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Staff Reviews

Oliva Serie O Toro Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Finally, winter is ending and smoking outside is upon us! I have in my hand a perfectly rolled Oliva Serie O in a classic 6 x 50 Toro to welcome the warmer weather. As the days get longer, let’s review a fine Nicaraguan handmade you can add to your collection before you’re back on the golf course.  

Family patriarch Melanio Oliva began making cigars in Cuba in the late 1800s. Today, the Oliva portfolio carries his legacy forward and is a leading Nicaraguan brand sold in premium retailers around the world. Melanio Oliva’s grandson, Gilberto, became a tobacco grower as well as a tobacco broker in Cuba. He continued to do business after the Cuban revolution but left in 1964 due to the mounting pressure of government restrictions put in place by Castro. Gilberto traveled throughout Central America and the Caribbean in search of tobacco that rivaled the crops of his native Cuba.

Today, Oliva cigars are handcrafted in Estelí, Nicaragua, and are blended from Cuban-seed tobaccos grown in the fertile soils of the country’s Estelí, Condega, and Jalapa regions. In 2016, the Oliva family sold the brand to J. Cortes Cigars N.V., a Belgium-based business known for producing machine-made cigars. Before the sale, Oliva was well-established with a top-rated portfolio, including Cigar Aficionado’s ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ in 2014, Oliva Serie V Melanio, and the bestselling original Serie V blend. Oliva Serie O has been a staple in the collection for years and is not to be overlooked beside its illustrious company. 

Oliva Serie O is a genuine Nicaraguan Puro, meaning all of its tobaccos – binder, filler, and wrapper – are grown in a single country. As I slide the Toro from its cellophane sleeve, its smooth, cinnamon-hued Nicaraguan wrapper feels soft to the touch but not too delicate. I pick up succulent notes of cocoa and an undertone of pepper from smelling the foot. After twisting my punch cutter into the cap and taking a few cold draws, earthy flavors and traces of chewy caramel caress my palate.

The cigar is supple but exhibits perfect weight and density as I fire it up. Heavenly clouds of smoke hover in the air and instantly convert my patio into a fine cigar lounge. Within minutes my neighbor pokes his head over the fence and shouts, “Hey Tom, what do you have over there? It smells amazing!” Because he’s also a seasoned cigar smoker, his reaction confirms my first impression of Oliva Serie O – it’s a winner.

Throughout the first half, notes of cedar stand out with hints of cashews and dried cherries adding to the cigar’s complex taste. The draw is excellent while the profile is well rounded and medium bodied. Briefly, I perform a quick relight after letting the cigar rest just a moment too long in the ashtray, but there was no interruption to the taste. Oliva is an easy brand to rely on for construction and consistency. As the Toro dwindles down to a nub, a combination of salt and chocolate notes balance out its luscious, lingering finish.

Oliva Serie O is a top-tier blend from a popular brand deserving of the praise it gets from the critics. What’s most surprising is the price. An Oliva Serio O Toro sells for just over $7, but you can scoop up a box for way less during one of our frequent Oliva sales. As one of the world’s premier Oliva dealers, we are proud to offer you Best-in-Country pricing 24/7 on our bottomless supply of Oliva boxes. Our unrivaled inventory of Oliva gems is stacked deep with fan-favorites like Oliva Serie V and Oliva Serie V Melanio as well as the ultra-premium and ultra-rare Oliva Monticello. And no Oliva lover can ever look past our best-selling sampler, Oliva Master Blends Monster Deal for a stunning 66% off MSRP. This one sells by the truckload.

Smoke all your favorite Oliva cigars side by side with a beefy everyday discount when you shop at Holt’s!


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