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Staff Reviews

Oliva Serie V Melanio Edición Año Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m smoking a limited-edition Oliva Serie V Melanio cigar, called Edición Año Figuriño, an impressive 5.5-by-54 Perfecto. This oily and succulent smoke is drawn from the same tobaccos that go into the original 96-rated Oliva Serie V Melanio, the ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ in Cigar Aficionado in 2014. An alluring Ecuador Sumatra wrapper leaf harbors Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos assembled in a meticulously tapering format that is round versus the box-pressed shape of the original.

What I appreciate most about Oliva is their ability to make excellent cigars on a large scale. The Oliva family sold their brand to Fred Vandermarliere, owner of a large machine-made operation based in Europe, in 2016. Vandermarliere has not only maintained the Oliva’s high standards for quality and consistency, but he has increased production substantially, adding capacity to the company’s factories and farms and doubling its output from the time he bought the company in 2016 to over 40 million cigars today.

For Oliva Serie V Melanio Edición Año Figuriño, just 14,500 boxes of 10 cigars were produced. The box itself stands out for its thick cedar lining and an image, inside the lid, of the tobacco fields where the crops for Oliva cigars are grown. Each cigar is finished in a trio of bands, including a shiny red band with “2023” printed on it. This cigar is an inch shorter than the original Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado and a touch thicker.

When I extract a dark and delicious-looking Figuriño from a fresh box, its woody aroma emanates as I inspect the cigar closely. You can tell the cigars have been assembled by a roller with much experience and that they were extra-selective in choosing the most attractive wrapper leaves. A leathery and intriguing bouquet of cedar and fresh coffee mingles with a touch of pepper when I clip the cap and take a few cold puffs. The draw is spectacular.

After lighting this Perfecto, a creamy and concentrated profile of malted cocoa and spice mingles with hints of raisin and fresh espresso. The Figuriño is a bit zesty to start, but its nutty foundation creates balance within the first five to seven minutes. The cigar’s round shape creates a slightly hotter draw than the original box-pressed Melanio, but it lacks nothing in the way of smoothness. Notes of raisin and hickory introduce a sweet component in the first third of the cigar.

Sip on a Macallan 12 Year Scotch with Edición Año. The luxurious taste of the cigar fits in with Macallan’s profile of toffee and vanilla notes. Because the Figuriño is a slow-burning cigar, it’s perfect for savoring with premium Scotch. You’ll encounter lots of nuances by being patient and allowing the tasting notes to sink in gradually and impart a complex aftertaste as they recede.

After fifty minutes of smoking, the final third of the cigar shifts into a moist profile of cedar and raisin with touches of salted caramel coming into focus. This intricate smoke maintains its composure with a firm ash and balanced flavor right down to the nub, which I’ve fully devoured after an hour and ten minutes.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Edición Año bears plenty of resemblance to the classic, award-winning Serie V Melanio blend, but it offers more than enough distinction to deserve your attention. It’s easily one of the finest Oliva cigars you’ll encounter. Add this rare specimen to your next order before they’re sold out!


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