Reviews by Steve R

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Oliva Saison

Steve R
Oliva. I’ve always loved the brand. Back when it was lesser known, and the Serie ‘O’ cigars came in felt bands and the maduro variety came in toilet bowl shaped boxes....yeah, I loved them back then. Some of you might remember the days I’m harking, some may not. Either way, most folks know the name Oliva, and the brand has been flourishing, at a feverish pitch, over the past 6-7 years.
Allow me to set the record straight. I am not a huge fan of the Oliva Serie ‘V.’ Gasp! I know, I know. 94-rated. #4 cigar of 2007. #12 cigar of 2008. #5 cigar of 2009. #22 cigar of 2011. #18 cigar of 2012. I get it. It’s good. It’s really good, and I would never deny that. It comes from Oliva, they make quality handmades, and people love it. In fact, they flock toward it, still today, 7 years later. But for me....well, my palate leans towards other cigars, and plenty of them come from Oliva. And that’s ok! There ain’t nothing wrong with that, and don’t let folks tell you otherwise. That’s the beauty of this fun little hobby of ours.
Now, let me bring up Oliva Saison. Saison is a term from the wine industry, and a method used by the Oliva family to craft this blend. Hence the name. Basically, in a tasty nutshell, Oliva took the finest yield of tobaccos, from all of their tobacco crops, from the same year. They carefully blended these tobaccos, and re-blended them, then re-blended them over and over until something truly special and unique was created. And that, my friends, is how Oliva Saison was born.
On paper, Oliva Saison sounds simple. A silky Ecuador Habano wrapper, overtop all-Nicaraguan long-fillers from Oliva’s farms in Somoto, Esteli, and Condega. But through careful blending and constant testing, the Oliva family has captured the deep, rich, prominent flavors of Nicaraguan tobaccos and delivers them in a bold yet graceful and exceedingly unique way. Upon lighting, pepper and earth smack the palate in robust fashion. No taste bud is left untouched, and the thick, creamy smoke fills the mouth and nostrils. Like many cigars, the pepper fades ever so slightly, making room for other nuances. Leather. Toast. Coffee. Nuts. Rich tobacco. These flavors mingle with the initial burst of flavor to deliver a medium-bodied bouquet that grows in strength as the slow burn approaches a nub-like state. Tons of flavor, delivered gradually and almost strategically, to complete a complex and eventful experience with no peaks or valleys. Just a consistently eventful array of flavor that satisfies from start to finish.
It’s really that simple. An incredibly difficult cigar to blend, but incredibly easy cigar to enjoy. That’s Oliva Saison. Yet another fantastic release from the Oliva family, and a shining addition to the award-winning, highly rated Oliva portfolio.