Oliva Cigars is expanding its Serie V line, the game-changer cigar that turned the company from a producer of bargain smokes into one that is known for making some of the cigar world’s most sought-after cigars.
Oliva Serie V Melanio will debut in August, at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, and should reach cigar stores by September. The cigars are named after Melanio Oliva, who is believed to be the first in the Oliva family to grow tobacco. Melanio Oliva grew tobacco in the 1800s on a small farm in San Juan y Martinez, Cuba, some of the best tobacco lands in the world.
The new cigars are made entirely of Nicaraguan filler and binder tobaccos grown by the Olivas, and they are wrapped in Sumatra-seed wrappers grown by Oliva in Ecuador. This is the first cigar Oliva has made using these particular wrappers, and the first Ecuador Sumatra seed cigar from the company other than the Oliva Master Blends 2.
The original Oliva Serie V came out in 2007. “It was the best that we could make, and ever since then we thought of a follow-up,” said Oliva president Jose Oliva, during a long interview spent smoking the new cigars in Cigar Aficionado’s New York City offices. “It had to be as unique as V was.”
Oliva said that several cigars intended as a follow-up to the Serie V were made into other smokes, such as Cain, which ended up too powerful and too unlike the original Serie V to work.
The final blend came from combining Ecuadoran Sumatra seed wrapper with a Nicaraguan blend that emphasized tobacco from the Jalapa region, the area of Nicaragua known for more nuanced leaf than Estelí and Condega. As with the original Serie V line, these are well-aged tobaccos. “The fillers that we use for [Serie V] are our most-aged fillers,” said Oliva. “This used a little more Jalapa. Jalapa adds flavor, but it doesn’t have a lot of body.”
The new cigar brand will come in five sizes: Robusto, Churchll, Torpedo, Petit Corona and Figurado, a smoke Oliva described as a “double-ended torpedo, straight in the center.”
The cigars will retail for $8 to $14 per cigar, making them the most expensive in the Oliva portfolio.
For more information on the new cigar, see next week’s Cigar Insider, and look to a future issue for a tasting of all the sizes in the new brand.
To view all of our Oliva Serie V ratings, click here.