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Staff Reviews

Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc Robusto Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

On this fine day, I’m reviewing an Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc in a 5 x 50 Robusto. Composing staff reviews is more than a labor of love for yours truly. I supplement my gluttonous cigar consumption on the cheap and report my brutally honest findings to some of the most discerning arbiters in the world of premium cigars – i.e, you. Humbly, I serve as an unswerving, comical catalyst of commerce on your path to purchase some of the finest cigars at the lowest possible prices. And, my deal-seeking beak is beloved in the business for its bloodhound-like precision.

I’ve previously reviewed – and enjoyed immensely – the 90-rated Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva, which is draped in an aged Sumatra cover leaf. Can Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc equally awaken the finely tuned taste buds on my resilient leather tongue with its Ecuador Connecticut wrapper? Let’s find out.

An initial pre-light inspection of the short and stout Robusto format reveals a glistening blond wrapper with a nearly vein-free structure. Once unsheathed from its cellophane sleeve, the cigar’s aroma is rich with notes of well-aged tobacco and leather. A slight bit of spice tingles the olfactory nerves, hastening my removal of the skillfully applied cap.

As I bring the cigar to my lips, the cold draw ushers in a medley of nougat and caramel with lingering notes of pepper. I’m impressed but not surprised. Reserva Blanc is handcrafted with premium binder and filler tobaccos from Ecuador and Nicaragua – a spicy combination that could easily overpower the Connecticut-seed wrapper. Not the case here, folks. While the award-winning Oliva portfolio is home to some robust smokes, the brand’s master cigar-makers are equally gifted at blending approachable and balanced cigars.

An effortless draw ensues in the wake of complete ignition. Creamy tasting notes of leather and baking spices amplify as the wrapper, binder, and filler maintain a clean and even burn. A firm ash forms with a mottled dark-gray appearance while thick, cool clouds of smoke fill the room with a pleasant aroma.

A pronounced raisin-like sweetness complements undertones of cashews in the middle of the profile. The blend is medium-bodied and just spicy enough to pierce the battle-hardened sensors on my well-developed palate. My prickly, tough-to-impress taste buds are pleased throughout the first two-thirds of Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc.

The remainder of the cigar lasts about 20 minutes before its timely demise in the cavernous ashtray on my desk. There weren’t a ton of flavor transitions as the cigar progressed, but that’s okay. Although I generally prefer full-bodied, sweat-inducing, knee-buckling cigars that would make Forest Whitaker’s eye twitch, Reserva Blanc passes my litmus test. It’s refined, a bit zesty and, best of all, affordable. Kudos to the folks at Oliva for creating a cigar worthy of brandishing the namesake of the company's patriarch – Gilberto Oliva.

Join throngs of budget-obsessed Oliva fans and add Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Blanc to your coolerdor today. You can routinely find it in our weekly deal rotation for less than $3 per cigar with free shipping to your doorstep. Don’t forget to shop our full menu of top Oliva cigars too. Put that in your humidor and smoke it!

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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