Oliva Cigars formally opened its renovated Tabolisa 1 cigar factory at a December 18 ceremony in Estelí, the town where most Nicaraguan cigars are rolled. For Oliva, the maker of Cigar Aficionado’s No. 6 Cigar of 2019 and many other highly rated smokes, this marks the end of a long-term expansion dating back to 2016. In that three-year period the company has built an entirely new secondary factory (known as Tabolisa 2), constructed a new box factory, and now completed the renovation of Tabolisa 1, where its top-tier cigars are made.
The entire expansion should lead Oliva to having significantly more more production capacity, giving it the potential to roll 40 million cigars annually. For example, the company will now be able to process twice the amount of tobacco it could before, 100 pilones compared to 50.
“The Oliva family offered our family a real gem by selling Oliva Cigars to us,” said Frederik Vandermarliere, the owner of Oliva’s parent company, J. Cortès Cigars N.V. of Belgium. “Without them, we would never be where we are now. But to let a diamond shine, you need to work it. We try to do this with care.”
Vandemarliere went on to say “we want to make good cigars with love.”
Oliva has become one of the more consistent and highly rated producers of cigars. The company’s Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado was named Cigar of the Year for 2014, and Oliva cigars have been consistently in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25.
To celebrate the opening of the new factory, the first 10,000 sticks of Serie V Double Robustos rolled on site will be packed in coffins and set aside to be sold in commemorative limited edition boxes of 10 cigars.