This Oliva V Serie certainly needs no introduction. The V Serie has been making waves in the cigar industry since its release and by waves I mean amazing flavor, profile, burn, ash and everything else. The V Serie has also, once again, been featured in the current Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of the Year, 2012. I’ve smoked the V Serie before but not in this Belicoso size. Every experience I’ve had with the V Serie has been memorable. Amazing flavor profile, perfect construction and that signature, Nicaraguan strength and spice I’ve grown to love. Since I haven’t tasted this size, I was anxious to try it and even more anxious to have this smoke be the maiden voyage along with our Chief Wine Editor (Patrick’s) review of a wine he selected specifically to pair with the Oliva Serie V. Does it get any better?!
Knowing the flavor the Oliva V Serie brings to the table, I was also curious to see if there were any differences with this smaller sized torpedo. I was also excited to see how it paired with the wine that Patrick chose (see the footnote for that as well as his review of the wine).
As noted in my bio in the ‘About Us’ section of the site, I love ligero and love that the filler in the Oliva Serie V is ligero from Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua. The binder is also Nicaraguan, which, in itself, produces very bold and spicy flavors. Personally, I think some of the best cigars made today come from Nicaragua. The soils there are producing fantastic yields and giving a lot of smokers a flavorful experience as well as turning their palates up a notch or two with the bold spice.
This Serie V Belicoso is perfect in construction. There are no veins, no soft spots and the triple cap looks amazing. The wrapper is dark brown in color and gives off an oily sheen both to the eye and to the touch.
The band on this cigar is the same V Serie band Oliva has used on the other sizes of the V line. My only complaint is that using the same sized band on a much smaller cigar almost dwarfs the cigar. But honestly, if that’s the only bad thing about it, I think we’re sitting pretty ok!
I smelled the length of the wrapper a few times and got a leathery-tobacco smell and some spice. On the foot, I picked up hay and more spice…the spice from the foot went right up my nose and I immediately sneezed. Pretty damn awesome!
After clipping the tapered head right off, I placed up to my mouth and took in a long, cold draw. The draw was medium-tight and I tasted a combination of earth, hay, some sweetness and a little spice.
When I tasted this cold draw, I was immediately reminded of the other V Serie cigars I’ve smoked; makes me want to light this up and get to enjoying!
This Oliva Serie V Belicoso took the flame perfectly and started burning extremely even. Spoiler Alert: it would continue to burn extremely even for the entire length of the cigar, right down to the nub.
The smoke produced was a medium amount of white/gray smoke and looked like cream coming out of my mouth and off the foot of the cigar. As far as the aroma of the actual smoke, there was a pepper smell mixed with some ammonia. It almost stung my nose.
I’ll be honest, since this cigar was only 5” long, I wasn’t expecting it to last longer than about 45-60 min. However, this stick was packed tight (she whispered) and the burn was so even. It lasted just over an hour and a half. An hour and a half of pure bliss!
The ash was consistently charcoal-gray and held on tight for the long haul.
After taking a flame to the head and taking the first few puffs, a spice bomb went of in the retrohale! It wasn’t too strong or bad, it was just there! Right in your face! Also after the first light there was a very present woody flavor and a tinge of floral taste.
About halfway into the first third, in addition to the spicy retrohale, I noticed some spice lingering in my mouth as well. The wood flavor was ever-present throughout the entire smoke. After the first third, the wood flavor started to sweeten a little; like a cedar smell.
The spice in the retrohale continued through the second third and went from a spicy pepper to an almost jalapeno spice. Then, after the second third was coming to an end, the spicy retrohale started to diminish.
The draw also started as medium-tight and slowly continued to open up as the cigar got smoked. It really opened up a lot of flavor to come out during this process.
Into the final third, there was an all-around silky, smoothness in the texture of the flavor. It was like cream in coffee and it was delicious. In the final third, there was almost a burnt branch and leaves flavor; a campfire, if you will (and you will!).
Even down to the nub, the creamy, savory flavor stayed. There was no bitterness in the cigar and very little heat.
Yes, this would be an enjoyable smoke to have every day. In fact, I would be spoiling myself if I had this cigar everyday.
Heck, if I could afford it, I’d buy six boxes!
Not surprisingly, this was a complex cigar with a wonderful (and consistent) flavor. Accompanied by the spice, it was an extremely well rounded and balanced cigar. No burn issues or any other issues for that matter.
Don’t let the smaller size fool you; this Oliva Serie V Belicoso is packed tight and burns slow…it made for a very nice experience.
To touch just a bit on the cigar and wine experience I had, initially, the wine came off very fruity and dry. The fruitiness of the wine paired very well with the woody notes and the spice from the cigar. As the flavor of the cigar picked up steam, the flavor of the wine changed. With each sip, the wine came off a little sweeter while the cigar burned down.
This was a great pairing and I’d recommend it!
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