Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial Cigar Review

Oliva’s Serie V is a well-known cigar blend. However, the Maduro variant is often overlooked because it used to be limited edition. Nevertheless, it is now part of the regular line-up! Therefore, we will review the Oliva Serie V Maduro in detail by following the following considerations:

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  • Brand: Oliva
  • Range: Serie V Maduro Especial
  • Reviewed Vitolas: 6 x 50 Toro, 6 x 60 Double Toro
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andés
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley Ligero
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (Tabilosa)
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Full
  • Estimated Smoking Time: 95  Minutes
  • Pricing: $11 / Single [Shop On CigarPage]

Originally a limited production of just 6,000 boxes, the Serie V Maduro is now part of Oliva’s regular line-up. Initially featuring a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper and then a Nicaraguan Habano maduro, it now features a Mexican San Andrés wrapper.

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial Look & Feel

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Oliva Serie V Maduro Look & Feel

  • Wrapper Hue: Umber
  • Rolling Consistency: Mostly Straight
  • Spring: Firm
  • Aromas: Nutmeg, Star Anise, Agarwood

The Serie V Maduro has a dark brown wrapper that I would describe as umber, an iron oxide and manganese oxide pigment that you can get in soil. The cigar’s roll is very consistent with no discernible no soft spots, and it has a very firm spring.

However, it can be pinched and you do get a little give, so it isn’t hard.

Interestingly, the Double Toro seems to be a bit duller than on the regular Toro. The regular Toro has a bit more oils on the wrapper, but they both have this quite coarse almost sandpaper texture to them.

In terms of veins and faint despite the coarse sandpaper texture.

The nose on the foot of the cigar is particularly gourmand. I detected primarily some nutmeg and star anise, two very spicy notes, but I also experienced some agarwood, which is also on the original Serie V.

Agarwood is a wood that’s often used in perfumery, which is also known as oud. It has a resinous and musky profile with hints of vanilla and other spices.

Oliva Serie V Maduro Review

Before being reviewed, the Oliva V Maduro cigars were properly stored in a Boveda acrylic humidor for a period of three weeks to prepare them for the review. They were maintained with Boveda 69% packs and I closely monitored the environment with a Boveda Butler.

Pre-Lighting Experience

  • Draw: Mild Resistance
  • Aromas: Cacao, Café Au Lait, Cinnamon

I found that the pre-light draw was particularly pleasant and offered just a little bit of resistance. Some people might find that a little tight. However, it dissipates very quickly if you massage the cigar before you light it.

In terms of flavour, it was quite rich and offered more gourmand notes. These consisted of cacao, creamy cafe Au lait or latte coffee, as well as a slight hint of cinnamon.

1st Third Smoking Experience

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial First Third

  • Notes: Mahogany, Paprika, Black Pepper

Once you light it up, you’ll experience very intense flavours in the first quarter of an inch. These dissipate eventually to deliver a more balanced, harmonious flavour profile. In the first third, I experienced some mahogany, which is quite reminiscent of the original Serie V.

However, aside from that, this is a very different cigar indeed. Instead, it offers you spicy paprika, which tingles the nasal cavity on the retrohale. You may also notice some black pepper. As you may recall from the original Serie V, black pepper is one of the most reoccurring notes throughout the whole cigar.

2nd Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Cacao, Espresso, Liquorice Root

Nevertheless, black pepper was absent in the second third. Instead, we had more cacao as experienced in the pre-light as well as some deep and rich espresso notes. These were accompanied by a liquorice root flavour that was particularly prevalent on the retrohale, offering more spicy substance to the cigar.

Final Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Myrrh, Cocoa Nibs, Black Pepper

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial & La Pavoni EspressoThe final third of the cigar will reveal some very intriguing and alluring flavors that aren’t quite as intense as you would expect. Indeed, it’s character is quite balanced and harmonious, but it does have an overall bitter profile.

This bitterness I thought was reminiscent of myrrh, which is not a fragrance or note that we commonly use to describe cigars. Nevertheless, I thought it was particularly evocative in this instance.

For instance, myrrh can be quite bitter and balsamic, which was indeed the overall character of the final third. This was accompanied by cacao nibs, which have also an element of bitterness, but an overall gourmand profile.

And finally black pepper, particularly noticeable on the retrohale, returned briefly towards the nub. It was different from the first third with a more verbose aroma on the retrohale.

If you’re familiar with the original Serie V, you’ll probably find the maduro more rewarding as it delivers subtleties throughout the whole experience. The mouthfeel is very velvety from start to finish and the astringence is quite balanced.

In terms of palate stimulation on the tongue, you can expect a very nice harmonious pressure on every section of your tongue. Like the original Serie V, it travels from the front to the back. However, it was far more complex in its evolution.

Similarly, there was a distinctive sense of development through each third. The first third being, at first, quite opulent and strong in body, but then it became milder and a little bit more balanced and in turn, the flavors also became a little bit more harmonious.

As for the finish, the finish is particularly lingering. However, the residual scent in the room it a little strong and it’s best smoked outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.

Overall Burn

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial Second Third

  • Ash Backbone: Strong
  • Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
  • Temperature: Cool
  • Draw: Consistent
  • Final Smoking Time: 90 Minutes

The draw was consistent all the way through. It gave me still a little bit resistance, but if you do massage it like I said earlier, it will give way and open up. The temperature was a little bit warmer than the original Serie V, too.

Nevertheless, it offered a very straight burn angle. You do have a touch of waviness every now and then. However, it offers a thin and relatively straight burn line without any touch-ups.

Finally, its ash backbone allows you to produce some very long stacks with the cigar given how well it’s constructed.

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Overall Experience

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial Double Robusto & Roto Boxes

First of all, it’s worth noting that the Maduro’s band has little visual difference to the original Serie V Liga Especial. There only way to differentiate the two by the band alone is that it says “Maduro” instead of “Liga” on one side while it stays says “Especial” on the other.

This may be quite confusing for some people who aren’t familiar enough with the cigars to tell the wrappers apart. Nevertheless, it is still a very attractive band that remains ornate without being ostentatious.

Meanwhile, it’s presented in an entirely different box to the original Serie V. Rather than being a functional box with a sliding top, the Maduro is with a classic hinged box, which offers better presentation overall.

The Maduro costs just a few more dollars than the original Serie V. Indeed, a double robusto Serie V costs around $9. Meanwhile, the toro Serie V Maduro costs about $11. Given the difference in flavour, it’s worth the extra two dollars.

Given that it’s presented in an almost identical way, the Serie V Maduro is equally versatile as the original. It’s great for casual smoking along or with friends. However, it’s an excellent choice for weddings and special events.

Nevertheless, it’s probably better for later in the evening than the original. I would suggest using it as a digestif at night once the sun has gone down..

Pairing Recommendations With An Oliva Serie V Maduro

Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial & Havana Club Rum

I first suggest a chargrilled tenderloin steak, ideally barbecued on a wood fire. Alternatively, you could go for dark chocolate, especially given the cacao nib notes and the cacao in the second third.

Finally, cured ham is a favourite pairing of mine. Black forest, prosciutto, and Bayonne ham are all great options. These would go very well with this cigar and extend its resinous profile.

With regards to beverages, I would likely opt for cognac first. In this case, you could probably go for a Fine Champagne. Fine Champagne, being something made with Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne eau-de-vie. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head to our cognac guides!

Otherwise, dark aged rum would be a fine choice. Diplomatico would go quite well with the Maduro’s resinous and balsamic profile. If I were to suggest coffee, an African espresso blend from Rwanda or Ethiopia would be great. However, well-made hot chocolate would bring out the gourmand profile, too.

Closing Thoughts

The Serie V Maduro was perhaps a lot more elusive than the original Serie V because it was a very limited production. However, now it’s part of the regular production you’re going to find it much more easily on a variety of different retailers.

It is also a very versatile cigar that can be used for a number of different occasions. Something better suited to the connoisseur or for later in the day.

If you want to try a different take on the original Serie V, then I would certainly suggest that you seek out the Maduro. It is a very fine example of what a good Maduro can offer without overpowering you with deep and bold and excessive flavours.

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"A versatile maduro cigar with bold flavours but without the overpowering body."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading this cigar review, feel fry to check out more related content:

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