Reviews by Steve R

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Oliva 'O' Classic

Steve R

While I was away on vacation, the guys here at the office decided to clean out my humidor. Considering most of my favorites have become their favorites, most of my favorites have become missing. So, I had to dig deep to find some enjoyable smokes to burn while working this past week. Underneath a handful of samples I’ll never want to smoke again, I discovered 4 Oliva ‘O’ Classic cigars in the Oasis size, the survivors from a 5-pack purchased long ago.

As usual, the cigars look and feel great. Oliva uses some beautiful, oily wrappers and always fills each cigar with copious amounts of Nicaraguan tobacco, leading to a solid roll free of soft spots. Just before lighting I enjoy the aroma coming off the foot: sweet cedar. Despite a tight draw, an initial hint of spice smacks the palate and lingers on the tongue. Almost immediately, the spice fades and the flavors mellow considerably. Due to the draw, it’s hard to determine the flavors, but there’s a definite woody note and something that I can only describe as earthy. About ¾ of the way through, the flavors became harsh, probably because of my furious puffing over the past 40 minutes. Round 2 immediately followed the first and, to my dismay, I realized the lack of ‘robustness’ was not a result of the tight draw. The draw was just fine. The cigar, well, just isn’t robust like its inspiration, the original Oliva ‘O’.

From what I remember, the original had a bold, meaty backbone riddled with complex, leathery flavors and full-bodied character. The Classic…not so much. Rather, a smooth, toasty, woody smoke that sits squarely within the medium-bodied realm. It’s a good performer, but apples to the original’s oranges, and I was in the mood for oranges.