28 Mar 2013
Disappointed is about the only word I can use to describe my feelings about Oliva’s 2012 version of its limited release maduro. I didn’t find a bad cigar, more like Gertrude Stein’s reaction upon returning to her Oakland home.
Start with the pre-light aroma. It was barely noticeable. Move to the opening puffs, where there was a bite and a sharp finish for much of the first third. Then the remaining four inches or so: not much of anything in the way of taste. None of the typical maduro tobacco sweetness or characteristic coffee, cocoa, or chocolate. Nothing else really apparent, either.
My disappointment comes not so much from the stick not making much of an impression. No, it’s more because I’d read and heard so much positive reaction from smokers whose opinions I respect. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t confess that it does make me wonder about my own reactions.
Construction was flawless in the three I smoked. The six-inch, 50 ring gauge smoke retails for about $9.50 and comes in boxes of 10. The Oliva web site appears hopelessly out of date, apparently describing the 2009 version. According to most reports, the 2012 sports the popular Mexican San Andrés wrapper and Nicaraguan filler and binder, as has been the case for several years, with 50,000 sticks rolled.
Two things I can point to for my lack of enthusiasm are that wrapper and maduros in general. It’s been years since I smoked maduros with any regularity and rarely find them more than passable. The same holds for that Mexican wrapper; it’s a rare smoke that utilizes it and suits my taste.
All that being said, I would urge you to consider your own tastes in thinking about purchasing the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2012. For me, though, I can only award it three stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys