Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oliva Serie V Double Toro

Locked out with Oliva
Part 2: Oliva Serie V Double Toro

Size: 6 X 60
Shape: Double Toro
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Full
Wrapper: Sun-Grown Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Jalapa Valley Ligero

Once I finished enjoying my Oliva Serie O, I decided to go inside for some breakfast before I dove into the Serie V, which I knew would be a more powerful smoke. When I returned to the front door, I found it locked. “No matter,” I thought and trudged over to the side door, which I also found locked. “Hmm…,” I hummed to myself, “Neither of these doors is ever locked. How strange.” I then tried the sun room door to no avail. “What is going on here? How did I get locked out of a house where no one ever locks the doors?” I had one chance left to get in without waking the rest of the house, and that was the garage. Of course the garage door was closed, but I thought with some quiet ingenuity and the application of some brute force I’d be able to get back in. I was wrong. The garage door remained firmly shut, held in place by its motor.

Defeated, I trudged back to the porch and plopped into my favorite rocking chair next to the smoking table that I’d acquisitioned from the patio. I sat for a few minutes trying to decide whether I should wait for someone to come down, wake the house so I could get back in, or smoke my Oliva Serie V. As difficult a choice as this was, there were two primary drives working on me at that moment: the drive to eat some breakfast and the drive to smoke the Oliva Serie V. Since the drive to eat was mostly a means to an end, I decided to take the risk of getting severely drunk and dive into this full bodied beauty.

I slid this stick out of its plastic housing and gazed at the staggeringly lovely wrapper. Dark, smooth, and nearly seamless, this cigar had me from “hello.”

I passed it back and forth beneath my nose and smelled earth and manure. I then clipped the head and gave a draw, tasting earth, spice, and raisin. This hinted at a profile that would be smooth and delicious. The body of this cigar was unapparent at this point and I felt my stomach relax at the hope that this smoke might not be as full bodied as I’d thought.

Throwing caution to the wind, I lit up. Immediately, I tasted earth and sweet cedar with a subtle chocolate undertone. These flavors continued into the first quarter of the cigar, sending sweet and creamy smoke tasting of oak, cedar, earth, coffee, and chocolate lofting across my palate. When exhaled through the nose, I experienced that wonderful compost flavor, which was accompanied by chocolate cream. Who needs breakfast when you’ve got a delicious cigar to keep you happy! Mmm Mmm!

As the smoke moved into the second quarter, the profile remained much the same. As I continued to enjoy the deliciously smooth and deceptively full bodied smoke, my mind wandered back to my predicament. It no longer seemed that breakfast would be needed to help me handle the body of this cigar, but I did want to get back inside after I’d finished. I decided it wasn’t worth worrying about just yet and set my mind back to the task at hand.

Just as I forced my focus back to the cigar, the big body began to make itself known. It is difficult to tell how big the body of this cigar is initially, as the blend is incredibly smooth. I never sensed how big the body was until I began to feel ill. Just as I began to feel the effects of having no breakfast, someone stepped outside, giving me an avenue to save my head and gut from ruination. I dashed inside (“stumbled” I should say) and grabbed an apple to munch as a preventative measure.

Back outside with my apple and cigar, I picked up the Serie V again and got back to puffing and enjoying the delectable flavors that this cigar delivers.

I continued on until just after the start of the finish when it became apparent that my apple was doing very little to abate my cigar drunkenness. Finally, I lay down the remainder of this fine cigar and waited for a few minutes to allow the world to stop spinning. Once it seemed like I might be able to walk under my own power again, I made my way to the front door, which I was very glad to find open, and made my way inside for breakfast.

All in all, I’d say this was a full and eventful morning. I got to start the day with a mild adventure, sneak in breakfast (albeit a little later than I’d have liked), and enjoy two fantastic cigars from a brilliant and inventive company like Oliva. And all of this before noon!

Presentation: 9/10 – The band on this cigar is large and lovely, showcasing the chocolate color of the wrapper on the band behind the Oliva name. It has a very regal appearance.

Appearance: 8/10 – The wrapper is a gorgeous, dark, oily maduro that will make your mouth water. The wrapper is almost seamless and there was a very tiny crack which posed no problems during the smoke.

Construction: 32/35 – The Serie V is solidly constructed, exhibiting a firm and consistent pack and very open draw. It lost a few points because the burn was a bit uneven, forcing me to relight once or twice.

Flavor: 41/45 – I thought that this cigar tasted excellent, offering cedar, oak, earth, chocolate, coffee and compost flavors all in a sweet, creamy, and smooth smoking experience. My only complaint about the flavor profile is that it seemed a bit thin, almost airy, to me. There seemed to be a degree of depth missing, but what it lacks in depth it certainly makes up for in smoothness.

Overall: 90/100 – Despite becoming terribly drunk off of this cigar, I really enjoyed the experience and plan on buying another to sample after I’ve eaten a full meal. I’d recommend this cigar to those full bodied lovers out there. Enjoy this stick after a fine meal and you will enjoy one excellent smoking experience.

A note on the Serie V blend by Oliva:

The Serie V by Oliva has received multiple awards and high ratings:

Cigar Aficionado Best Cigar of the Year 2007 & 2008

Cigar Aficionado Ratings:
December 2007: 94
April 2008: 92

Cigar Insider Ratings:
September 2007: 94
October 2007: 94

The Serie V comes in boxes of 24 in a Sun-Grown Habano or Maduro wrapper.

From the Oliva website: “This cigar is blended to deliver full body taste while maintaining an unparalleled smoothness. This flavorful blend exhibits complex tobacco with rich coffee and dark chocolate tones. A subtle and well balanced spice is present throughout.”

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