Oliva V Maduro 2011 (Toro)
Rolled: Estelí, Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 50
Filler – Jalapa Valley Ligero
Binder – Nicaraguan
Wrapper – San Andreas Maduro
Appearance and Construction: This is a very dark and earthy looking cigar with a slight sheen of oil. Many times a cigar will look like a perfect tube, but this is what I would call lumpy. It pulls off the shabby look fabulously. It has an super thick and multicolored dark brown wrapper with very minor veins and lots of tooth. There was one small spot with the wrapper missing, but nothing to worry about. The stick is topped with a nicely constructed triple cap. The foot is well packed with no stem. The band looks almost identical to the regular Oliva V, except for one small detail. It has Maduro written in cursive on the side.
Pre-Light: The foot gives off a hints of hay and wine with gobs of earthy fermented tobacco. The wrapper smells of chocolate, wine, pepper, and what can only be described as a bit of saltiness. The pre-light draw tastes of raisins and leather and leaves a tart sweetness on the palate. Looks and smells are tantalizing.
A Journey begins: Upon toasting, I noticed a fragrance of roasted nuts. After the first puff, I am blown away by how smooth the finish is for a ligero laden maduro. The retro-hale was not so gracious, sabotaging my senses with pepper and a burn that cooled to leave a taste of cashew. The smoke is mouthwatering and juicy. I absolutely love when a cigar makes your mouth water. Anticipate having to spit.
Sweet raisin, leather, and a deep charred chocolate flavor engage the palate leaving a slight tingle at the back of the throat and pepper on the lips. The pepper comes on a little stronger with each puff, but is a perfect compliment. Right away, you'll notice how incredible the cigar is. It has an array of flavors, tons of depth, and a spice that continues to grow but never overpowers. It's got a perfect draw and construction, which help produce a lot of tangible smoke. The smell off the foot, is oily and floral. Even the wife noticed the great scent. Whenever she says,“that smells really good” it's invariably scrumptious. By the time you get a quarter in, the cigar begins to settle down and the flavors begin to meld becoming more floral.
On the Road: The spice disappears completely. The floral notes increase, and a tangy flavor is left on the tongue. The stick tastes a lot like the assorted sun grown cigars rather than your normal maduro. The prevailing flavors are earth and wine. As a sign of things to come, my head was already pleasantly buzzing. Ash is a light gray tinged with darker areas which hold on for about an inch and a half. The burn line was exceptional. This far in, it all began to blend together, becoming a motley of flavors,rather than jumping from one to the next. Right when I believed the spice to be gone, it would come back with a warm pepper descending on the palate.
The home stretch: Sweet, sweet, and sweeter. The floral notes weaken and give birth to notes of coffee and earth. All this tied together with a sugar sweet finish and smoke that brings to mind tres leche. Flavors infuse and mellow and the body bursts with strength. This is a cigar for fully fledged smokers,initiates beware. I hadn't been hit this hard in a long time. I had to lie down for a while to recuperate. It's worth getting a little woozy, but you should probably fill your stomach before toasting.
Destination: All in all a highly recommended stick. It's especially complex, robust, and full of varying flavors. Is it box worthy? If you have the spare change, absolutely. I wouldn't advise it as a daily smoke, but as a treat after dinner...ideal.