Oliva Serie V Melanio Churchill
Ever since Oliva Cigar Co. released its Serie V Melanio line in 2012, the brand has built an impressive résumé that includes multiple high scores, repeated placements on our Top 25, and even the Cigar of the Year, a title held in 2014 by the Figurado size. This year, the Churchill size shows its excellence, taking the No. 8 position.
The brand was named after Melanio Oliva who, according to family lore, was the first Oliva to grow tobacco some time back in the 1800s. As homage to the family lineage, Oliva created a Nicaraguan blend of tobaccos that were grown mostly in Jalapa, an area of Nicaragua known for mellower, more nuanced leaf than other growing regions. While it doesn’t have the body of Condega or the spice of Estelí, Jalapa tobacco certainly has character. And to make that tobacco shine, the Olivas wrapped the binder and filler in a brilliant cover leaf grown in Ecuador from Sumatra seeds. The cigars were then box-pressed and presented as the most expensive, top-tier product in Oliva’s entire portfolio.
While certainly not cheap, $14.50 is more than a reasonable price for a cigar of this caliber—one that delivers multiple, profound dimensions of chocolate and almond but remains in perfect balance the entire time.