In 2016, Boutique Blends Cigars resurrected the Oliveros brand name under its traditional premium handmade offerings. One might remember Oliveros as the former name of Boutique Blends before the company rebranded itself in 2012. Since then, Oliveros has pretty much only been used as the brand name for Boutique Blends’ flavored cigar offerings. At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show Boutique Blends showcased two new lines under the Oliveros brand – the Oliveros Gran Retorno and the Oliveros All Stars – the first traditional new Oliveros branded releases since 2011. For the first installment release of the Oliveros All Stars, company President Rafael Nodal collaborated with acclaimed blender Ernesto Perez-Carrillo to produce the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5. Today we take a look at this cigar in the Basso (Toro) size. With the Oliveros All Stars Small batch No. 5 Basso, Nodal brings the Oliveros name back in a big way – this cigar is a home run, and one of the best cigars the company has produced to date.
The intent of Oliveros All Stars is for Nodal to collaborate with leading cigar makers and he kicks things off with Perez-Carrillo with the Small Batch No. 5. Collaborations are not a new concept for Nodal. For all practical purposes, he has been doing this for several years with Tabacalera Palma’s Jochy Blanco with Boutique Blends’ Swag brand as well as most of the Aging Room Cigars brand. He also released a collaboration with Altadis with the Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Aging Room Small Batch F25. In addition to Oliveros All Stars No. 5 released in 2016, Nodal also collaborated with A.J. Fernandez for the Aging Room Pelo de Oro. Perez-Carrillo has also been noted for taking party in collaborations as well.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 introduces a Broadleaf offering into the Boutique Blends portfolio – something that was sort of a void in the Boutique Blends portfolio. The remainder of the blend is a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. The cigar is produced at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory.
Wrapper: U.S. Grown Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)
There are four sizes in the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 line. Each of the cigars are available in 20 count boxes. The vitola names have a musical theme – something that is common throughout the Boutique Blends portfolio. It is also worth noting that this collaboration is significant because both Nodal and Perez-Carrillo are musicians. Nodal is a piano player while Perez-Carrillo is a drummer.
Aria: 4 1/2 x 48
Vogue: 5 1/2 x 52
Chord: 6 1/2 x 52 (Torpedo)
Basso: 6 x 54
The Broadleaf wrapper of the Oliveros All Stars No. 5 Basso has a rugged look to it, but at the same time it also gives the cigar some charm. The cigar has a dark espresso bean color to it. There is a light coat of oil on it. Any wrapper seams that are visible are on the thin side. The wrapper itself also has a slightly toothy feel to it.
The band has a black and gray background surrounded by silver and metallic red trim. Prominently on the center of the band is the text “OLIVEROS” in large silver font. Below that text is the text “ALL STARS” in a smaller metallic red font. Toward the top center of the band is a silver crown while toward the bottom of the band is a silver eagle. The left side of the band has the yellow Boutique Blends logo in landscape mode. The right sight of the band has the text “SBA”, “Small Batch”, “All Stars No. 5” and “Dominican Republic” – all in silver-gray font in landscape mode.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I typically do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No.5 Basso. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of mocha and a slight citrus note. The citrus note had a slight acidic quality to it. Overall, the mocha notes shined on the dry draw and it made for a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up my Basso and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start to the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 Basso continued with the rich mocha notes I got on the pre-light draw. The mocha notes delivered a nice fusion of coffee and chocolate. In the background I picked up some orange citrus and cedar notes. The orange citrus delivered a subtle sweetness and didn’t have the acidic qualities that the citrus notes had on the pre-light draw. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced an additional layer of cedar as well as some white pepper notes.
The mocha notes continued to be the dominant flavor throughout the first third. I found the orange citrus and cedar notes remained secondary. I also started to pick up a slight amount of white and black pepper on the tongue.
Moving through the second third, the mocha atarted to shed the chocolate component and transitioned to more into a traditional coffee note. Meanwhile the pepper and cedar notes started to pick up, but still remained in the background with the orange citrus.
The last third of the saw the cedar and coffee notes primary. The pepper notes remained in the background and there was a significant decrease in the orange notes. This is the way the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 Basso came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it came to the burn of this cigar, the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 Basso scored very nicely. The cigar maintained a straight burn path from start to finish and never was in danger of tunneling or canoeing. There was a relatively straight burn line with only a slight amount of jaggedness. This was not a cigar the required an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firm side and had a salt and pepper complexion to it. I got a tiny bit of flaking from the ash, but this didn’t prove to be a significant problem. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 Basso also performed very well. This was a draw that was not too tight, nor was it too loose. Overall I found this cigar to be a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
Overall I found the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 Basso to be a medium to full strength and medium to full-bodied cigar. For the most part, I found the strength and body to remain at a constant level throughout the smoking experience. In addition, both the strength and body balanced each other very nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other. I also found the medium to full profile of the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 to work quite well with the flavors delivered.
I’ve been impressed with several of Boutique Blends’ maduro offerings over the years – most notably the Aging Room Maduro and the Aging Room M20 ffortissimo. In the case of the Oliveros All Stars Small Batch No. 5 Basso, this cigar now stands alone at the top of those maduro offerings. This is a cigar where the richness of the flavors combined with just the right amount of boldness really gel together. This is a collaboration that works because both Nodal and Perez-Carrillo both have experience with these types of projects . Since this is a bolder cigar, I’d steer this to more of an experienced cigar enthusiast – although I wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would not only buy a box of, but it’s one I would fight Chuck Norris for.
Key Flavors: Mocha, Cedar, Orange, Pepper
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: 4.5-Fight Chuck Norris for Them
News: Boutique Blends Launches Oliveros All Stars at 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
Brand Reference: Boutique Blends Cigars