Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010

With everything going on lately, it’s been pretty easy for the 2010 edition of the Oliva Serie V Maduro to sneak onto the shelves undetected. You’ve got the new sticks from the trade show still trickling in, the always heavily anticipated Halloween special edition cigars, and, if you follow politics, one of the longest, most over-analyzed and over-advertised elections since, well, the last one. So if you’re thinking “Serie V Maduro? What Serie V Maduro?” I don’t blame you.

Back to the subject at hand. At first glance, it’s hard to tell the 2010 V Maduro apart from it’s older brothers. It’s a torpedo that comes in ten-count boxes which are virtually identical to last year’s. (With 2010 replacing 2009, of course.) But there a couple significant differences. To start, this year’s V Maduro is a couple ring gauges larger than last year’s edition. But more importantly, the 2010 takes a break from the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper used in the other blends, sporting instead the popular Mexican San Andreas Maduro leaf.

Before I get into the important stuff, it’s only fair that I make a few allowances. In my rush to be the first kid on my block to review the latest Oliva V Maduro (or at least beat Walt and Jerry to it), I started smoking them the Monday they arrived at the shop. If you do the math, you know that means the shipment spent the weekend at club USPS. But I’m optimistic. I’ll bet these bad boys can handle a little rough sailing.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s see how she burns this year.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $10.70

The Pre-Smoke
Like I said earlier, the 2010 V Maduro looks very much like the previous incarnation. The same sharp-looking band and dark, oily wrapper with a few larger veins and few imperfections. (Though I did find a couple small holes on one stick.) The main visual difference I noticed this time around was a toothiness to this leaf that I don’t recall in previous versions.

The cigars were all consistently firm, and had a pungent compost wrapper aroma. The cold draw was a little snug, and offered up a some earthy cocoa.

The Burn
For the most part, the 2010 V Maduro burned well. The burn line wasn’t actually straight all that often, but usually wasn’t too far off either. There were occasional issues, some self corrected, some needed help. The draw was also a tad tight, but similar to what I remember from 2009 and 2008. But there was no fault to be found with the ash. It was light, solid and attractive, just the way we like it.

The Flavor
A rich and savory nut flavor, that was occasionally creamy or even syrupy was the featured flavor of the first third. Supporting it, were darker cocoa and coffee flavors with a little bit of caramel sweetness to round things out.

As the second third began, the cigar took a turn towards a smokey leather flavor, with a darker chocolate that at times had a chalky mouth feel. (In one stick, this was less pronounced, and in its place I noted some dark cherry sweetness. The variety could owe a bit to the cigars’ unpleasant weekend accommodations.) I also picked up some coffee, a little pepper and roasted nuts.

In the final third, the V Maduro continued to produce the smokey leather flavor, along with the roasted nuts that appeared shortly before this third began.

The Price
The price has gone up a since the original $8 V Maduro of 2008 and the following year’s stick $9 stick, and that might edge it out of some people’s budgets. However, I think it’s a reasonable price for this special edition, and I doubt it will deter fans of V Maduro.

The Verdict
I have been a fan of the Oliva V Maduro since the original release, or more accurately since I discovered how good the 2008 blend became with a little age. So it comes as no surprise that I really enjoyed this latest edition. Like the 2008, I think that with a little humidor rest, the V Maduro 2010 will become a fantastic smoke. But you really don’t have to wait if you don’t want to, this cigar already very good. (Though giving it a day or two to recover from transit isn’t a bad idea.)

The Oliva V Maduro 2010 is definitely a stick full-bodied cigar smokers will want to try, and I recommend them by the box. They generally don’t hang around very long, and if you do spring for a box, you can light up a few now, and set a few aside to burn after a good rest. You’ll thank me for it.

Liked It: Box-worthy.
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.