The first time that I had an Oliva Serie V, it was right after they were released, and my cigar was lit by none other than Representative Jose Oliva… before the election, of course. I make this statement in the interest of full disclosure, as hanging out with the guy who made your cigar will always influence the way you appreciate it. Add to that the fact that Jose is an intelligent, eloquent, and charismatic individual, and you can pretty much ensure that you’ll have a loyal fan for life. That is where I stand with Oliva Cigars and the Serie V in particular.
Oliva cigars are known for their consistency and excellent construction. No frills or extras, just high quality tobacco in a high quality cigar. The Serie V is no exception; an excellent smoke with a dark Nicaraguan wrapper – not quite a maduro – that is smooth and giving, with just a touch of oil. This particular cigar lit well, but was hard on the draw – a characteristic of a lot of torpedo shapes, as the taper at the tip sometimes closes the tobacco. There was the taste of soft leather that was far more subtle than I remember it. Smooth grain and cedar notes rounded out the flavor. The burn was slow and even – owing partially to the hard draw, but allowing the puro to be really savored. The smoke was thick and rich, with an excellent aroma of toasted almonds.
It is hard to find an unkind word to say about a cigar that I am so fond of, but I had trouble keeping this one lit. This goes back to the hard draw, and it was a bit annoying. Typing while I smoke doesn’t help, but no matter the cause, I absolutely hate relighting a cigar. I’m glad that this case wasn’t my first experience with an Oliva, because it may have kept me from enjoying so many in my time as a fan. It definitely will not affect my affection for the brand, and the Serie V is highly recommended.