Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado
Just off of initial look it's easy to see why this cigar was Cigar Aficionado's number one cigar of 2014. A beautiful box press, almost rectangular; once cut the pre-draw is smooth and easy. We have found that sometimes with the figurado shape the burn ends up being a little bit uneven, but with this cigar the light up is easy and the burn starts out well.
Right off the bat the draw is smooth and easy, the taste has a great sweetness to it. A very smooth smoke developing early into a very medium strength cigar. Just a little ways in we pick up a slight pepperiness that really adds to whole complexity of the cigar. Since we have a preference for the Nicaraguan the binder and filler are tasty as always, but the wrapper is a nice change being Ecuadorian Sumatra.
As the ash develops it turns out slightly white, slightly grey, and holds on firmly. About halfway in it really picks up a nice creaminess. Just a little after halfway we were hit with great toffee sweetness that developed very quickly. The cigar is still burning well, not quite razor sharp, but doesn't require any touch ups.
Getting into the final third we found it important to note that it never burns too hot all the way down. We also noted that this cigar has a great mouth feel, isn't too harsh on the taste buds and is very creamy all the way through. One of us picked up on quite a bit of saltiness, while the other only slightly hinted at it. Into the last third we found that it really picks up in intensity, developing to maybe a strong medium and giving off a somewhat bitter taste.
All in all this a solid cigar for someone looking for something in the medium to medium full department. This cigar definitely differs from any of the other Oliva's out there and it's easy to see why this cigar has rated so highly everywhere.