Monthly Archives: July 2007

Smoke Notes: Hoyo De Monterrey Bundle NO. 450 Maduro

hoyo_bundle.jpg 

I picked these cigars up from JR’s since it came with the free Colibra lighter, and if you know me then you know I’m always looking for a good cheap smoke. This is not a full review but just notes I have picked I kept.

They call these Hoyo De Monterrey Silver Bundles and come in many different sizes. I picked the No. 450 Maduro which is 4.5×50. These things look nice, dark and oily. I could not wait to fire one up so I had to have one before they even hit the coolidor.

The burn is good , the ash has been lasting 1/4 of the smoke. The draw is easy and you get plenty of smoke. I consider this to be more of a medium than full body.

The flavor is nice but not complex  and it goes good with Vodka and Tonic. It gets a little harsh toward the end.

This is a definite buy for bargain hunters and everyday smokers alike. I will keep these in the line up for my long drives and nights I have had one to many drinks. For the price tag of $35 for 25 smokes and a lighter I say pick them up, you can’t go wrong! I mark this one up a a bargain buy.

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V For Vigoroso: The Oliva Serie V Ligero Especial Review

Oliva Serie V BandsWell hello there! Stinkie is currently in the middle of a move (we all know how much fun that is), and has asked me to step in an write a few reviews for him. This post is the first, and possibly most exciting, of series of reviews I’ll be putting up in the coming weeks. It’s a sneak peak at a cigar that most of us can’t yet get our hands on: the Oliva Serie V Ligero Especial!

For this review, I smoked two different sizes of the Serie V: The churchill and the figurado. I’ve combined my notes from each to create this review.

Cigar Stats:
Sizes: 7 x 52 (Churchill Extra); 6 x 60 (Figurado)
Wrapper: Habano Sun Grown (Nicaragua)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Jalapa Valley Ligero (Nicaragua)
Price: $5 – $8 (Expected retail price)
Smoking Time: 2 to 2 hours 20 minutes

Oliva Serie V Figurado

The Pre-Smoke
The first thing that hits you with these cigars is both their size and extremely attractive appearance. These are very elegant looking cigars! (And as a bonus, the cigar band color-scheme fits in nicely with the Cigar Beat color scheme.) Both cigars were very smooth, with fine, but noticeable veins that add positively to their aesthetic appeal. It goes without saying that only the most pristine leaves are selected to be wrapper of a cigar, and these remind you of that fact.

In my inspection of both cigars, I noted that they were both firm. The figurado being the most firm of the two, particularly toward the head of the cigar. In the foot of the figurado and the churchill, there was some initial give, but you quickly hit a brick wall of tobacco underneath. Very nicely packed.

While both cigars did have a nice oily sheen, they didn’t visually appear to be any more oily than most cigars. It wasn’t until I clipped them and went for the cold taste that I detected how oily these cigars are. In a word, very. The last cigar I had that was this oily on the lips was the Gurkha Black Puro.

Oliva Serie V Churchill

The Burn
Lighting this cigar is a pleasure. The room immediately takes on a rich, delicious toasty coffee smell. I’ve heard it said that it’s difficult to detect the room aroma of a cigar while you’re smoking it. While that’s generally true, it’s less so with this cigar. If I could pick a single favorite part of smoking this cigar, it’s lighting it and taking the first few puffs.

The interesting thing about smoking two very differently shaped cigars is that you get to see two very different burns. Such was the case in my experience. While the figurado started off oddly (apparently while the figurado seems idiot proof in terms of lighting, it is not Brian-proof) in the first 3rd but evened out by the beginning of the second third. On the other hand, the churchill burned perfectly for the first third and then get a bit crazy by the end of the second.

In both cases, there seems to be a spot in this cigar, just beyond the halfway point, where it decides to no longer tolerate my slower smoking pace. Both cigars went out on me at that point, and required much more frequent puffing to stay lit going forward, as well as the occasional corrective touch up. That was a little disappointing, as I find the flavor begins to suffer with the faster smoke. This was a bit more pronounced in the figurado, whose shape seems to be more inclined to plug up a it’s smoked. (No draw poking required though, applying gentle pressure to the head while rolling it between my thumb and finger corrected the reoccurring draw issue.)

The Flavor
Beginning with the cold taste, right away I could tell I was in for a full bodied, potent cigar. (OK, I did read other reviews of this cigar, so that might have biased me a bit.) In the initial taste, I detected a rich flavor that was very reminiscent of prunes and licorice.

Oliva Serie V Figurado FootThese cigars started very differently for me in the flavor department. The churchill started right off with a dense but smooth chocolatey flavor, but in the figurado I was greeted with a great deal of pepperiness as the capped foot burned. In my notes I described this flavor as resembling the some of the heavy smells of campfires of my youth. (Bonus points for nostalgia.)

Of the two cigars, the figurado had a more pronounced spiciness present throughout the smoke (possibly brought out by the wine I had earlier in the evening) A similar spiciness was present in the churchill though more subdued until the end. Even with that spiciness, both cigars were impressively smooth, dense and complex. My notes on flavors for both are much longer than normal; as each cigar made frequent transitions between chocolate tones, earthiness and coffee or cappuccino flavors and occasionally a pocket of faint sweetness. If a cigar is meant to be a journey, the Oliva Serie V is an epic road trip full of hedonistic pleasure.

The Price
I wasn’t able to find an official price for this cigar anywhere, but rumor has it you’ll be able to pick up the Serie V for $5 to $8 a cigar. I find that price range to be very reasonable.

The Verdict
As you can probably tell by now, I like this cigar. It’s a definite must-smoke for all full-bodied cigar lovers. In fact, due to its smoothness, even a seasoned fan of milder cigars might want to try it out. The thing to keep in mind is that it packs a surprising kick, even when you know it’s coming, it still sneaks up on you. So it’s a cigar that’s best reserved for the evening after the day’s chores have been completed (or put off, either way). People new to cigars smoke at your own risk!

There are two things I would do differently the next time I smoke this cigar. First of all, I would probably go for a size down. For slow smokers like me, these big fellows demand a lot of time, and can be hard to fit into a busy schedule. (Though the investment of time is well worth it.) The other thing I would do is eat a thick juicy steak before having this cigar. And that’s because the whole time I was smoking it, I was seriously jonesin’ for a steak. This is not a post-pasta cigar! :)

Quick Summary
Liked It: YES
Buy It Again: YES
Recommend It: YES (To experienced smokers, this’ll knock the socks off a newbie.)

What Other People Are Saying
Even though this cigar is not widely available, there are quite few reviews already out there for the Oliva Serie V. Here’s a quick sampling.

Smoking The Figurado
Here’s a quick collection of the pictures I took while smoking the figurado.

Oliva Serie V Figurado

Oliva Serie V Figurado

Oliva Serie V Figurado

Oliva Serie V Figurado

Doncha just love a long ash?

Oliva Serie V Figurado

Oliva Serie V Figurado

My Other Reviews
If you like my review style, you may be interested in reading some of my other reviews on my home blog, Brian’s Random Thoughts. To see a full list of my cigar reviews, visit the cigar review index.

[eminimall products="Oliva Serie V"]