Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oliva Creates New Serie V

A new Serie V is coming out later this year, and it incorporates an Ecuadorian Sumatra-seed wrapper.  I'm definitely interested in smoking one of these when they hit stores in September.


Oliva Cigars is expanding its Serie V line, the game-changer cigar that turned the company from a producer of bargain smokes into one that is known for making some of the cigar world’s most sought-after cigars.
Oliva Serie V Melanio will debut in August, at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, and should reach cigar stores by September. The cigars are named after Melanio Oliva, who is believed to be the first in the Oliva family to grow tobacco. Melanio Oliva grew tobacco in the 1800s on a small farm in San Juan y Martinez, Cuba, some of the best tobacco lands in the world.
The new cigars are made entirely of Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos grown by the Olivas, and they are wrapped in Sumatra-seed wrappers grown by Oliva in Ecuador. This is the first cigar Oliva has made using these particular wrappers, and the first Ecuador Sumatra seed cigar from the company other than the Oliva Master Blends 2.
The original Oliva Serie V came out in 2007. “It was the best that we could make, and ever since then we thought of a follow-up,” said Oliva president Jose Oliva, during a long interview spent smoking the new cigars in Cigar Aficionado’s New York City offices. “It had to be as unique as V was.”
Oliva said that several cigars intended as a follow-up to the Serie V were made into other smokes, such as Cain, which ended up too powerful and too unlike the original Serie V to work.
The final blend came from combining Ecuadoran Sumatra seed wrapper with a Nicaraguan blend that emphasized tobacco from the Jalapa region, the area of Nicaragua known for more nuanced leaf than Estelí and Condega. As with the original Serie V line, these are well-aged tobaccos. “The fillers that we use for [Serie V] are our most-aged fillers,” said Oliva. “This used a little more Jalapa. Jalapa adds flavor, but it doesn’t have a lot of body.”
The new cigar brand will come in five sizes: Robusto, Churchll, Torpedo, Petit Corona and Figurado, a smoke Oliva described as a “double-ended torpedo, straight in the center.”
The cigars will retail for $8 to $14 per cigar, making them the most expensive in the Oliva portfolio.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe 52

Here's another ultra-boutique cigar, by Curivari.  I've found the Curivari lines to be pleasant, medium-full smokes.  I see why they are sometimes referred to as Cubanesque.  Instead of the cup of coffee that is usually recommended for these sticks, I went with something sweet - cranapple juice. 

1/3: Woody.

2/3: Some woodiness still present.  Very creamy.  I pick up less of the coffee flavors while drinking juice than I have before with the other lines while drinking a cup of joe. 

3/3: Nothing stands out in the flavor department.

This Curivari didn't change my opinion of their cigars.  Decent, but rather uneventful.  Some people love these, but for me they are just okay. 

Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Friday, June 8, 2012

Diamond Crown Maximus #5

I had one of these a few years ago, and found it to be full of pepper and spice.  I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I might, but after having met and interviewed Eric Newman of J.C. Newman Cigar Co., my interest was renewed.  As many of us know, the Diamond Crown line is produced by Tabacalera A. Fuente.

Palates change and sometimes conditions in which cigars are kept may result in different experiences with the same line (ie. one stick was well cared for while another might have been over/under humidified).  That said, my experience was different this time around. 

The cigar was very firm.  I've had it in the humidor for six months.  I chose to give it a V cut, and I used a flower jet flame to toast it. 

1/3: Initially, I got a very odd flavor on the light, but it quickly dissipated.  I found the 1st third to be quite smooth and velvety.  The aroma was also very pleasant.  In stark contrast to the dark wrapper, the ash looked very white.  The bottom half of the wrapper unraveled a little bit, but the cigar band seemed to keep it from getting too bad.  Flavors of graham cracker and leather.

2/3: The predominant flavor in the 2nd third was what I would describe as "burnt marshmallow." 

3/3: In the final third, I noticed a shift towards cocoa flavor. 

This cigar has some nice variety.  Good smoke, but pricey!

Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: El Bajo Ecudarian Ligero Oscuro Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
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