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Staff Reviews

Oliva Serie V Melanio Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Today’s pick, Oliva Serie V Melanio, has racked up numerous 90+ ratings from cigar publications around the world, including the most desirable award there is, Cigar Aficionado’s '#1 Cigar of the Year' back in 2014. Today, we will find out now how good this cigar is. The Oliva Family has a long honored tradition of cultivating tobacco and creating world-renowned cigars from seed to finished product at their facilities in Estelí, Nicaragua. This cigar is named for family patriarch, Melanio Oliva, who began to grow tobacco in Cuba in 1886 and eventually made his way to Nicaragua to continue his craft. The Oliva family has been a staple in the cigar industry for decades now and continues to build brands and receive awards on a yearly basis. The Oliva brand maintains its place in the premium cigar industry through the family’s strong values of hard work and dedication. In addition, they keep a tight watch on the production of their cigars, resulting in top-notch construction, quality and consistency. Now, let’s get to the review…


Time to light up! I chose the Serie V Melanio Figurado, the size that won the “#1 Cigar of the Year” award to get a feel for what made this cigar stand out so much above the competition. At first glance, the Sumatra-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador has a silky smooth appearance with an enticing milk chocolate color. The handpicked Nicaraguan Ligero filler tobaccos combined with this exquisite wrapper bring out spicy notes of cinnamon, caramel and wood. After I cut about half an inch off the tapered head, the pre-light draw reminds me of maple sugar and spiced wafers with a touch of nutmeg. After a good six or seven draws, this impeccably rolled Figurado leaves a slight tingle on my lips and tongue. The first few puffs supply plenty of smoke through a clean draw and the burn is exceptional. The ash maintains its shape nicely while notes of cinnamon and wood steal the show. As my cigar transitioned into the second third I am very impressed with its well-balanced flavor profile. Some nutty notes have joined the spiciness and the maple sugar is making its way into the mix, which adds a perfect amount of sweetness to round things out. As the final third begins, I have hit about the 70-minute mark where a few things have really stood out. First is that the burn rate has been very consistent from the start, which can vary with larger Figurado shapes. Secondly, the cigar has maintained its balance throughout with zero harshness entering the fold at any point. Lastly, the rich, complex flavors that have intertwined during the course of my time smoking have maintained the perfect amount of strength in this medium to full-bodied smoke.

Overall, this was one enjoyable cigar; from the pre-light draws all the way down to the nub, I was very impressed. With the Serie V Melanio, Oliva has another premium cigar in their stable that can stand up against all the other high-end cigars on the market. I can see myself grabbing a few more of these to stash away for a few smoking occasions down the road and would recommend this blend for all cigar smokers from novices to connoisseurs. Enjoy!


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