Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Cigar Review

Now that we have reviewed the Oliva Serie V Melanio, the next logical step was to take a look at the maduro edition. Therefore, we will now take a close look at the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro by reviewing it according to our own methodology:

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Overview

  • Brand: Oliva
  • Range: Serie V Melanio Maduro Gran Reserva Limitada
  • Reviewed Vitolas: 5 x 52 Robusto
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrès
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (Tabilosa)
  • Handmade: Yes
  • Body: Medium – Full
  • Estimated Smoking Time: 95  Minutes
  • Pricing: $9 / Single [Buy Now]

Released in 2013, the Maduro was launched a year after the original Melanio. It’s produced at the Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A, also known as Tabolisa. In January 2020, Oliva completed Tabolisa 1, their new factory in which these cigars will shortly be manufactured. Oliva just released a limited edition box-pressed Figurado version, which is seven inches in length and tapered at both ends like Perfecto.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Look & Feel

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Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Look & Feel

  • Wrapper Hue: Coffee Bean
  • Rolling Consistency: Mostly Straight
  • Spring: Firm
  • Aromas: Nutmeg, Cacao, Cinnamon

The Serie V Melanio Maduro features a Mexican San Andrés wrapper like the original Oliva Serie V Maduro. This leaf replaces the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, which can be found on the original Melanio.

It has probably the best construction of the entire Serie V line. It’s perfectly even, there are no soft spots whatsoever, and it has a nice berm spring. It also has a distinctive coffee bean hue, but it doesn’t have an oily sheen that was quite as alluring as the original Melanio.

The veins are nonexistent. In fact, it is a very smooth cigar and, despite its dull appearance, it doesn’t have a rustic feel to it. The aromas are quite subtle on the nose, but I did detect nutmeg, cacao bean, and cinnamon.

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Review

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro First Third

Like the other Serie V cigars that we have reviewed, these were stored in a Boveda acrylic humidor for a period of three weeks. Their relative humidity was managed with Boveda 69% packs and I closely monitored the humidor with a Boveda Butler.

Pre-Lighting Experience

  • Draw: Mild Resistance
  • Aromas: Chicory, Birch, Rooibos

The robusto offers a perfect draw with a mild resistance in its airflow. However, I have felt that the Figurado is perhaps a little bit tight when comparing the two.

The Melanio Maduro is rich in flavour as well and delivers chicory, which was quite an interesting note that I haven’t detected on many cigars, as well as some birchwood and rooibos tea.

1st Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Rosewood, Molasses, Black Pepper

The first third is impressively complex, fragrant, and full of flavours despite an overall medium body. It reveals fragrant rosewood, which accords nicely with some syrupy molasses.

Its sensation was reminiscent of boise, an ingredient occasionally used in rum or cognac, which adds a mature woody flavor. The additive is perfectly allowed these drinks but in controlled, limited quantities. The overall result was surprisingly vinous and there was a touch of black pepper on the retrohale.

2nd Third Smoking Experience

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Second Third

  • Notes: Pistachio, Charred Bay Leaf, Toasted Rugbrød

The second third surprised me with pistachio nut, which was much like the original Serie V Melanio. However, it was accompanied by charred bay leaf, which added an aromatic component.

The bay leaf paired nicely with another interesting note of toasted rugbrød, which is Danish black bread. This contributed towards a particularly toasty and yeasty character.

Final Third Smoking Experience

  • Notes: Liquorice, Espresso Bean, Agarwood

Liquorice dominates the final third on the palate and in the retrohale. An overt sensation of espresso bean, was quite opulent. Meanwhile, balsamic agarwood had a distinctively opulent character.

What’s interesting about agarwood is that it seems to be a reoccurring theme in all of the Oliva Serie V cigars. Overall, the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro is very complex and it has a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

The astringency and palate stimulation are very balanced, which gives you a consistent sensation across the whole tongue. In comparison, the original Melanio tends to focus right in the centre.

Its lifecycle is nicely developed and it does weave an original story throughout each third. However, its body remains medium through the whole thing, and which is quite surprising for a Maduro.

Finally, the finish is very long in the final third, but much shorter in the first third. This gives you about 40 minutes of a good aftertaste that you can enjoy while you’re finishing your drink.

As for the residual scent in the room, it probably isn’t as pleasant as the Melanio, which I found to be more fragrant.

Overall Burn

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Final Third

  • Ash Backbone: Strong
  • Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
  • Temperature: Cool
  • Draw: Consistent
  • Final Smoking Time: 95 Minutes

The burn’s angle and line are straight and razor sharp. Similarly, the draw is consistent throughout the whole experience and the temperature remains nice and cool.

However, its ash backbone was a little bit weaker. Although good compared to most cigars, it was slightly flakier than the original Melanio. Nevertheless, it produces mesmerising steel-grey ash.

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Overall Experience

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Box & Presentation

The Melanio Maduro has the exact same band as the original Serie V Melanio. The only difference is that the secondary band states “Maduro” rather than “Gran Reserva Limitada”.

Indeed, all Serie V cigars share the same band except for some very subtle differences. The original Serie V says “Liga Especial” on the sides, which is replaced by “Maduro Especial” on its Maduro version. Meanwhile, both the Melanio and Melanio Maduro say “Gran Reserva Limitada”.

If it weren’t for the secondary band and a slight difference in wrapper colour, it would be easy to confuse them for the same cigar.

Similarly, the Melanio Maduro box is almost identical to the box of the original Melanio. It a nice wooden 10-cigar box with hinges and cedar lining. The only difference is that it distinguishes itself by stating “Maduro” on the box and under the lid.

The value of the cigar is excellent and it has the same price as the Melanio at about $10.60 for a robusto. When buying them as a box, their individual price for each cigar can be much less, too.

Like the original Melanio and the other Serie V, the Melanio Maduro is extremely versatile and can be taken to a variety of different occasions. You could enjoy it at a very luxurious location. You could also enjoy it among friends, a special event, such as a wedding would be great as well.

The Melanio Maduro is probably best suited to later in the day than the original Melanio. In fact, I would consider smoking it probably later in the evening after dinner or even as a nightcap.

Pairing Recommendations With An Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro & Coffee

Like the entire Serie V line, I would suggest cure ham such as black forest or prosciutto. These would go wonderfully with the cigar that is packed with gourmand and expressive, aromatic flavour.

Otherwise, you could go for some dark chocolate. I would suggest something by Argencove, which is a brand I really like based in Granada, Nicaragua. They produce artisanal creations and their saffron chocolate’s spicy profile would go perfectly with the cigar.

Finally, with all the other Serie V cigars, I suggested things like pepperoni pizza and chargrilled meat. I thought it would be an interesting change of pace for the Melanio Maduro would be perhaps ratatouille.

It sounds like a weird suggestion but bear with me! The presence of bay leaf adds an aromatic element that would make it work.

And as for beverages, as I mentioned in the first third, there was this intriguing vinous “boise” note produced by and accord of the rosewood and the molasses. Indeed, it would be amiss to not go for Fine Champagne cognac due to its amber notes and spicy finish!

Otherwise, you could consider a dark age rum. I would probably lean towards a Diplomático, which I believe does use boise and other additives that seek to extend the experience. Meanwhile, a rum like Flor de Caña is much more natural and tends to have a more fragrant personality.

Finally, if you’re going to have coffee with this, I would definitely go for an espresso, particularly a nice and tight ristretto that is made with dark-roasted beans.

Closing Thoughts

While I thoroughly enjoyed the original Serie V Maduro, the Melanio Maduro is an excellent experience. I won’t go as far as to say that it’s distinctively better, but it may better suit your own personal preferences.

It is far more complex than even the original Melanio. And for someone like me who prefers mild to medium smokes, it’s a refreshing change as the body is relatively mild. Indeed, it’s balanced with incredibly nuanced and complex flavours.

Whether you’re a beginner or veteran cigar smoker, you’ll likely find the Melanio Maduro very rewarding. Just make sure that you take your time and you’ll see what I mean.

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"Rich in flavour but with a balanced body, the Melanio Maduro is a worthwhile addition to the large Serie V family."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

Further Reading

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

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