From the humidor at 71%, 1 Month old.
Blend: Nicaraguan Filler and Binder wrapped with Nicaraguan Connecticut broadleaf Maduro wrappers.
Size: 6.5 x 52 Torpedo
Construction: Rustic, lumpy to feel and oily in appearance, Dark, dark brown approaching black in colour with no significant veins in the very thin wrapper, It has barely visible seams and is reasonably tight with a consistent pack and no soft spots. Very well constructed.
Smell: On the wrapper - Milk chocolate, manure over very faint hints of spearmint. It was very pleasant smell.
Foot: Coffee and dried hay.
Cold draw: I ended up having to make 3 cuts in the torpedo. The first cut of about 6mm looked like I had cut a piece of dowel. 2nd cut looked like I might get some action, had a toke…but an additional cut was required. The 3rd cut at 10mm was very firm but manageable, I gambled that it would open up after lighting like most tend to do.
Flavours on the cold draw consisted primarily of dark chocolate, and coffee along with a good dose of peppery spice on the lips and tongue. Slight hints of leather were also evident and I found that all flavours had a buttery smoothness across them; which is quite unique.
I was worried this stick was going to rock me…
After playing around with the cold draw then putting it down to write, I discovered this stick already had a robust long peppery finish…. And I hadn’t even lit it yet. I was thinking this rocket is shaping up to be very interesting.
Considering all the flavours and spice on the cold draw I could probably just sit down and smoke this unlit for an hour or two and feel like I’d had a decent cigar. I might do a ‘thrifty aficionado’ review one day, smoking cold stogies to maximise bang for buck; chuckles.
First Light: A heavy dose of a rich kind of pepper/ spice, which wasn’t overpowering. I also detected dark cooking chocolate and leather. It had good smoke production, and the smoke itself is rich in flavour but quite dry without feeling thin. Medium to full in body.
Aroma: The aroma of this stick made a big impact on my partner Kim, “That has to be the best smelling stick I have ever smelled anyone smoke. It smells like really nice coffee and sweet tobacco” I will agree, the aroma of this smelled absolutely delicious.
First 3rd - 18 min
Body, Med- full, Strength full
Draw opened up to perfection with only the slightest level of resistance.
There was a massive transition from the first light to this point. The pepper all but disappeared into the background, with buttery leather and tobacco becoming the primary contributors to the flavour profile of this delicious, robust stick. The stick offers a very long rich finish comprising of toasty/ oily leather. Smoke production is brilliant but the smoke still desiccates the mouth and palate; which struck me as odd as the texture/ flavour of the smoke based on previous experience typically would be saliva thickening and very oily about the mouth. This stick exhibited a perfect burn since initial light.
Retrohale in the first 3rd proved to be a challenge as the flavours were of singed tobacco, ‘twas quite unpleasant.
The cigar extinguished itself at 27 minutes after being unattended for 45 seconds. After bumping off the 20mm ash of to inspect and relight, no burn issues seemed evident and nothing was obviously visible as the reason to why it went out.
Additional heat from relighting and puffing too get the stick going again re-introduced the pepper I was tasting in the first 10 minutes of the stick. This gives me reason to believe, if you are a faster smoker you will probably get a lot more pepper/spice in the flavour profile of this stick.
Pic: Late Second 3rd.
Second 3rd 45 min
Body shifted to a solid full.
During the second 3rd there was a reduction in the buttery smoothness of the stick, with no change to the contributing flavours of dark cooking chocolate, rich leather and tobacco. The stick exhibited perfect burn, it did stray on occasion when I let it linger for too long but it always seemed to correct itself back to a perfect straight line.
Third 3rd - 1hr 5 min
The flavour of the stick was entering another transition; the buttery leather was all but gone and the stick developed into toasty leather with tobacco with an element of earthiness and combined with this was the flavour of dried Iranian dates. As the heat in the stick increased the pepper made a comeback.
The burn on the stick significantly degraded to 8-10mm canoeing, magically inside of 5 min this issue corrected itself and resumed the perfect burn I was accustomed to.
1 Hr 17min
Smoking of the stick started to slow down due to an increased resistance in the draw, after persevering with it the draw looked as if it was going to totally close up on me. Given how much I was enjoying this stick I was not about to admit defeat. I re-cut 1.5mm off the head of stick and the draw opened back up to perfection.
After getting the stick back up to operating temperature since repairing the draw, the first signs of heat were contributing to the flavour of the stick.
40mm of the stick remaining, still only slight amounts of heat and still a pleasure to smoke.
No change in flavours or heat, 30mm of the stick remaining
At 2 hours i elected to retire what little remained of the stick as it was burning my fingers.
Summing up: This stick was absolutely delicious from top to bottom, it lasted exceptionally well without degrading as a result of getting hot toward the end; another ‘nubber’.
I’m starting to notice a pattern with Oliva sticks; they are brilliantly constructed and they last very well compared to most others.
If you can get your hands on any Serie O, Natural or Maduro and you like a medium to full bodied stick, you’ll fall in love with these, I assure you. They’re real winners.
Suggested paring: I found it difficult to identify what you should drink with this stick, I was so perplexed I had to go for a stroll over to the cupboard which houses the 70 or so bottles of spirits & liqueurs I like to gaze upon. After browsing and sniffing various bottles it dawned on me; Liqueur. This stick would pair well with Tia Maria, Baileys, Kahlua or any rich dark liqueur for that matter. A niggling voice in my head also told me I should eat vanilla ice cream with this stick????
Thanks for reading.