|Master Blends 3|
When you let a cigar sit for just over five years I guess it is about time to review the cigar. It actually was reviewed fairly recently by another blogger, and after reading the review it made me want to smoke one. Luckily I had almost half a box left of these cigars from when I originally bought them in January of 2007, and I think it is one of best lines that Oliva Cigar has launched. The company is very well known for their Serie V line, but they really have much more to offer than that one line. I have watched these cigars age over the years, and probably two years ago I noticed a nice amount of plume on them. The cigar is the third addition to the Liga Maestra line by Oliva Cigar, and I think one of the finest of the three. I recall when the first line came out, and the cigars themselves were laser engraved, and the box could be taken apart to make a picture frame. It was pretty darn cool. Since then the presentation has lessened, but the cigars have remained wonderful.
After being corrected, the Master Blends 3 is not a Nicaraguan puro, but features tobacco from two nations. The cigar is draped with a dark and veiny wrapper that is Sun-Grown Connecticut Broadleaf. It has a Nicaraguan binder that is Cuban Seed, and is packed with fillers from Nicaragua that are all Ligero. It is packaged beautifully, and has an illustrative band showing the families original farmland in Cuba, and has a picture of the founding father of Oliva Cigars, Gilberto Fernando Oliva. The size of the robusto is your standard size, and measures 5″ with a 50 ring gauge. As I said earlier, the wrapper is very dark, a true Maduro, and has a coloring of dark espresso beans. The wrapper is rough to touch, with veins present throughout, and it is also very toothy. There are wonderful aromas of rich spices, rich earth, cocoa, coffee and leather, and I believe that even after all of these years it will still be fairly full in body.
|Sun-Grown Broadleaf from Nicaragua|
As I light up the dark robusto I am immediately greeted with some strong flavors from the Nicaraguan tobacco. There is a nice bit of coffee and wood notes present, and I am also getting some lovely Asian spices and some definite licorice notes. There is a slight bit of cocoa present, but it is very subtle and tough to pick up. It is definitely rich and dark in terms of flavors, and I would say the strength of the cigar in the first third is slightly above medium full in strength. It is burning evenly though, and leaving a nice charcoal gray ash to the cigar. Overall, a very enjoyable first third and I am looking forward to an increase in strength and flavors.
I am in the second third of the cigar now, and the cigar has definitely increased in terms of strength. The flavors are still fairly similar to the first third, but have become more rich and dark if that makes any sense. The spice notes are very present in this third, and there are a lot of cinnamon and anise notes present. The wood has become more damp wood in this third, and it is really giving off a lot of barnyard flavors. The cigar has a lovely rich earth and spicy finish to the cigar, and very enjoyable. The cigar performed wonderfully in terms of construction in this third, and the ash was razor sharp and showing dark charcoal colors. The strength in this third was definitely over medium full, almost full and showing some sides I love in a cigar.
When I get into the final third of the cigar it is still showing those qualities that I got in the first and second third, only much stronger in terms of strength. The cigar finishes at a solid full body to me, and even on the last draw I was getting some strength in my gut. The spice notes of anise and cinnamon were very present, and the barnyard notes were very present as well. The finish of rich earth was pleasant, and there were some unsweetened cocoa notes present as well. I smoke the cigar down to the nub, and towards the end the cigar was getting slightly warm, but still enjoyable. The flavors were still definitely present, and the burn line was still very even.
This was a solid robusto, and very flavorful at that. I feel that this cigar will still show some strength in years to come, and if you are looking for it to be a mild cigar that might take another five years. Overall though this cigar delivered great flavors that were rich, pronounced and dark, and burned wonderfully. I had a great burn line from beginning to end, and throughout I was getting tons of thick smoke. This is a cigar that really gets people believing that a dark cigar is a strong cigar, because this cigar was strong, but that all came from the ligero fillers. I give this cigar a 92, and I am glad I smoked one again, because I almost forgot about these beauties. I feel that Oliva, Family of Cigars tends to be forgotten by many, or people tend to think about their one ever popular line, but they really have tons of great smokes to offer in all forms, and should never be passed on. While these cigars were limited in production they are still available from retailers, and they are definitely worth buying a box of. Look at it like this, these cigars are from late 2006, and if you buy a box now they have been aging for almost six years already. It’s an investment!
|Oliva Master Blends 3|