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Oliva Serie G Maduro Robusto Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

I’m smoking an Oliva Serie G Maduro in a classic 4.5 by 50 Robusto, and today’s review is more than my humble appraisal of a premium cigar. It’s a cautionary tale. If you plan to smoke cigars away from your home, best bring enough for an unannounced onslaught of cigar pilferers, or you risk learning the hard way, as I did, that life hangs in the balance with the least bit of forewarning.

It all began on an unseasonably warm October Saturday when I hauled my family a couple of hours away up to our campground where we spend innumerable weekends during the spring, summer, and fall, weather permitting. My family’s got a camper with all the modern amenities. The kids can run around in the fresh air, there’s an adjacent golf course, and I can smoke one cigar after the other unhindered by the general public because there are no sidewalks for miles on end for self-righteous do-gooders to reach my vicinity to tell me my cigar is bothering them.

Let me start by saying Oliva Serie G Maduro is a pretty darn good cigar considering its taste, its construction, and its $6 to $7 price tag, but, it’s by no means a cigar I would die for, and I almost did. Before I checked out of the office on Friday afternoon, I stuffed a handful of Oliva Serie G Maduro Robustos – 4 to be exact – into a Ziploc with a trusty Boveda pack to keep them fresh, and into the glovebox they went so I’d have them for my weekend at the campground when I had planned to relax, smoke, and put the review together you’re reading now. When we arrived on Saturday morning, I got my wife and kids settled and unpacked a cooler brimming to the lid with ice-cold beer. I couldn’t wait to plant my behind in my favorite fold-out chair, crack a cold one, and toast the foot on a Serie G Maduro.

The wrapper on the G Maduro oozes with a toothy appearance and chocolaty aroma. Under the hood is a firm combo of hearty Nicaraguan long-fillers that ignite without delay once a few flashes of my cigar torch hit the foot. The first ten minutes delivered loads of dark cocoa with black pepper and earth as I expelled giant clouds of creamy smoke from my mouth when a rustling from the trail behind our camper caused my ears to perk. My fears of roaming wildlife were allayed when a jovial fishermen and his two pals emerged from the woods. “Whatcha smokin’?” their de facto leader hollered. “Smells like a good cigar!”

“It’s an Oliva,” I responded, “and it’s very good!” After some idle introductory chitchat, they asked if I could spare a few as they trudged back to their fishing boat on a nearby lake. “Sure,” I said, and I handed them two of the remaining three I had, but I told them, “that’s all I got,” knowing it wouldn’t be enough for the entire group as I kept the last one hidden for myself. They thanked me, made some crude jokes, and headed back up the trail.

I continued puffing on my Serie G Maduro, relieved to be left alone again and that I hadn’t encountered a bear. Notes of espresso, black licorice, and molasses swelled throughout the middle of the easy-burning Robusto while a firm ash formed on the end, making the Maduro much easier to smoke outdoors than the classic Oliva Serie G, which is finished in a delicate Cameroon wrapper. I swigged a few sips of Michelob and took a big satisfying draw of my cigar when I realized I had a dilemma on my hands – where can I smoke the last cigar and remain undetected by the snouts of a pack random moochers? I decided I would hike up the trail a few paces in the opposite direction from where the fishermen came.

After roasting some s’mores over the campfire for the kids, I took a short hike around 5:30 to smoke my last cigar and told my wife I’d be back in a bit. This time, I wanted to finish my review and my cigar in peace. I hiked a few paces off the trail into an idyllic clearing where I could sit on an old log and puff away as I jotted my notes down. Surely my cigar smoke wouldn’t reach any interloping campers from here. Billows of luscious aroma floated into the treetops as notes of cocoa, molasses, and baking spices bathed my palate draw after draw. As I closed in on the nub, a chewy blast of pepper and brownie batter brought my Serie G Maduro to a gratifying conclusion about fifty minutes later. Feeling satisfied, I stood up and turned to leave when I realized the sun was sinking behind the trees, and I had somehow lost track of my way back to the walking path. “Maybe it’s a nicotine buzz,” I told myself. I stayed calm and meandered around the clearing looking for the trail, but the fast-fading daylight added to my disorientation because the landscape looked different than when I arrived.

Luckily, Oliva cigars are rolled with the finest aged tobaccos, and the mouthwatering aftertaste of the G Maduro served as a comfort as panic began to set in. Determined to get back to my family at the campground, I decided to pick a direction and walk. Maybe that wasn’t the wisest choice. Or, at least, the direction I chose was not wise, and the lack of cell reception and darkening conditions neglected to aid my cause as well. About twenty-four hours later, a search and rescue crew discovered me shivering like a bedraggled hobo in the brush five miles away from the campground, wet, hungry, and highly annoyed. But I was alive and glad to be reunited with my family – and my coolerful of beer.

The moral of the story is simple. Since Holt’s sells Oliva for the cheapest prices period, you can always afford to buy more than what you need. Next time, I’m grabbing an Oliva ‘La Familia’ or ‘Nocturnal Beasts’ 20-cigar sampler so I’ve got plenty of meat to toss to the wolves before I trail off to sleep in my warm and toasty camper.  


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