Oliva ’O’ Maduro Brandon S ‘O’ Maduro….Oh wow, where do I begin... Like a monkey attracted to a shiny object, I first picked one of these up when the fabric band adorned with gold sparkly stuff caught my eye some years back. I love Maduro cigars and I also love full-bodied cigars and when I first laid my eyes on this beauty it was love at first sight! Oily, dark and superbly constructed, the ‘O’ Maduro is truly in a class by itself. A Nicaraguan puro, the ‘O’ derives much of its unique flavor and subtle strength from the five-year old Nicaraguan Habano wrappers that are often in short supply. I’ve been enjoying these for a few years now and most often will reach for one after a nice dinner when in the company of friends. In fact, I have a little story for you that has made me and my ‘O’ Maduros famous. Well, maybe notorious is a little more accurate... I remember it vividly as we had just finished dinner at a local cigar bar famous for their filet mignon. Now, by “we” I mean 6 of my co-workers and their significant others for a healthy and rambunctious crowd of about 14 people. I had enjoyed a few cocktails over the course of the evening and had just pulled out an ‘O’ Maduro Ovation, clipped the top and begun to toast the foot. I should mention that I had just popped “the question” less than a month earlier and as luck would have it she actually said yes. Thoughtfully (or in retrospect, thoughtlessly) I gazed at my smoldering cigar and said to my fiancé, “do you see this band?” as I am pointing to the band on my cigar... “this band means as much to me as the one on your finger means to you” As I slowly realized what I had said, I looked up from my cigar to see every person sitting at the table with their mouths agape. I stuttered and reeled as I struggled to find the words that might help exonerate me from the world of trouble I now found myself in but the only thing I managed to stammer was “I...uhh...should go to the...umm...men’s room now...” and off I went. Fortunately for me my fiancé is very understanding and has grown accustomed my moments where my mouth is fully engaged while my brain is stuck in stupid. So that’s my little story about my favorite Maduro that nearly ended my marriage before it ever began. But, the real point here is that this is a magnificent cigar and one that you really must try. Recently the bands have been changed from the beautiful blue fabric accented with gold to a less expensive paper version but no matter because what makes this cigar special is the blend of tobacco. The Bottom Line: Rich in flavor, full in body and with just enough complexity to keep you guessing as to what comes next, the ‘O’ Maduro is as much a standout from the crowd as an elephant in a barnyard full of chickens.