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Cigar Review: Oliva Serie V Lancero

14 Nov 2016

Occasionally I’ll walk into a tobacconist with a few specific cigars in mind and leave with something entirely different. Or maybe I just end up spending way more than I had anticipated. Such was the case recently when I wondered into one of my local shops only to find a representative from Oliva. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take advantage of the special he was offering and reacquaint myself with some old favorites.

lanceroSerie V has been on the market for a long time. Like many of you, I suspect, the blend was a staple in my rotation years ago, only to be slowly displaced by a constant barrage of newer, trendier smokes. There’s nothing like catching up with a long-lost friend, though, so I decided to re-review a cigar I last wrote about way back in September 2012: the Oliva Serie V Lancero.

This blend is intended “to deliver full body taste while maintaining an unparalleled smoothness,” according to the Oliva website. “This flavorful blend exhibits complex tobacco with rich coffee and dark chocolate tones.” The recipe calls for a Habano sun-grown wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and Ligero filler tobaccos from Jalapa.

I count seven regular-production Serie V vitolas: Belicoso, Churchill, Double Robusto, Double Toro, Special V Figurado, Torpedo, and Lancero. The latter ran me about $8. It measures 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 38 and sports an oily, reddish, smooth wrapper with tight seams. The feel is moderately firm and the foot shows a cross-section of tightly packed tobaccos. After the well-executed cap is clipped, the cold draw is quite smooth—especially for such a thin smoke. The sweet pre-light notes remind me of chocolate, caramel, and hay.

On the palate, the Serie V Lancero is much bolder and considerably less sweet than the pre-light notes would have you believe. This is a medium- to full-bodied cigar with ample nicotine kick. Flavors include leather, espresso, black pepper spice, warm tobacco, earth, and a touch of sweetness. Background tastes include subtle hints of sweet toffee, dry cedar, and some dark chocolate.

As the cigar progresses, the profile doesn’t change much, but the spice and intensity dip towards the midway point, only to ramp back up in the final third. I would call the texture leathery—borderline meaty—with enough complexity to keep things interesting from light to nub.

Construction leaves nothing to be desired. The burn is straight, the ash holds fairly well, the draw is clear, and the smoke production is average.

I am electing to slightly change my rating of the Serie V Lancero (I originally awarded it four stogies out of five). It’s hard to say if the cigar is different four years later, or if my preferences, taste buds, and/or standards have somewhat changed. I harbor this impression that one of Oliva’s hallmarks is consistency, so I’m inclined to think it’s more the latter and less the former. In any event, taking everything into consideration, this time I’ve arrived at a score of three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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