criticism I have for the Melanio is Oliva’s decision not to use cellophane. The wrapper is delicate and seems to be easily banged up. In fact, selecting a stick from the boxes of ten, featured for the five Melanio vitolas, can be a challenge.
Perhaps reflecting the trend toward larger ring gauges, the rectangular-pressed Churchill is a 50 rather than the more traditional 48, though it is the standard seven inches in length.
I found this size a good showcase for the Melanio’s offerings. I probably shouldn’t say this because I don’t really have enough experience to make a competent observation but, hey, we’re all friends, right? This cigar struck me as a great, old-fashioned smoke, one your grandfather would have enjoyed and you will, too.
At around $12, this cigar is higher-priced than many Olivas. I think you’ll find it worth the extra money. It earns four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys