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Staff Reviews

Flor de Oliva Corojo Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

Could be I got my hands on a guaranteed nubber today – Flor de Oliva Corojo – and it’s made by none other than the folks at Oliva, one of today’s biggest Nicaraguan brands and a beacon for premium cigar hounds round the globe. I’m smoking a 6-by-50 Toro blended from a hundred percent premium long-fillers under an oily, reddish-brown Corojo wrapper leaf grown in Ecuador.

Bad cigars cramp my style, and I just won’t smoke ‘em. My predicament is that I’m not willing to shell out ten-dollar bills to pay for one cigar with a name brand on the band. That means the cigars I smoke have to be one of three things: cheap (usually short-filler), closeouts, or packaged in a bundle. Sometimes the cigars I smoke check all three boxes, but Flor de Oliva squarely lands in the bundle category.

Flor de Oliva cigars are made in the same sprawling complex where top-rated smokes like Oliva Serie V Melanio and Oliva Master Blends originate. Because they come in bundles instead of boxes, you’re paying a pittance for a premium, handmade cigar. When I slice a fresh batch of Toros open, they glisten in the light from the oil that naturally surfaces on the wrapper leaf. A cold aroma of mesquite and leather with hints of sweet tobacco perfumes my nasal cavity after I extract a single from its cellophane sleeve.

The Flor de Oliva Corojo blend is a touch spicier than the original Flor de Oliva blend and the Flor de Oliva Gold, both of which I reviewed a while back. Once I excise the cap from the head of the Corojo I’m firing up, zesty notes coffee bean and earth blanket my taste receptors with hints of hickory and cocoa. Corojo wrappers come from Cuban seeds, and the wrapper on Flor de Oliva Corojo is grown in the volcanic soil of Ecuador, which imparts a good degree of hearty, leathery flavor. That’s just what I look for in a Nicaraguan handmade. The long-filler tobaccos on the inside provide abundant smoke production and amplify the cigar’s earthy taste throughout the initial puffs. An underlying, astringent spice percolates on the backend.

After twenty minutes, the peppery bitterness has died off in favor of a robust but balanced undercurrent of chestnut, leather, and wood. Flor de Oliva Corojo is fairly dense too. Creamy plumes of crisp, white smoke pour into the room and hold my attention with a vigorous amount of nicotine.

Oliva is also the manufacturer of Cain cigars, which are well known for their spicy, palate-pounding taste, due to the Ligero tobaccos they’re made from. I can clearly detect some crossover in the DNA between the Flor de Oliva and Cain brands. That’s great news, though, because it underscores the everyday value Flor de Oliva bundles bring to the table. A batch of 20 premium smokes goes for just over eighty bucks – a touch pricey for a yard ‘gar, but not too cheap to hand out to my buddies on poker night.

Another nice thing about Flor de Oliva Cojoro is that they improve with age. I’m a voracious smoker who rarely makes it twenty-four hours without lighting one up. Since I buy in bulk to save money, I need cigars that can handle hanging out in my coolerdor, sometimes for a few months. Every time I add a few bundles of Flor de Oliva to my stockpile, I’m amazed at how well they perform after I’ve aged them. Some of the zest dissipates, but the earthy and succulent flavor remains, and they only get smoother.

As I peel off the band and burn through the final inch and a half, my ashtray hosts a stack of firm ashes. A long, smoky, and peppery finish stimulates the palate in my final impression of Flor de Oliva Corojo. Even though Flore de Oliva cigars aren’t packaged in fancy cedar boxes with clasps on the front, they offer attractive flavor and reliable quality at a price that’s tough to top. Test out a bundle of Corojo in the backyard with your buddies this summer. I bet you’ll buy two.

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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