Oliva is probably one of the industry’s most reputed brands and produces a wide variety of blends and vitolas. The Oliva Serie V is something of a standard-bearer for the manufacturer. Therefore, this article will cover the Oliva Serie V as we review it according to the following considerations:
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- Brand: Oliva
- Range: Serie V Liga Especial
- Reviewed Vitolas: 5 x 54 Double Robusto, 7 x 38 Lancero
- Wrapper: Habano Sun Grown
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley Ligero
- Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (Tabilosa)
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Medium – Full
- Estimated Smoking Time: 85 Minutes
- Pricing: $9 / Single [Buy Now]
One of Oliva’s most well-known and coveted ranges, the Serie V is available in a variety of vitolas such as Extra Churchill and Belicoso. In this review, we’ll touch upon the Double Robusto and Lancero, which are now made in Oliva’s new factory, Tabilosa 1.
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Oliva Serie V Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Coffee Bean
- Rolling Consistency: Mostly Straight
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Nutmeg, Barnyard, Agarwood
The first thing you’ll notice is that it has what appears to be a very straight and well-constructed body. Indeed, it has a lovely firm spring and the soft spots are very sparse, if there are any at all. It features a somewhat coffee bean hue, which reveals the wrapper’s oily sheen. There are a few mild rustic veins.
As for the aromas, I experienced nutmeg, barnyard, and agarwood on the foot. Agarwood is a resinous oud that is often used in perfumery.
Oliva Serie V Review
Before being reviewed, the Oliva cigars were stored in a Boveda acrylic humidor for a period of three weeks. Their humidity was maintained with Boveda 69% packs and they were closely monitored with a Boveda Butler.
- Draw: Some Resistance
- Aromas: Tonka Bean, Pistachio, Cinnamon
The draw can be a little bit on the tight side, but it’s still quite ideal for those who prefer a touch of resistance. Simply massaging the cigar beforehand will open up the construction if necessary.
As for the dry draw’s flavours, I experienced tonka bean, pistachio, and cinnamon. What’s particularly interesting here was that the tonka bean was quite rich and gourmand. The pistachio added some crisp nuttiness while the cinnamon provided a spicy base.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Mahogany, Coffee bean, Black Pepper
The first third opens up with a rich woody bouquet, which is dominated by mahogany, an opulent and quite deep wood. It is accompanied by coffee bean notes as well as black pepper, which you’ll find is a consistent note throughout the whole cigar.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Rosewood, Molasses, Black Pepper
Once into the second third, the mahogany transitions to a much more fragrant rosewood, which opens a richer tableau of flavour. It pairs well with accompanying notes of syrupy and creamy molasses. However, this wasn’t particularly sweet thanks to a spicy presence of black pepper.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Oak, Cooa Nibs, Coffee Bean
By the final third, you’ll likely notice that the woody characteristic has evolved from rosewood into oak. Therefore, it has become more verbose while lacking the fragrance experienced in the first and second thirds.
Here, it is accompanied by cocoa and coffee beans, which are distinctively toasted and far deeper than those experienced earlier.
As for the overall palate of the cigar, it may have lacked the nuanced complexities that you would expect. Nevertheless, it did have a velvety and very smooth mouthfeel.
Similarly, the cigar leans somewhat towards the dry side but not overly so and is balanced overall. This links to the palate stimulation, which was quite harmonious. It starts at the front of the tongue and slowly moves back and stimulates the rear as you progress.
The lifecycle is quite developed given that you do have reoccurring and consistent themes such as the woody characteristic and the black pepper.
Finally, the finish is quite lingering. It remains on the palate for a short amount of time, which helps you finish your drink if you’re accompanying it with something.
As for the residual scent of the room, I find it to be okay. It’s not offensive by any means, but I didn’t find it to be the most pleasant and fragrant odour.
- Ash Backbone: Strong
- Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
- Temperature: Cool
- Draw: Consistent
- Final Smoking Time: 90 Minutes
The draw stays consistent throughout the smoke. It doesn’t exactly loosen up tightened in any way. Similarly, it provides you with a cool smoke and its burnline angle stays relatively straight. Occasionally, you may experience the odd burn issue but these are infrequent.
The ash’s backbone is very strong. It doesn’t break very easily, and you can produce some very fine ash stacks.
I’m going to take this opportunity actually to talk about the Lancero. I didn’t specifically mention it in the palate yet a great option for connoisseurs. As it’s thin and long, it can be particularly hot and unpleasant when smoked too quickly.
Similarly, when you smoke a cigar, that’s too hot, it will start to burn away the oils, which contain the aromatic compounds. However, it can be far more rewarding than the Double Robusto if you smoke it slowly and take your time.
While the flavour profile is the same overall, it delivers a greater level of complexity with refined and subtle nuances of flavour.
First of all, the band has a very distinctive style, which is elegant and features dark gourmand colours. On the sides, you’ll see it says “Liga Especial” with a distinctive “V” in the centre. The band is elegant and attractive and, above all, very easy to remove.
The box has an understated and modest design. It is made out of a brown wood, which is quite reminiscent of the wrapper. As for the value of these cigars, they are in the sub $10 range. Indeed, a single double Robusto single should cost you around $9, but some online retailers sell it for less.
With regards to the occasion for smoking this cigar, I believe that the Oliva Serie V to be a very versatile blend that you can smoke in a variety of different circumstances. For instance, it would look very much in place, whether you going to a lounge or a wedding.
However, it can also be enjoyed among friends given that it isn’t over $10 in cost. Similarly, this is a good cigar to smoke in the evening or in the late afternoon. You could potentially smoke it at night as a digestif following your hearty meal.
Pairing Recommendations With An Oliva Serie V Cigar
Firstly, I think this would be a great cigar to go with a grilled rib-eye steak. Generally, it’s a great cigar for a barbecue, especially a wood-fired grill given the woody notes in the cigar. Similarly, dark chocolate would be a great option given its gourmand characteristics.
Alternatively, you could also go for a pepperoni pizza, which would be even better if it was traditionally cooked on a wood fire.
As for beverages, I would personally consider accompanying this with a Fine Champagne Cognac. This is a Cognac that has been made from eau-de-vie from the Grand and Petit Champagne areas.
An Islay Scotch Single Malt would be a great option as well. The cigar’s smokiness would pair well with the peat in order to enhance the woody experience as well as the molasses in the second third of the cigar.
And finally, if you’re going to pair this with coffee, I’d probably go for a dark Costa Rican roast espresso, which will have a full body.
Overall, the Oliva Serie V is a very versatile cigar. With a variety of different Vitolas, that you can enjoy the blend according to your personal preferences. Indeed, it is as a cigar with a distinctive flavour profile, which is probably why it is so popular among the cigar smoking community.
If you’re looking something that is reliable and consistent, then I would certainly recommend the Oliva Serie V. It’s also great for beginners who have already already tried a few mild cigars but are searching for something with a fuller body.
"A versatile and enjoyable cigar for a variety of enthusiasts, whatever their level of experience."
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