Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oliva Master Blend III Review

Wrapper origin: Ecuador
Wrapper type: Sungrown Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan
Length: 5”
Ring: 50
Cost: $9.50

Appearance (0-20): I’ve had this cigar for a few months in my humidor, and the first noticeable thing is the wrapper.  It is absolutely covered with what appears to be bloom; small specks of glitter that shine as I turn the cigar.  There are no noticeable seams from when the cigar was wrapped, and sports a lighter brown wrapper. It appears to have an oval shape, and two sides are box pressed.  The band is ornate and beautiful, boasting many vibrant colors all the way around.

Score: 19

Construction (0-20): In both the prelight draw and regular smoke, the draw was somewhat tight.  The tightness didn’t affect the stick at all, as it was easy and produced a fairly large amount of smoke.  This really allowed the small robusto to last close to 1.25 hours.  The light gray ash (also had the sparkle that the wrapper had) held on well throughout the smoke, only requiring me to ash two times in the 5 inches.  The burn was very even and cool, requiring no touch ups from start to finish.

Score: 18

Strength (0-20): The cigar starts off as a medium, and will keep moving down the scale towards full.  Overall, you will eventually get a solid medium-full cigar, which is really focused on the flavor profile.
Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): The flavoring was very enjoyable.  The smoke will coat your tongue, but not leave any tobacco taste.  It really left me with all of the flavors from the previous draw.  The first half inch will give off some quick spicy notes, and then it’s mainly rich espresso for the rest of the stick.  It was a very smooth type of smoke, and goes easy through the nose.

Score: 18

Value (0-20): Now herein lies the problem for me.  The smoke was very enjoyable, and scored very well in each category.  As mentioned earlier, it’s a small stick that lasted quite awhile.  The price tag hovers around $10.00, and again this is fair.  In the same breath, I wouldn’t say that it is exponentially better than its brother, the Oliva V.  For the same price, I personally would grab for the “V” in a bigger size, but I really can’t take points away from the MB III.

Score: 18

Additional Notes: Smoked at CI, paired with tropical seltzer.

Overall (0-100): After not smoking the Master Blend III in about a year now, I was pleasantly surprised.  The appearance and construction were spot on, and the flavoring was great.  I haven’t recently had a cigar that didn’t really have any tobacco taste, and it was very surprising.  Oliva does a very good job with their smokes, and I am always a return customer.  While the pricing was a tad on the high size for its size, I think it’s worth a shot if you looking for something different.

Score: 91

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