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Staff Reviews

Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Toro Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

All Aboard! Pour yourself a drink and belly up to the bar, friends. This review is about to pull out of the station and transport you, in a virtual sense, directly to my proving grounds, a.k.a. my office. From there, I’ll lead you like the pied piper directly to the best deals and overlooked brands in my humble and professional opinion.


For this review I’ve procured an Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Toro directly from the top-shelf of my desktop humidor. If you’ve read and enjoyed my previous staff reviews, you already know my definition of top shelf carries serious credibility amongst throngs of budget-seeking connoisseurs who demand the absolute best in quality for the smallest amount of cash. There’s no room for participation trophies in my humidor.

Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva pays homage to Oliva family patriarch Gilberto F. Oliva, Sr. His story is one of dedication and unwavering determination. Sadly, Gilberto Sr. passed away in 2017 but he left behind a legacy that lives on in the brands that bear his name.

Affectionately known as Gilby around the office, the 6 x 50 Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva Toro showcases an unassuming, elegant, and understated band for a vintage look. The cigar is swaddled in an oily, butterscotch-hued Sumatra wrapper with a stunning appearance. Attention to detail is evident in the expertly applied triple cap.

The pre-light aroma from the cigar has an appealing top note of cedar complemented by leathery, rich notes of well-aged tobacco. The cold draw offers perfect resistance and buffers the palate with a tongue-tingling spice and an earthy hay-like sweetness. Out of the gates, this cigar is an overachiever when you factor in the approximate $5-per-cigar price. Worry not my frugal friends, don’t let sticker shock deter you. The entire Oliva brand, including Gilberto Reserva, is often available on special for unbeatable discounts with fabulous freebies and FREE shipping on your entire order. Sign up for our email specials and receive jaw-dropping deals direct to your inbox every day. Thank me later!

As flame touches foot, wrapper, binder and filler ignite evenly, and effortlessly. Prominent notes of cocoa and earth deliver in an appealing, rich, and rewarding profile. Thanks to an assemblage of well-aged long-filler tobaccos from Ecuador and Nicaragua, the medium-bodied blend is destined for mass-appeal and will pique the interest of cigar newbies and grizzled aficionados alike. Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva is not too strong or too mild.

The cigar progresses through the halfway point over the course of twenty-five minutes. A single touch-up with my trusty torch lighter corrects an uneven burn as an interesting flavor transition occurs. Bittersweet notes of cocoa and Turkish figs punctuate a fleeting peppery spice. A flaky snow-white ash remains firmly intact before necessitating a mandatory ash drop in my battle-worn ashtray.

For some, cash is king. But for me, consistency is a close second place. Oliva Gilberto Oliva Reserva remains consistently pleasant from the first puff until its demise almost fifty minutes later. Not an easy feat to accomplish, but one that mandates a solid 88-point rating from yours truly. Give Gilby a shot and score a deal-seeker’s dream come true backed up by Oliva’s lengthy reputation as a top-rated brand. 

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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