There’s two things I love in this world: real nice cigars, and scoring them on the cheap. So naturally, a product line like Oliva 2nds immediately gets my heart pumping. For those that aren’t familiar – Oliva 2nds are the cigars from the same award-winning cigars from the Oliva factory that fail to meet their aesthetic perfection standard. Typically this is just from a slight cosmetic mark, occasionally, you’ll find some veins in the wrapper. But beyond that the cigars match up perfectly with Oliva’s high-quality offerings, and taste just as good as the “real thing.”
For today’s review, I’ve scored myself 5 of each of the different “ligas,” and instead of my normal rambling I’m going to provide some quick tasting notes and ratings for every one of the Oliva 2nds sitting on our docks. Let’s get started!
Liga C: A pleasant, nutty flavor with notes of coffee, wood, and nuts. Good finish and aftertaste, burns well and draws easily. 4 out of 5 stars.
Liga OM: Really full-bodied, with a rather nice looking wrapper. If I had to guess, I’d call it a Connecticut Broadleaf. Tons of black pepper on the first few draws, which mellow out into a smooth, subtle finish. 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Liga G: A medium-bodied flavor bomb, with a pretty toothy and dark wrapper leaf. Long finish, ripe with notes of coffee, and a toasty tobacco core. 4 out of 5 stars.
Liga F: The mellowest of the batch, with a silky smooth Connecticut wrapper on top. Flavor profile is tame, with a pleasant sweetness and nuttiness throughout. For a first cigar of the day: 4.25 out of 5. If you’ve already had a cigar or two, the subtle flavors on this one may miss the mark: 3.5 out of 5.
Liga M: My absolute favorite of the lot. Really full-bodied, with an oily and smooth wrapper leaf. A distinguished flavor of earth, cream, and loads of sugary chocolate. A perfect choice if you love Nicaraguan cigars, and don’t want to empty your wallet. 5 out of 5 stars.
Liga O: A contender for the throne when it comes to my favorite 2nd. Nice color to the wrapper, this cigar had the least “flaws” out of the samples I procured. Only noticeable blemish was a few small sun spots. A salty, spicy flavor is balanced by a rich sweetness halfway through the cigar. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Liga W: Compared to Liga F, the other Connecticut offering from the Oliva 2nds, W is a bit heartier, weighing in right under a medium-body. Layers of flavor leave behind notes of wood, cream, and coffee on your palate. 4 out of 5 stars.
In short, I can easily recommend absolutely any of these cigars to add to your humidor. Compare them to top-shelf blends that cost 10x more, and you’ll come away a little disappointed. But when you stack these up next to any $5-7 cigars on the market, the Oliva 2nds are just as tasty, and half the price. The only other knock on the score? Since these are seconds, quantities are limited and there’s a chance we’ll be completely out of a liga for months, if the factory doesn’t have anything to offer up. But when they’re in stock, Oliva 2nds might just be the best bargain cigar we have to offer.