What started as a limited edition back in 2008 continues as a yearly fall tradition. The first three years saw a variation of a torpedo with slightly different sizes. There were some production issues that resulted in a bad draw and the company eventually switched to a toro in 2011. But there were also changes in the wrapper as well in the early years. The initial release saw Connecticut Broadleaf used before switching to Habano the year after. In 2010 the cigar switched to San Andreas wrapper where it remains today.
Cigar: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2014
Size: 6 x 60 (Double Toro)
Wrapper: San Andreas (Mexico)
The Look: The San Andreas wrapper that adorns the Oliva Serie V Maduro had a mottle look to it as well as a rustic appearance. The wrapper has veins so thin you really have to look for them carefully to find them as well as the seams of the roll. The band of the cigar is the classic looking Oliva Serie V band with the exception of the words Maduro Especial to the side of the logo. Despite a small void at the bottom of the cigar it appears to be well packed with no soft spots and a below average weight for a stick of its girth.
The Notes: The foot of the cigar has a slight spice to it along with notes of mocha and barnyard, as I hesitate to cut a cigar that is my least favorite size. Once the cigar is cut the notes of the cigar are diluted as the majority of flavor comes from a cigars wrapper. There is a note of crackers and barnyard with the slightest hints of sweetness.
Once the cigar is lit the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2014 has a subtle spice that reminds me of Christmas, with some pepper through the nose, though nowhere as much I expected. The notes of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg become a bit more identifiable as we work in the first third of the smoke.
As we enter the second third a sweetness begins to develop that reminds me of a black cherry cola, that compliments the Christmas spices. It’s not exactly the ideal cigar pairing, but I am really craving egg nog at this point in time. As we move past the half way point the notes of nutmeg and cinnamon remain, but there is a leather note developing along side some increased pepper through the nose.
In the last third some of the distinct notes of the San Andreas wrapper come into play and begin to take over the cigar on the dominance of notes. The leather remains with a mixture of earth and coffee that join the party.
The Burn: The 60 ring gauge Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial is flawless with a razor-sharp burn line. The mascara line as David Garofalo likes to call it over my verbiage of carbon line is ultra thin which denotes that cigar is well aged and properly fermented. The draw is perfect, with the right amount of resistance that allows for a slow burning experience. The ash which is a mix of dark and medium gray holds strong for more than a third at a time.
The Finish: I was turned off by Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial for a long time due to the year they had drawn issues, but last year I was drawn back to the cigar as I really began to enjoy San Andreas wrappers. The San Andreas wrapper is a really distinct flavor profile that most people love or hate with no in between. However, I think the 60 ring gauge is a good introduction the wrapper as it is diluted. Most of the flavor from a cigar comes from the wrapper. The first two-thirds of the cigar wasn’t what I expected with a unique flavor profile before adapting the taste associate with San Andreas.