Very good looking cigar. The mottled near-black finish of the wrapper has veins running every which way but not in enough quantity to scare me. Oily? Yes, but not very. Consistently packed from cap to foot with enough tobacco to give just the slightest amount when I check for soft spots.
I forgot to mention a medium sized, oblong hole that appears three inches from the foot of the cigar. It runs 1/8th of an inch long by 1/16th of an inch wide at its widest point. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem as far as the flavor is concerned but I am keeping it in mind for the overall score (in other words, not a huge deal). Actually, now that I think of it, I cannot remember seeing a hole in any other of the Oliva Serie V wrappers that I have had.
The pre-light draw is reminiscent of the last Serie V I had. This one has a better draw and the mix of spice and chocolate is inverted with spice being a much more prominent factor in the flavor profile. It has been at least two minutes since I took the pre-light draw and I can still feel the spiciness on my tongue. My anticipation grows.
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua – Habano Sun Grown
Filler: Nicaragua – Jalapa Valley Ligero
Price: $8.50/Single | $175.00/Box of 24
Bar Rescue Torch!
Bitter chocolate and a certain amount of earthiness greet my palate first. Then comes a bitter spiciness, which is something that is good in an interesting sort of way. It’s an interesting flavor combination but I am going to withhold judgment for now. Shortly after the first rush of bitterness it gracefully fades into the background leaving a mixture of spice and earthiness to take the lead.
The aroma for this vitola is identical to the previous one; rich chocolate cake. The pre-light draw was not a misnomer because the draw is just as good now as it was before the cigar took the flame.
Strength is something that I am acutely aware of early on in the cigar’s progression. Unlike with some of the smaller vitolas in the V line the strength apparent here is much more serious. I am less than a half inch into the cigar and if it progresses much further in the strength category I may go into convulsions and start talking in tongues! That, of course, is pure hyperbole – I love the strength of this cigar – the more the better!
Before getting into the second third of this cigar the flavor profile has imperceptibly shifted away from that chocolate flavor. Spice and a grassy earthiness have now completely taken over. The spice is more temperate now – the strength has undergone no such change. All of this has taken place over the first third of the stick.
Walking away from a cigar for more than a couple of minutes usually leads to it dying – not so in this case. Doing so has given my palate some time to normalize and refresh itself and the cigar has ever so slightly changed. Now, at the halfway point, it is spice, grass and a hint of chocolate. All three work together in harmony. The spice is, and has been, a warm spice of varying strengths; each version a joy.
Time is not something I really think of in terms of cigars. But this one is an extremely slow burning cigar. It’s been over an hour since I first lit it and I am only halfway through it now. I have been sipping it, enjoying all its nuances, which is why it is taking so long. There really is no other way to go at this cigar though. If you don’t have the time to truly enjoy this cigar then you are better off leaving it in its humidified lair until a large enough chunk of time produces itself.
The remainder of the cigar is consistently great. Breaking into the final third is a saltiness accompanied by a decent helping of meat. A hint of leather creeps its way into the final bits. The burn is also good; it has been fairly even throughout. Give yourself up to three hours to smoke it, though. You will not be disappointed.