Cigar Review: Oliva Connecticut Reserve


Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Mild-Medium

Price: Box of 20, $87.95

Score: 8.8

The Connecticut Reserve is a departure in many ways for Oliva. As with most manufacturers, Oliva has turned their attention to fuller-bodied smokes. Luckily, Oliva also took some time to work on a great Mild smoke, which was accomplished with the Connecticut shade wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. Available in five sizes, (Churchill (7×50), Lonsdale (6.5×44), Robusto (5×50), Toro (6×50), and the Torpedo (6.5×52)), box prices range from $84-$124.

With little more to mention, let’s toast that foot!

Pre-light, 1.8:
The Oliva Connecticut Reserve has a very clean, almond colored exterior with minimal veins and a pretty tight roll, though a bit loose at the foot. The CR cut very well. A small bit of the wrapper did pull off when I removed the band but it did not affect the smoke at all. The aroma is a strong barnyard complemented by fresh hay, perhaps green hay. On the cold draw, the CR pulls very well and offers more barnyard with a slight bit of pepper at the foot. Overall, this is a very clean exterior—nothing spectacular but no distractions to the eye whatsoever.

Burn, 1.6:
The draw on the CR was excellent and it emitted nice thick clouds of smoke. The aroma on the smoke was unnoticeable for the most part but consistent throughout. On the burn, there was one slight run that was easily corrected but it did require a re-light at the 2/3 mark when the draw tightened a bit, but this wasn’t a major issue for me. The ash was mixed in color and flaked a bit on the corner, though this corrected itself after the first ash. This was one of the more jagged burns I’ve experienced with Oliva.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first inch or so had a nice burst of mild pepper, which quickly faded into a thick, pallet coating creaminess. The barnyard flavors were the dominant force however, and were complemented throughout with a very clean and fresh finish. The final third, around the time the cigar tightened and went out, some harshness arrived, though it faded fairly quickly. As mentioned in the pre-light, the clean and fresh taste resembled green hay. The first two-thirds of the smoke had great complexity and transition, while the final third remained all barnyard, taking me into a very smooth finish.

Overall, 2.7:
This Oliva is a solid value, at just under $5. The Connecticut Reserve provided great transitions and complexity throughout the smoke with hints of pepper, hay, and a creamy freshness. I would recommend the CR to all smokers, regardless of strength preferences. If you see one of these at your local B&M, I’d say pick it up and toast that foot!

(Total: 8.8)