Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Appearance (0-20): Typical of the Oliva branding, the band is a cream colored set with gold and maroon, stating the series of the cigar below it. It’s set against a deeper brown Cameroon wrapper with minimal veins. Everything looks pretty solid overall with no negative points to emphasize. There is nothing outstanding on the appearance per say, but also nothing to complain about.
Construction (0-20): The initial feel is that of a solid cigar. No gaps in the tobacco within the stick that can be felt to the touch. The initial cut left a small amount of debris, though not too excessive. The prelit draw is slightly tight, but it opened up quite easily post lighting and ended up being just a hair looser than what I would prefer. The burn began completely even but over time began to run slightly to one side.
Strength (0-20): Billed as medium strength, but truthfully it sits a lot more toward the lower end of that spectrum.
Flavor (0-20): The first puffs from the Oliva Serie Ggive off a wonderful creamy flavor with some peppery spice. These flavors mixed give a nice balance that is complimented within the first third by both dark chocolate and woodsy undertones. Eventually the chocolate becomes much more predominant, along with the pepper, whereas the cream fades back a bit. The final third has a much more prominent coffee flavor with a hint of cream and some leathery flavors.
Value (0-20): For under $6.00 per smoke, it’s a solid choice. Comparatively speaking, it is in line with a number of other good selections in the $4 to $6 price point.
Additional Notes: Provided by the folks at Famous Smoke. Paired with water.
Overall (0-100): Oliva tends to stay pretty consistent with its offerings and this one falls in line with that theory. It’s got a pretty standard look, which again works with keeping to the branding that they are trying to convey. Typically, I have found that the construction on most Oliva cigars is pretty solid, though this one doesn’t quite fit that. Examples include the Serie V, Master Blends III, Serie O, and of course the Serie G Maduro. Further, the proposed strength doesn’t quite meet where it should. Where it lacks in some areas, it does excel in others. It’s a pretty solid choice for a sub-$6 cigar especially given the flavors – which are a nice complex mix of cream, pepper, dark chocolate, wood, coffee, and leather. I would hope to snag a few of these in a package deal, as they are a nice flavor profile.