Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Size: 6 x 60 Double Toro Box Pressed
This cigar has 3 months of bare midriff humidor time. Due to the description of the tobacco (below), it should possess plenty of time accrued in its sarcophagus to review it.
From Atlantic Cigar Co.:
“The Oliva brand has become one of the hottest selling cigar brands on the market partly due to its consistently high ratings and its friendly price. Leave it to Oliva to produce such a great cigar and retail it at a reasonable price. Atlantic Cigar knows value and quality when we see it, so it was only logically to team up with this highly rated cigar maker. Each Oliva Small Batch cigars utilizes only the top 10% of tobaccos harvested, each tobacco leaf is hand-selected for this exclusive blend. The cigars underwent numerous blend test to create what we feel is an outstanding blend showcasing Oliva’s mastery of tobacco growing and blending. Focusing all resources on the cigar not the packaging, to deliver something that is truly special yet staying true to Oliva’s world renowned brand portfolio.
“It starts with a complex blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos and the special use of Jalapa Valley ligero, which provides good amounts of leather and spice on top of cedar and hints of sweetness. The cigar is finished in two wrapper styles, a high-priming Habano Sun grown wrapper for the Habano line and a dark and rich Mexican San Andres wrapper for the maduro line. Both deliver immense depth and flavor with a rounded and smooth strength profile. The box pressing of this blend really helps to magnify the flavor profile to whole new level of intensity. The Oliva Small Batch is a full-bodied cigar that smokes great out of the box, but also ages nicely due to its full-bodied profile and complex flavors.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Double Robusto 5 x 54 $9.34
Double Toro 6 x 60 $9.82
Although being festooned with prehistoric veins, it is a pretty nice-looking stick. Seams are visible but tight. The Maduro wrapper is semi-satin in its oiliness. It feels smooth as a ferret’s nose. A heavy cigar. This will be a two-hour adventure of taste, balance, complexity, and wearing a horse’s feeding bag underneath my chin as the cigar is described as full strength. The triple cap is sporty. The cigar band proclaims it is a product of master blender, Pablo Rodriguez. Lastly, the red circular stamp on the band signifies it contains no gonorrhea or other STD pathogens. Lick it all you want as there is no possibility of giant open pustules forming on your face. No red stamp? You’re on your own.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Floral notes full of lavender and red roses. Very powerful stuff. Right behind is muy dark chocolate, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, creamy vanilla, fat ripe golden raisins, malt, cedar, a touch of espresso, and licorice. Fairly typical of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper.
The draw on this behemoth is an Irishman’s dream come true. A perfect flow of air with the perfect resistance. I caress my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and place it back in the leftover spaghetti in the fridge.
The cold draw presents flavors of Worcestershire sauce, milk chocolate, creaminess, black pepper, cinnamon, espresso, and malt.
The Atlantic PR says that due to its aged tobacco, it is good to go right out of the box. Let us see if they are blowing air up my skirt or nailed it correctly. Atlantic writers beware…you make that bold claim and if you’re wrong, your soul is mine. (But you guys will become great guitarists).
The whole trick to properly lighting a huge box pressed cigar is a crucial element as it is to remember that Jack in the Box hamburgers’ Secret Sauce is just Thousand Island dressing. If I don’t make sure the burn is even right from the start, I’m screwed.
“Honky Tonk Women” is a great tune to start this endurance test.
The cigar is like an anchor hanging from my lips. Man, this baby is packed to the gullets.
It takes a couple of puffs, but sure as shit…Atlantic was right about ROTT good.
A big splash of intense complexity T-bones my palate and there are no survivors. I have no idea what that means.
This is a dark and foreboding blend. The cigar is long ago and far away from being a light smoke. Its depth plummets to the gates of hell. I tied myself to my office chair so when the strength is causing 1968 flashbacks, I won’t jump off the roof. But I do love the smell of napalm in the morning.
Damn. This baby wastes no time at all…it dives in headfirst, and my palate digs a pony.
I enjoy Oliva’s V series as well as the Master Blends 3. I have a gut feeling that this blend will be somewhere in between. Or not.
Sweetness emerges in the form of sugar cane, molasses, and sweet cream. The savory fills the bucket with pure cacao, a lager maltiness, rich smoked wood, and earth, wind, and leather.
I’m afraid of saying this out loud…thankfully, I don’t talk to myself while I type…the char line is better than perfect. Hush Charlotte.
I took a look at the Atlantic Cigar website this morning and discovered that this blend in both Robusto and Double Toro are disappearing fast from availability.
I can’t tell you what you save if you join the V.I.P. Club because Atlantic will visit me in a black van full of Irish bagpipers…and torture me til blood flows from my ears.
The cigar displays a nice easy-going complexity. Very smooth despite the strength awaiting me.
In fact, strength is already medium/full.
Joe Cocker. Never once saw him in concert…no idea how I fucked that up.
I take it back. This blend is appearing to be very unique and doesn’t borrow whispered tips from the V series or the MB3.
As there are a gabillion other cigars on the market with this platform of Nic guts with a San Andrés wrapper…this blend follows the general template faithfully. But thanks to the tweaks performed by Pablo Rodriguez, in the round proscenium, the performance seems to be fulfilling its own destiny.
No flavor bomb here. So far, it is a blend in which the whole megillah bows to kiss your feet and beg for favored status. I expect the last third to not only kick my ass but also display incredible optional features such as a condom case next to the driver’s seat and a big pocket on the door for 3 pair of Depends.
Took 35 minutes to arrive here.
The blend was kind and generous with me in the first third. No sudden jerks that took me to the tilt-a-whirl emanating from a very strong cigar.
In fact, the blend smooths out even more proffering darting goldfish of flavor tidbits and nuances.
Currently, the blend is very well-rounded…giving away hints of even deeper complexity without ever resorting to dog tricks or mule purrs.
Turns out that I find this a very relaxing cigar journey. I thought the stick would attack me like a black mamba; but instead, it slips me into the warm bath water like a daydream believer.
Strength hesitates at medium/full, but I know in my decaying heart that the second half will be a Sam Peckinpah film.
All the flavors I previously described are in place but aligned with military preciseness. I better check my gig line before I get there.
Absolutely a delicious stack of leaves.
I only had three sticks. This is the last one. And the best of the three. Charlotte told me that if I buy more cigars, she will cut me off in the bedroom. Which means I get no blanket.
In my old age, I’ve learned that I enjoy blends whose pattern is to hand over a complete picture of the blender’s intent…meaning the whole exceeds its parts. A nonlinear approach that puts tap shoes on my palate.
Since my accordion lessons were going so well, at age 9, my parents had me take tap lessons. Percy Venable was my teacher. A very old man who just happened to be Louis Armstrong’s right-hand man in the 30’s and 40’s. An arranger and musician. But here he was in a tiny studio in downtown Long Beach. I got one thing from him that I’ve carried throughout my life…I heard him tell my parents, after my lesson, that I had a good sense of rhythm because instead of plowing through a piece of music making mistakes, I always waited for the ‘1’ to start again. He was pleased. And hence, I became the neighborhood tap dancer who would flail on command by my parents to impress other parents. It was exhausting. My friends thought I was gay.
The halfway point arrives at 55 minutes.
The dreaded intensity of its strength is on the horizon.
Flavors have not changed a whit. The creaminess sticks its neck out and takes full control.
There is a heavy dried fruit influence. Along with charred steak, malt, and spiciness, this is all the cigar needs to push to reach a more than acceptable level of complexity.
I need to get some more before they sell out. I sold out long ago.
Nicotine is no where to be seen, allowing this blend to soar without the fear of passing out…me, not the cigar.
If you like an interesting slow roll, boy do I have a cigar for you.
The sip of water effect: Flavors that were hibernating now leap like fireflies at a Polish picnic.
Strength has now reached full tilt. My vision blurs. Luckily, I have some glue to sniff if things get out of control.
I get a hankering for fried matzoh and eggs.
I feel my boxers loosening at the waist.
Hitting the one hour 20-minute point.
Flavors exist to prop up the intense complexity. This baby is for grown up smokers only. Newbies will perish in an unexplained gardening accident.
The blend stays on course. Growing in “Shit. This is a great cigar” mode.
In my 57 years of bass playing, I only played in two country bands. I was fired from both. I should also count the time I played on a Chill Wills album. We finished after a year of recording and days later, I was off to London. Never heard the finished product. But once you’ve heard bassists playing just the ‘1’ and ‘4’, you don’t need to hear it again.
The nicotine relents. My vision returns. It is a baby Jesus miracle.
The sweet spot arrives. A gargantuan dose of complexity settles in for the rest of the ride.
My first job (1966) was working at the Los Altos Drive-In theater. There was a big open pot of so-called butter for the popcorn. The memory of me having a bad cold and doling it out after my snot did a nosedive into the pot lies heavy on my conscience…I was too afraid to tell someone. On that occasion, the only person who saw that happen was the patron whose popcorn I was preparing…he turned and walked out of the snack bar. I’m sure that thousands of snack bar workers took advantage of the open maw of the butter pot and placed something in it that did not belong.
While this is a very strong cigar, its intensity ebbs and flows. I have full confidence that I will finish this review unscathed.
I may even nub this delicious blend…I just need to stay conscious.
Savory v. Sweet is balanced to perfection.
The stick remains smooth. I’m ready for love.
I just sit here quietly while the Oliva Small Batch Maduro keeps me in a happy cocoon. I decide to quit the rambling and just enjoy.
Excellent blend. Two snaps up.
You can snag this cigar at Atlantic Cigar Co. only.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS