Cigar Review: Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto

Cigar Review: Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto

Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto

Size: Robusto-Box Pressed (5″ x 52)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: $9.50 MSRP

The Oliva V Melanio was one of the more exciting releases on display last summer at the IPCPR trade show. The Melanio is named for Melanio Oliva, the originator of the Oliva roots in tobacco. From Oliva’s website:

Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing operations were suspended while he fought in Cuba’s War of Independence. After returning from war Melanio resumed his operations.

The blend is a departure from the traditional “V” series. The Melanio features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper over a filler blend that features tobacco’s grown in the Jalapa region of Nicaragua. Jalapa tobaccos are known for their flavor and nuance as opposed to the more common Estelí or Condega tobacco which is known to be a bit stronger.
But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!

Grade: 9.2

Pre-Light: (1.9) ) The Oliva V Melanio has a beautiful light milk chocolate colored wrapper with minimal veins that are only slightly visible after the firm box pressing. There is a beautifully applied triple cap. The Robusto is solidly packed with just a slight sponginess when squeezed. The band is identical to the standard Serie V band except the words “Gran Reserva Limitada” are embossed at the top. There is also a secondary band with “Melanio” and ” Gran Reserva Limitada” embossed on the.

The pre light aroma is of well aged tobacco with sweetness and tanginess as well as a little spiciness to it. The Pre light draw has hay aged tobacco and a nice candy like sweetness to it.

Burn: (1.9) The Melanio screams of excellence in craftsmanship. The draw is perfect, open with just a hint of resistance. The burn is almost even from the get go and while it gets a little jagged at times it burns true throughout. The white-grey ash passes the inch mark with ease. The nub burns cool. The Melanio pumps out a great volume of smoke.

Flavor: (2.7) At first light the Melanio offers up a sweet spice with a peppery tingle on the back of the palate. The smoke is rich and creamy. The dominant flavor is of sweet tobacco with a good amount of pepper and spice, especially in the first inch.

Heading into the second act and the Melanio is showing off the nuances that are a hallmark of well aged Jalapa tobaccos. The pepper has smoothed out a bit and the rich, creamy smoke has darting elements of dark chocolate and coffee coming though the profile. The creaminess and sweetness remind me, in a good way, of cream soda. The flavors are complex, nuanced, and well balanced. The body is absolutely full. The strength is on the lower side of full.

In the final third the pepper and spice have continued to recede while the sweet, creamy texture of the smoke continues to develop. The nuanced flavors all continue with cedar, dark chocolate, coffee, and most notably really good well aged tobacco. The finish is smooth with the Melanio smoking cool to the nub.

Overall: (2.7) In all fairness the Melanio is probably my favorite release from Oliva since the Serie V no 4. It is rich, creamy, complex, full bodied, flavorful yet nuanced, and just all around really good. While this review was for the Robusto, my Vitola of choice for the blend happens to be the Pettit Corona (4.5 x 56) which is just a fantastic short smoke.

Total: 9.2