Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, Oliva Cigar Company had one cigar that was being spotlighted – the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro.  Oliva is one of those companies that never has felt pressure to put out a lot of new releases at the trade show.  2013 was no exception as the Melanio Maduro was their only new product.  The Melanio Maduro is intended to be a companion line to the Oliva Serie V Melanio.  It appears like the Oliva Serie V Maduro, the Serie V Melanio Maduro will be a once a year, limited edition release.  I recently have had an opportunity to smoke the 2013 release of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro. Overall, I found this to be an interesting release by the Olivas.

The Oliva Serie V Melanio line was launched at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. The Melanio gets its name from family patriarch Melanio Oliva.  Melanio Oliva was a tobacco grower in 19th century Cuba.  He is believed to be the first Oliva family member to grow tobacco.  

Without further ado, let’s take a loser look at the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

While the Serie V Melanio uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, the Serie V Melanio Maduro uses a San Andres Maduro wrapper.  Oliva has been using a San Andres Maduro wrapper for the past three releases of the Oliva Serie V Maduro.

Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano

Vitolas Available

While the Serie V Melanio line has six box-press vitolas, the 2013 offering of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro is only available in a single vitola – a 6 1/2 x 52 box-pressed torpedo.

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro will be sold in boxes of ten with only 10,000 boxes produced.

Appearance

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro has a milk chocolate wrapper with some dark marbling on it.  There is a slight amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper.  There are a few visible wrapper seams, but there are no visible veins.  The box-press itself is well-packed with no soft spots.

There are two bands on the Serie V Melanio Maduro.  The first band is the classic brown, gold, and red Serie V band.  That band also features the etched text “Gran Reserva Limitada” on a the left on a gold stripe. To the right it says “LIMITADA”  

There is a secondary band that says “MELANIO in brown font on a gold background.  Below that text it says “MADURO” in a smaller brown font.  There are red, and brown stripes on the secondary band. 
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my cigar experience of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro, I went with a straight cut to clip the pointed tip.  I then proceeded with the pre-light draw.  The dry draw notes produced a combination of unsweetened chocolate, leather, spice, and a little bit of citrus.  Overall I considered the pre-light draw of this cigar to be satisfactory.  At this point, I was ready to light up the Serie V Melanio Maduro and begin the smoking experience.
Flavor Profile
The start of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro provided notes of pepper and earth.  There was also some background chocolate and an interesting metallic note.  I didn’t find the metallic note to be a negative – and it gave the Melanio Maduro an interesting twist (similar to what I got on the Ortega Wild Bunch 2013 Iron Mike).  In the first third, the earth notes became primary with the pepper and metallic notes secondary.  The chocolate notes were very distant and I considered them to be more of a tertiary note.  As for the retro-hale, there was definitely a sharp spice I detected.
As the Serie V Melanio Maduro moved into the second third, the earth notes still were very much a primary flavor.  There were times the pepper and metallic notes became a little more prominent, but they played more of a complementary role.
As the cigar moved into the second half, the pepper notes became more prominent in the forefront.  By the last third, the pepper and earth notes were very much in control.  This is the way the flavor profile held until the end.  The end of the cigar was spicy, but not overly harsh.  The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

Typically I will not reach for a torpedo as a first choice of vitola.  This is because I feel the burn and draw usually is not as good.  With the Melanio Maduro, there was no other option as a torpedo as this is the only size/shape.  Overall I feel the Melanio Maduro performed very well in the torpedo when it came to burn and draw.  The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish.  The resulting ash was tight – with a nice salt and pepper color.  The ash had no major flaking along the way.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.  

Burn of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro

I also found the draw to be very good too – it didn’t really feel like I was smoking a torpedo.  

Strength and Body

From both a strength and body perspective, I found the Serie V Melanio Maduro to be similar to the Serie V Melanio. I found that the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro had what I would term “the right amount of kick”.   I assessed this cigar to be medium to full in strength.  As for the flavors, they are medium to full bodied, but progress to full-bodied by the second half.  Overall when it comes to strength versus body, I found the Serie V Melanio Maduro is a cigar where the body has a slight edge throughout.


Final Thoughts

The way to sum up the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro is that this is a cigar I liked, but did not love. I still would reach for the Sumatra-wrapped Serie V Melanio first.   I’m not sure if this blend will ever be a chocolately/coffee-like maduro.  This blend seemed to need something else – and I couldn’t put my finger on it.  This also might be a case where this cigar will change with some age.  I will say that the first Serie V Melanio Maduro I smoked seemed very young as it was spicy.  The next two subsequent ones didn’t seem young, but this is a case where age might really elevate this blend.  This is probably a cigar I’d steer more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast.  As for myself, as I mentioned I still liked this cigar, so in my book that’s enough to revisit this blend again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Good
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 90

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.