Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Origin: Esteli, Nicaragua
Two years ago Oliva conducted a meeting with their staff to gauge the interest of creating a mild cigar. At this point in most of the sales staff reported that the smokers at their respective events were more interested in a full bodied cigar with little interest in a mild vitola. With this information, the Oliva Connecticut Reserve was shelved and work began on the Oliva Serie V.
After filling the need for a full bodied cigar, the Oliva’s once again turned to their staff to gauge the interest in a mild cigar to round out the line. This time around the response from events was that Oliva needed to create a cigar that appealed to the mild cigar smoker.
To meet the demand of a mild cigar, a blend of Nicaraguan fillers were matched up with a Nicaraguan binder and Ecuadorian grown Connecticut shade wrapper. This blend yielded the newly released Oliva Connecticut Reserve.
The new Connecticut line is available in five sizes including; a Lonsdale (44 x 6.50 @ $4.40), Robusto (50 x 5.00 @ $4.50), Toro (50 x 6.00 @ $5.50), Torpedo (52 x 6.50 @ $6.50), and a Churchill (50 x 7.00 @ $6.50). Cigars are packaged in boxes of twenty.
After removing my Oliva Connecticut from its cellophane tomb, I gave it a good looking over. With Connecticut wrappers having a tendency to exhibit fairly large veins and green discolorations, I was interested to see how this one stacked up. I was happy to find moderate sized veins for this type of leaf and one tiny discoloration.
The wrapper is a deep golden brown with a very slight oily sheen. The aroma on both the wrapper and exposed foot were very mild and produced little to no aroma. When pinched, the stick felt evenly packed with tobacco and showed no signs of hard or soft spots.
After quickly opening up the head with a pair of cigar scissors, I moved to checking the pre light draw. Taking a couple of cold puffs resulted in a light sweet taste with a draw that was very accommodating (neither too loose or too tight).
After my toasting and lighting ritual was complete, I took the very first puff on my Oliva Connecticut. I sent a large volume of smoke through my sinus and was a little surprised by the result. My experience with the Churchill size left me expecting a softer start. The robusto delivered a blast of flavor with that traditional Nicaraguan zing, which caught me off guard.
The first few puffs produce a medium body that quickly settles down to the mild to medium spectrum. The finish has a creamy texture that is fairly short on the palate. The primary flavor, at this point, tastes like a toned down Nicaraguan tobacco flavor. Once the initial rush of flavor passes I am able to taste the finer flavors, which are mostly made up of nuts and buttered toast.
As I burn through the first third I am left with a stick that is burning evenly with a moderately straight burn line and dark burn ring. The burn rate seems a touch fast while the draw is free with a little bit of resistance to it. The smoke volume is abundant and thick while wafting into the air and producing a mild room aroma.
After about thirty-minutes of smoking, I reached the second third of my Oliva Connecticut Reserve. At this point the mild to medium body was beginning to settle a little more while the flavor ramped up. The finish remained easy on the palate and left a thin creamy film on the palate.
In the flavor department, the flavor remained predominantly that of Nicaraguan tobacco with a bit of a bite-ines, or zing, to it. As that initial rush subsides, I’m greeted with the same nut and buttered toast flavor as the first third, with the addition of a little pepper and bitterness.
The burn continued to feel a little fast for this size cigar while producing loads of smoke with each puff. The resting smoke was light while the room aroma was quickly becoming more robust and appealing.
At around the half way point, the Oliva Connecticut suddenly becomes much more flavorful and lays it on thick. The rich Niacaguan tobacco flavor becomes a little more subdued and flavors of pepper and wood move in. The secondary flavors remain similar in that they continue to provide the same nutty and buttered toast like flavors while picking up a bit of bitterness. This bitterness adds to the dynamic of the cigar much in the same way that it does to a beer.
The final third began to wrap up after roughly an hour and ten minutes of smoking. As it came to a close, the body picked up slightly and plateaud at the low end of medium. The finish became a little richer and lasted a bit longer on the palate.
The burn rate still seemed a little fast but produced a cool smoke that never turned harsh. The burn line was moderately thin and even while producing an attractive room aroma. The draw was free with a little resistance and produced a dense smoke that was easily passed through the sinuses.
When it was all said and done, I was very happy with this cigar. I think that it delivers alot of flavor with a pairing of body that I enjoy earlier on in the day. Looking back at what I had heard about this blend, I expected it to be much lighter than it turned out to be.
I can’t help but think that this cigar may be a bit too full flavored for that mild cigar smoker that I portray in my mind and may be perceived as something heavier. For someone such as myself, I think the body is inline with what I am looking for in this type of cigar.
I think it is tough to try and compare this to something such as Ashton and Davidoff because those cigars have different makeups and core flavors. Both the Ashton and Davidoff, if memory serves me right, lack the zing of Nicaraguan tobacco and may be viewed as a smoother smoke. I think that those that are regular smokers of the Rocky Patel Vintage 1999, Connecticut, and Edge Lite, may find this cigar right up their alley.
31 thoughts on “Oliva Connecticut Reserve”
These look really tasty. I can’t wait to get my grubby little fingers on them. Thanks for the review Walt!
Will somebody PLEASE give this man a Lusitanias or a sir winne pretty quick.
Beautiful review Walt, and very informative too.
Looks like this is going to be a box purchase for me.
Sweet review Walt… this sounds like a more refined slightly ramped up version of the Flor de Oliva Gold which is one of my favorite morning cigars. I will definitely have to track some down when they come available.
Nice review. May have to try one with some morning coffee when my local gets them in.
I loved the thorough review of this cigar, and I will now definitely pick up a few as soon as I can get my hands on them.
Have you ever met an Oliva you didn’t like?
Every Oliva i have tried has left me thinking that i wish i lit up something else. I must be missing something here!
Forget about Oliva–no matter what they call it they grow their tobacco in Ecuador. Get real Connecticut and real Sumatra wrappers and see the difference.
I didn’t like the couple of Sol Cubanos I’ve had and I’m not crazy about the Flor de Oliva Natural.
A well aged cuban,
Different smokes for different folks. I know where you are coming from and have the same thoughts about Rocky Patel product. Majority of the RP facings I’ve had I didn’t care for.
Thanks for the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the cigar if/when you pick one up.
I am curious to see how these stack up with other Oliva made Conn. smokes, like the Nub or Sol Cubano. The RP99 is my fav so far, but you made a good point about the price.
Nice review and some of your best pics yet.
I can’t wait to try this cigar. I’m not much of a connecticut fan, but I’m betting that since the cigar is an Oliva blend it’s pretty dang good!
Walt, great review Sir! I will definitely see if I can get my hands on a couple of these for when I need something lighter, but more full flavored. I tell you, the stick looks fantastic!
Walt, I love your reviews – they’re very descriptive, well-written and detailed. Though I tend to smoke full-flavored habano-wrapped sticks, I’m excited about this cigar and the flavorful Nicaraguan filler. An interesting pairing with a Conn. wrapper for sure.
I like this cigar….
where can you buy these?
Nice review! I love these cigars and will be adding them to my morning rotation!
In fact maybe I may just change my SR name from OlivaSerieV to OlivaConnecticutReserve…
As one who worked 15+ years in the cigar tobacco industry in Connecticut itself, both on the farms and in the processing warehouses, I get really angry when these cigar makers trade on the Connecticut name and reputation while selling inferior tobacco grown in Ecuador for a fraction of the price of the real thing, not to mention that Ecuador-grown “Connecticut [stolen] seed” does not deliver the distinctive taste of real Connecticut USA grown tobacco, and has to look and feel of a brown paper bag to boot. Wise up, young cigar smokers, and don’t let these Central American sharpies sell you inferior products. Don’t let them bastardize the name Connecticut like they have the name of Cuba.
Just finished one and then went online to find where I can get some more. This was a very nice smoke well worthy of a “box of 20” purchase. Well written review – thanks.
This is à nice if not great smoke. I prefer these with Pampero Anniversario Rum or, don’t laugh, chocolate milk. With Scotch it’s no good…
I smoked a robusto last night, paired with a glass of Argentinian malbec and later a Bass Ale. During this time I had the following epiphany: In my life I have smoked far too many bad cigars. Considering the fair price of the Oliva Connecticut Reserve there is no reason to smoke bad cigars other than to satisfy one’s curiosity.
That being said, I cannot remember the last time I smoked a cigar with a better draw and burn. The burn line was mostly razor sharp. The taste was complex, at times reminding me of the hoppy, slightly soapy taste present in an India pale ale. I really had to admire the combination of the near perfect CT wrapper with the classy and understated Oliva band. I hate overly ornate bands. It makes me think the manufacturer is trying to compensate for shortcomings in the blend and construction.
My final observation has to do with the strength of this cigar. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The CT wrapper lulled me into a false sense of security. By the time I was down to the nub, I felt a distinct nicotine buzz. This is the first cigar I’ve smoke in a while that had me considering a box purchase.
I love this cigar. It is my go to cigar and I smoke one every morning
Utilizing a striking Connecticut wrapper and Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long-fillers, this Oliva is a welcomed addition to their already healthy sized line.