I was a little disappointed as I sat down to write up this review. I was certain that I’d be the first one to review a stick by Oliveros, but darn it if Walt didn’t review the Oliveros XL For Men several years ago. Even with that previous write up, Oliveros cigars are still mostly uncharted territory here on the Stogie Review.
I kinda makes sense that there we’ve done so few Oliveros reviews. There just hasn’t been all that much talk about their cigars recently, at least not in the circles I loiter (twitter, the SR Forum). I picked up a five pack of the Eight Zeros a while back out of curiosity, and of course, buried them under subsequent cigar purchases, forgetting all aobut then. That is, until I saw the video that Rafael Nodal, one of the owners of the brand, posted on Facebook regarding our right to enjoy fine cigars. (You may have to log in to Facebook to see it.)
As far as I know, this is the first Oliveros cigar I’ve ever had, so a proper introduction is in order. The Oliveros Eight Zero “Anniversary Royale”, as the name implies, commemorates the 80th anniversary of the birth of Oliveros cigars in Cuba back in 1927. Of course, they are no longer produced in Cuba. These smokes are now made in Habana Cuba Cigar Company’s factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Now that we’re all acquainted, it’s time introduce a little fire.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Honduran Habano
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Price: MSRP $8.50
There’s just no getting around that big band is there? It seems less a band than a road sign declaring you’ve entered the town of Oliveros with a thriving population of Eight Zero. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice looking band, it’s just huge. More than once I accidentally singed the low hanging, cream colored Oliveros medallion at the bottom of the band.
Beyond the generous band, I found the cigars to be firm to the point of being hard and free of any obvious defects. There weren’t many veins in the wrapper of any size and the cigars were mostly smooth. The wrapper had a nice dark brown color that looked as though it had been lightly brushed with a black paint.
There was nothing too unusual about the wrapper scent, it was your standard compost. And the cold taste offered hints of sweet cocoa.
I have to give the Eight Zero high marks in the burn department, especially in it’s first half. It had a very even burn, and held a impressively long ash without any overly gentle treatment. The cigar also produced a nice volume of smoke, and I never had one with any draw problems.
The only issues I did have seemed to appear in the second half, and for the most part were pretty minor. The ash remained strong, but tended to get a bit flaky. One stick required a relight in the final inches, and another started to unravel a bit at the head around the same point.
The Eight Zero started things off creamy, nutty and a little bit on the sweet side, but made a noticeable change before you have a chance to get comfortable with that mild introduction. Dark chocolate and black coffee notes start to appear before long. A sweet element remained, sometimes like caramel, but it complimented the other flavors instead of overwhelming them.
The second third was slightly sweeter than the previous third, but not by much. The sweetness worked nicely with some cinnamon flavors that appeared for a while in this third, often tasting a little bit like candy. The cigar made interesting transitions between coffee, nuts, chocolate and a little bit of creaminess in this section, often being different from one puff to the next.
As the cigar headed into the final stretch, darker chocolates and black coffee flavors became more prominent. The sweetness receded a bit, but I still got little hints of caramel here an there right up until the end.
It’s never a bad thing to see a commemorative anniversario smoke land solidly in the single digits, price-wise. Sure it’d be great to shave a few bucks off the total, but I’m not going to complain.
There’s no getting around it. The Eight Zero is an attractive medium bodied stick that burns well and produces some great flavors. With some gentle treatment not only is it a stick you can enjoy smoking, it’s one that might help you win a long ash contest. And unlike some of the other cigars I’ve reviewed recently, it’s probably one you’ll be able to find in stock at a local cigar shop. And when you do, I’d recommend giving it a shot.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes, and I have.
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.