Review of Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto Cigar
By: Gary Manelski
The Oliva Serie V Melanio in the Figurado vitola (6˝ x 52) was named the Cigar Aficionado Number 1 cigar of 2014. This is a review of the same cigar, but in the Robusto (5 x 52) size. This cigar was named after Melanio Oliva, who began growing tobacco in Cuba during the late 1800's. The cigar is made in Nicaragua with a blend of Nicaraguan ligero filler tobaccos, and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. This is a box pressed cigar available in six shapes/sizes, with the Robusto size selling between $9 to $10 per stick, or $80 for a pack of 10 cigars. A 10-pack of Figurado's will cost you about $120, or $14 for a single cigar.
My sample Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto was full bodied with a deep, rich and full flavor that jumped out right from the start. The explosion of flavors included earth, leather and cocoa along with some background notes of spice and a subtle sweetness. After about 15 to 20 minutes, the texture of the smoke became smoother and creamy with just a bit less spice. The strength of the cigar also started to become more noticeable, but not to the nth degree. Although this was a well balanced smoke, I do not recommend it for beginners nor newer cigar smokers.
The cigar was very well made, had a very good draw, held a long ash, and burned relatively slowly and evenly. Only a couple of minor touch-ups lights were applied during the impressive 70 minutes that it took me to smoke this Robusto size cigar down to just under two inches remaining.
The Oliva Serie V Melanio is an exceptional cigar, and deserves a stellar rating of 4.75 points on a 5-point scale. This was one of the best cigars that I have smoked during the last couple of years, and surpasses the original Oliva Serie V that I enjoyed for the first time back in 2007. If you are an experienced cigar connoisseur, I recommend trying at least one of these cigars (if you haven't already). Beginners should start with an Oliva Serie G, then work their way up to fully appreciate what the Serie V Melanio has to offer.
Quick Review of Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro Robusto Cigar
The Maduro version of the Oliva Serie V Melanio cigar debuted in 2013, one year after the original Sumatra wrapped cigar was introduced. Both cigars have similar flavors with only subtle differences. The San Andres Maduro wrapper does not add any more fullness to the already full flavor blend, but seemed to be a bit smoother than the original with only slight hints of a Maduro sweetness. The cigar burned evenly, held a long ash, and had a good draw. However, it took me “only” 50 minutes to smoke the Robusto (5 x 52) cigar down to two inches remaining, compared to 70 minutes for the Sumatra wrapped Robusto with the same dimensions.