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Staff Reviews

Oliva Connecticut Reserve Torpedo Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I am igniting an Oliva Connecticut Reserve in a tapering 6.5 x 52 Torpedo today. It’s a straight shot from here to the Holt’s checkout if the mere mention of Oliva stirs your yearning for a top-rated brand at the biggest discounts in the entire country. If we go back about a decade, Oliva was a wee sapling in our sprawling warehouse. Today is a much different story. The forest is flourishing. Welcome to the jungle, son.


A steady string of hits like Oliva Serie V, Master Blends 3, and especially the ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ for 2014, Serie V Melanio, won tons of praise from the critics in Cigar Aficionado and propelled the brand to the top of our sales charts. Oliva’s formula for success was set in motion decades ago by late family patriarch Gilberto Oliva and his son, José Oliva, who oversaw the company’s tremendous growth before selling it in 2016 to J. Cortès N.V., a Belgium-based maker of machine-made cigars.

The new stewards of Oliva cigars hit the ground running and drastically increased production with the addition of new cigar-making facilities, a box factory, and several upgrades to its existing operations to meet the exponential demand for Oliva cigars. And, they haven’t sacrificed an ounce of quality. Today, Oliva is a prestigious Nicaraguan cigar-maker. It’s also home to the bestselling Nub and Cain brands. All told, Oliva occupies a massive chunk of real estate on any spreadsheet our accountants print out, and that’s why you’re guaranteed to get Oliva at the lowest prices, period, when you get it from your pals at Holt’s. 

Oliva Connecticut Reserve is no exception. What sets Connecticut Reserve apart is its creamy and easygoing taste. Many Oliva cigars are well-known for the beefy Cuban-seed Ligero tobaccos they’re made from and the spicy intensity they provide as a result. Connecticut Reserve is mild to medium-bodied and considerably more approachable by comparison. A caramel-blond Ecuador Connecticut wrapper leaf glistens with a seamless, leathery sheen over a woody core of aged Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos.

A sharp fragrance of leather and honey leaves an attractive impression when the cigar is unsheathed from its cellophane. A tidy snip to the cap and a few quick cold draws prove Connecticut Reserve is constructed flawlessly. A buttery burst of cedar and white pepper coats the palate with an aroma of old tobacco as soon as the cigar is lit. Notes of cashews, smoked almonds, and sweetened tea arrive in a tasteful sequence over the course of the first third.

The cigar’s fine ash stays together as fifteen minutes go by. I tap it off but don’t have to. Notes of coffee beans and buttered toast mingle casually as a creamy spice emerges past the halfway point. As the middle third of Connecticut Reserve is underway, notes of leather, pepper, and cedar reconvene with a welcome concentration due to the Torpedo’s excellent composition.

Leather and wood dominate the overall taste of Oliva Connecticut Reserve. The profile never abandons the verdant sweetness it began with. As the finish nears, nutty and leathery flavors resonate while the cigar’s smoky and sweet room note arises from its pointy nub.

If you love Oliva, but crave a milder cigar, nothing is left to chance with Connecticut Reserve. It’s well-made, well-blended, well-priced, and extremely consistent. Oliva grows and ages for years vast reserves of premium tobacco to accommodate the ever-growing demand for its cigars. The brand’s allegiance to quality shows in Connecticut Reserve. Add an elegant blend to your collection or consider trying it alongside a host of other top Oliva cigars in one of our top-selling samplers like the Oliva 8-Cigar Assortment or Oliva ‘La Familia’ Monster Deal.


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