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Monthly Archives: June 2012

  • Price per stick: £15.50
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Length: 4.8″
  • County of Origin: Cuba

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I had high hopes for this cigar for a couple of reasons, firstly its a Cuban and secondly it’s a very well known brand which is the favourite for a number of celebs.

The build quality was very good and it’s obviously a square-pressed cigar, but aesthetics aside, it’s un-faultable.  It was very firm and had a good weight to it. Cutting was also a breeze with the cap falling nicely into the ash tray.

I was smoking this in an outdoor cafe in Covent Garden after a sweet crepe and accompanied by a cappuccino.  I lit with a turbo blue flame lighter and again, faultless so far.  The first couple of puffs were great and produced copious amounts of smoke.

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The first third was really enjoyable and the ash was holding very well – nothing better than having a large, solid ash stack on the end of your ‘gar.  The flavours were constant throughout the smoke and consisted of rich, complex earthy notes, leather, dark chocolate and a little coffee.  I put the cigar out around 2/3 or 1/2 way through due to bitterness and also feeling quite a nicotine rush.

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There were burn issues starting around the latter half of the cigar, about 30 minutes in or so.  It wasn’t ‘canoe-ing’, however it kept on going out.  Another downside is that the stack of ash was rather ‘flakey’ meaning that the slightest blow of wind or a little nudge and you’d get some ‘cigar dandruff’ on you.

Overall I really enjoyed this smoke and apart from the price, it’s great.  There was no real ‘wow’ factor however and I still enjoyed the Nub Maduro a lot more.

Overall Score:

  • Looks/Feel: 8/10
  • Smell before burn: 7/10
  • Burn: 6/10
  • Taste of smoke: 13/20

Overall: 34/50

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  • Price per stick: £8
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Length: 5″
  • County of Origin: Nicaragua

After the success of the Serie V and Nub, I was excited to try another Oliva branded cigar.  First impressions were undoubtedly that it was one of the most square pressed cigars I’d ever come across. Perfect right angles leading to a smooth and long torpedoed end.  The smell of the unlit stick was very attractive also and I couldn’t wait to start the cut and begin smoking.

I lit again with a turbo blue flame lighter and began.  The first couple of puffs were noticeably sweet but again a lot richer in the ‘darker’ notes than say the Nub Maduro. The flavour slowly matured all the way down the cigar and was noticably a lot more spicy and peppery towards the end.  Also, in my review of the Serie V, I mentioned I had notes of marzipan. I got the same notes again but more towards the end of the smoke.

The issue of it being a ‘parellelpipedon’ had no noticeable effects at all, and in a way, I thought it was quite fun to be smoking a ‘square cigar’.

I’m impressed with the Oliva cigars so far as I feel the quality is great and also the price is very reasonable.  You can get a Churchill size Serie G for a couple of bob more and it adds on about 2 inches or so – real bang for your buck!

I I’ll definitely be buying these again.

Overall Score:

  • Looks/Feel: 8/10
  • Smell before burn: 8/10
  • Burn: 8/10
  • Taste of smoke: 14/20

Overall: 38/50

  • Price per stick: £9
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Length: 5″
  • County of Origin: Nicaragua

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Again, with this Rich Maduro cigar, the outside wrapper is very dark and smells great.  Good construction however the foot of the Cigar was fairly loose.  There were also some noticeable ‘soft spots’ along the cigar which again was a little worrying.  Cutting the cigar was a breeze however there were some flecks of wrapper after the cut, again a little worrying but not the end of the world.

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The first 1/2cm  or so of the cigar was disappointing (pictured above) with the smoke purely tasting weak and bitter, however roughly 1cm in it all changed, and constantly changing throughout the smoke.  I was getting notes of Walnut and bitter Coffee in the first 1/3 with great amounts of smoke being produced and also a fantastic burn.  I must add at no time during the smoke did I have to re-light the cigar, even during a 5 minute break, which for me I felt this was a real plus.

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As the cigar burnt, the burn line stayed very level and the ash held well, for about an inch.  The flavour matured and changed with notes of leather, marzipan and wood with each mouthful being different.

For the price of this cigar, £9, you can’t go wrong.

Overall Score:

  • Looks/Feel: 8/10
  • Smell before burn: 7/10
  • Burn: 9/10
  • Taste of smoke: 9/20

Overall: 33/50

  • Price per stick: £11.50
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Length: 5″
  • County of Origin: Nicaragua

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First appearances of this cigar are that’s its an obviously a very rich and oily wrapper, and it smells great.  Accompanied by the Oliva Series V band I already knew I’d be in for a great smoke! I decided to go for this as I had a great experience with the Nub range made by the Oliva family.

The cutting was surprisingly hard and somewhat dry as well which was disconcerting as the stick had only been out of the humidor for about 5 minutes.  I lit with three matches before the cut.

The first couple of draws were extremely pleasant and noticeably richer than the Nub range by Oliva.  I was getting the usual rich cigar flavours such as un-sweetened coffee and chocolate.  There was a peppery aftertaste that lasted for about 1-2 mins.  After about an inch of smoking I was getting something I’d never had before, marzipan!  I knew this was special and it was a fantastic smoke.

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The point at which the marzipan notes really started to appear.

The harshness/bitterness started reasonably early with this cigar which was disappointing, about 1/2 way down or so.  Nevertheless it was a fantastic smoke which lasted approximately 50 minutes.  There were also slight burning issues in which the core of the cigar burned slightly faster than the outside, creating ‘spikes’ in the wrapper part of the cigar, which were uneven to the main burn line.

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Overall I would definitely buy again and so far I’m very impressed with the produce of the Oliva family!

Overall Score:

  • Looks/Feel: 9/10
  • Smell before burn: 8/10
  • Burn: 7/10
  • Taste of smoke: 15/20

Overall: 39/50

  • Price per stick: £12
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Length: 4″
  • County of Origin: Nicaragua

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I had seen these cigars in numerous shops and was always slightly hesitant to buy them due to the length and thought it would not smoke for a very long period, but how wrong I was to be proven!  The construction first of all is first rate.  It’s a real weighty product and very firm also.  There are also rumours that you can stand this stick on its ash when it is lit because the rolling quality (along with the 58+ ring gauge) is that good!

Cut it approx 1.1-2cm above the torpedo tip and lit with matches, rotating constantly.

First couple of puffs was extremely pleasant and noticeably very sweet.  20 mins in and it was the same, very pleasant with a great after taste lasting approx 1-2 mins.  This is by far the sweetest cigar I’ve had to date and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about perhaps buying their first stick as it is very forgiving.  With every puff I was amazed at the sweetness, it lacked the complexity of some of the stronger Cubans, but that was no matter whatsoever.

The ash was holding for about 1.5cm or so before falling, which was strange considering the build quality. About 45 minutes in and I was about 1/2 way into the cigar, still great smoke with notes of bitterness coming in ever so slightly which is remenicent of the mainstream Oliva Serie cigars.  The evenness of the burn was a small issue however but usually it was corrected with no need for intervention.

I finished it in about 1hr20m and what a smoke, extremely pleasant and I’ll definitely buy again, perhaps a 24-pack next time. Not too ‘nicontiney’ either which for me, was a plus.

8/10

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Overall Score:

  • Looks/Feel: 8/10
  • Smell before burn: 7/10
  • Burn: 8/10
  • Taste of smoke: 17/20

Overall: 40/50