My very first encounter with Oliva cigars came via the bargain bin several years back. At my friendly neighborhood cigar store, the management maintains a box of discounted cigars in one of their walk-in humidors. It has been my experience that some really wonderful smokes make it into the sale bin. One day, I picked up a short little number that changed my life.
It was shorter than my preferred robusto, but still had a nice, thick ring gauge all the same. This shorty wore a charming red cloth band identifying itself as an Oliva O. Upon smoking this discounted devil, I realized I was enjoying one of the finest smokes I’d ever had. It had admirable staying power despite it’s length and produced thick clouds of blue smoke. And the taste? It was out of this world!
Immediately, I hopped back in the car returning to my cigar shop where I bought every remaining Oliva O in the bin. This supply lasted me for a couple of weeks. After depleting my stock, I resolved to pay whatever dollar amount necessary to enjoy those wonderful cigars once more.
I produced the cigar band to the shop guy, “I need a box of these, please.”
“Can’t help you,” He answered with a shake of his head. “Discontinued. That’s why we had our last few in the bin.”
A little part of me died that day.
And then in 2007 or so Oliva returned with a whole line of their wonderful cigars. And they are wonderful. Truly, madly wonderful. The Oliva Serie G is a mainstay in my humidor. It’s a high quality cigar featuring intoxicating hints of cocoa, coffee, and butter. At anywhere from $3 – $4 a stick, it’s a no-brainer to have the Serie G in deep supply.
While dressed in Cameroon wrapper as the Serie G, The Serie V is a much more bold experience. The cigar shares the cocoa and coffee traits of the G, but V packs a wallop in its richness, evocative of leather. It is a spicy experience, powerful but not overpowering. The primary difference to me between G and V, is that V tends to be more predictable. It is consistently even in burn and taste.
It paired well with a glass (or two) of The Famous Grouse.
It’s a great cigar. So much so that Cigar Aficionado dubbed it the Best Cigar of the Year in both 2007 and 2008.
At about $5.50 a stick, you can’t beat it.