I chose this week’s cigar based on a rumor. Not the rumor that it is a good cigar, which I’ve heard. But because of the rumor that Oliva may be discontinuing the Special S sometime in the near future. Given the popularity of the Serie V and the production demands of producing the much hyped Nub line, it doesn’t surprise me. Something’s gotta give, right?
When I heard this unverified rumor I had a couple of thoughts. To begin with, I really need to try a few. And then I thought that if I’m rushing out to get my hands on them, a lot of other cigar smokers will probably have the same idea. That’s means that this is the right time for a review.
A word of warning, before you run out and blow your cigar budget on boxes of the Special S you should know that I haven’t verified this rumor. I’ve been wrong before, and it is still shown in all its glory on the Oliva website. If you happen to know otherwise, feel free to leave a note in the comments below, or drop me a line. (Also make sure you check out Walt’s thoughts on the Special S too.)
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Ecuadorian
Smoking Time: 2 hours
A little shaggy looking…
If the “Special” part of the name doesn’t give it away a quick look at this cigar will show that Oliva went all out with this one. In addition to the standard attractive Oliva band, this cigar comes dressed in a cedar tube and a brown ribbon at the foot with “Special S” written in gold. It’s a great looking cigar.
After sliding off the cedar tube, I noticed that the cigar wasn’t fairly smooth with at least one fairly prominent vein in each cigar. Each cigar was nicely firm and free of imperfections.
I noticed the scent of the wrapper was significantly different on the portion that was under the cedar, as you might expect. The uncovered wrapper had a very sweet aroma, while the rest had more of a cocoa and compost smell.
I seemed to have pretty bad luck clipping the Special S. Every time I clipped the cigar to take a cold taste, the wrapper cracked. It ranged from a very small one to the rather large rip I experienced with the cigar photographed for this review. Not a good way to start things off, but not a deal breaker. I noticed sweet cocoa in the cold taste.
The Special S had a very attractive ash. I was very happy to note that the cigar with the best ash was the one photographed for this review. The cigar produced inch and a half long lengths of solid, light colored ash. Additionally, the burn line was also generally good. Though one cigar did require a touch up in the second third to the cigar burning properly again.
For the several of the cigars I smoked there’s not much else to say about the burn, but the last one also developed a nasty wrapper split in the final third. It got kind of ugly when the burn line reached it.
Oh snap! Again!
The Oliva website says that this cigar has “heavy notes of rich tobacco with creamy undertones.” I’d say they nailed it with the creaminess. Only, it seemed more prominent to me than an undertone, but lets not argue semantics. This is one creamy, smooth cigar. The cigar opens up with a great creamy flavor of nuts and wood. The wood flavor was momentary and the creamy nutty flavor dominated the first third with occasional slightly fruity notes.
The second third the woody flavor emerged and I got a distinct and complimentary walnut flavor to go with it. Later in this third the cigar transitioned into a creamy cinnamon flavor that was very enjoyable.
The final third was still pretty creamy, but more earthy and leathery. I was a little surprised to notice the fruity notes I tasted in the first third appearing briefly again this far into the cigar.
I should also note that this cigar is probably only a medium in body at most, and only in the final third.
These cigar retail for $9.50, which is a noticeably more spendy than all the other Oliva lines, I believe. While it won’t break the bank, I gotta admit that I’d be really tempted by the Serie V’s, if the two were side by side in a cigar shop.
I have to say that this cigar is absolutely fantastic with my morning latte. That might sound a little strange, given I review cigars with water. In fact, the notes for this review were taken from my experiences paring the Special S with water. Based on my water notes, I’d say the Special S is a good cigar, probably worth trying and probably worth picking up again in the future. But after my coffee experience, I have to upgrade it to yeses across the board. In fact, I plan to smoke another tomorrow with my coffee.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes, have it with your morning coffee!
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.