Founded as “Gilberto Oliva” in 1995, Oliva Cigar Co. can trace its roots back to late-19th century Cuba. In 1886, Melanio Oliva started growing tobacco in the legendary Pinar del Río region.
Melanio served in Cuba’s War of Independence and was eventually succeeded by his son, Hipolito, who continued growing tobacco.
Following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Hipolito’s son, Gilberto, emigrated with his family to Spain. However, he extensively travelled around Cuba’s cigar-producing countries as a tobacco broker.
He eventually settled in Nicaragua and began growing tobacco himself in 1969, claiming “Northern Nicaragua enjoys all the natural blessings for great Habano.”
Gilberto was forced to temporarily leave Nicaragua in 1979 during the Saninista Revolution. Until his return in 1995, he grew tobacco in Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and the Philippines.
On his return, Gilberto launched the brand that would carry his father’s namesake and continue the family legacy.
Initially, it primarily used Plasencia’s Honduran factories for production. Thanks to Gilberto’s vast stock of tobacco, his brand flourished during the cigar boom of the 1990s.
Gilberto soon shortened the name to just “Oliva” and launched a new Estelí factory in 2003. Oliva soon experienced critical acclaim with blends like the Serie V and Serie V Melanio.
Although J. Cortes Cigars acquired Oliva in 2016, Gilberto’s siblings and children remain actively invested in the family brand.
Learn all about Oliva’s individual blends with the reviews below!