The review for this week’s cigar is something very special for Stogie Review. Today we have a review of the Pre Release Oliva Serie V Ligero Especial. This cigar is due to hit the streets shortly after the RTDA (Retail Tobacco Dealers Association) Trade Show in Houston.
You may be wondering how I came into possession of this cigar so far in advance. A few weeks ago I attended a small Herf at a local cigar shop. One of the attendees happened to be my local Oliva Cigar Family Sales Rep. After the event I had plans to stop up at the same cigar shop to pick up a couple cigars for an upcoming review. I Emailed Dave and let him know I would be in the area and told him to stop in if he was in the area.
We got together again and smoked a couple cigars and I was asked if I would be willing to review a cigar. My answer was yes of course and he began telling me about the Serie V and went on to tell me that Stogie Review would be one of the few people to get the opportunity to smoke and review the pre release cigar, all with Jose Olivaâ€™s approval.
We got together again the Following Friday and I picked up the cigar. Because this is a pre release stick, there was no packaging to look over, or a band to admire. It was simply a cigar in a cellophane sleeve.
The following night I decided that I wanted to fire up this stick and see what the new blend was all about. After removing it from the cellophane I took a few minutes to look over it really well. The wrapper had a nice oily sheen to it with a smooth texture. When held up to the light the oily wrapper looked shiny. When pinched the stick felt firm and packed with tobacco. The aroma on the both the foot and wrapper was very rich and attractive. After a quick and easy cut I had the head opened up and found the pre light draw to be excellent.
After my ritualistic toast and light, I had my Serie V evenly lit and producing thick clouds of flavorful smoke. Right from the start this cigar produces a rich and pleasant smoke that sits firmly in the Medium to Full bodied spectrum. The finish to start is nice and smooth as well as fairly short on the palate.
As I worked my way deeper into the first third of the stick I was really enjoying what the cigar had to offer. The body was making a smooth transition to Full while the finish remained fairly short on the palate and smooth. Each puff left me with the sensation that it was coating my mouth with flavor, leaving me with a thick mouth feel. The base flavor was a rich tobacco flavor with a mild woody aftertaste and a mild spice when blown through the sinuses. The ash looked a little flaky on the outside, but had a solid core that held for over an inch before needing to be tapped off and into the ashtray.
At this point I could see exactly where this cigar was going. I began to feel like I just had a beer or two and was begging to get a mild euphoric feeling as I began to get a little light headed. The amazing part about this is that the cigar was so smooth that I would have never expected it. The smoke remained so smooth and flavorful that I overlooked the power of the cigar that was beginning to take affect.
As time progressed I worked my way into the second third of my Serie V. The body made a complete progression into the full spectrum while the finish remained smooth and easy on the palate. The base flavor remained a rich tobacco flavor with woody undertones and began to pick up a subtle salty flavor that began to make me salivate. There was also a flavor developing that I could not put my finger on, which I found it to be pleasant.
The body of the final third continued to progress further into the Full spectrum while remaining smooth and easy on the palate. The base flavor remained a rich tobacco flavor as the woody and salty flavors began to fade. I was now getting a new aftertaste that I found to be very interesting. After taking a puff and letting the smoke clear from my palate for a minute or so, I started to smack my lips and sort of chew on the air in my mouth and I could taste a sort of mint flavor. This sounds kind of strange coming from a cigar, but it was very nice.
The burn was slow and even all the way to the very end while producing an attractive pale grey ash. Like before, the ash was a little flaky on the outside but firm in the core. With an expected price tag of between $5.00 and $8.00 I think this is going to become a staple in the Full bodied cigar smoker’s humidor.
Overall I think that this was a fantastic cigar and a great example of how a powerful cigar can be blended to be so smooth and easy on the palate. This is the type of cigar that you should stay far, far away from if you have only been smoking cigars for a couple of months. The flavors have lots of complexity and character which you may find to be very enjoyable, but you definitely need to be prepared for the power of the smoke.
From what I understand, there will be limited events at local cigars shops to get your hands on this stick before its official release after RTDA. If this sounds like a cigar you would enjoy I would suggest getting in touch with your local Oliva Sales Rep. to find out if and where these events will be held in your area.