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Ten years ago, Oliva Cigar Co. released its Serie V, which was the strongest, most full-bodied cigar the company ever created. But it was also impressive in its ability to render layers of richness and complexity in spite of its power. Ten years later, we found ourselves with the same excellent product. It’s difficult enough to maintain such quality and consistency, but even more of an accomplishment when you consider this: Oliva has been acquired by a larger company.

In 2016, Oliva Cigar was bought by European cigarmaker J. Cortés Cigars N.V., who wanted a premium brand in its portfolio. Naturally, there were concerns about the Oliva cigars changing and quality suffering. Luckily for the cigar-smoking world, J. Cortés kept Oliva president José Oliva on board after the acquisition, to help ensure that quality was maintained. So far, the change has been seamless and the Serie V remains remarkable for its ability to convey high volumes of flavor, especially at such a low price point.

The blend is centered around strong, ligero tobacco from Nicaragua’s Jalapa Valley and a high-priming wrapper to complete the taste profile, which is rich in earth, leather and spice though balanced with a sweet touch of molasses.


Rank: 3

Made By: Tabacalera Oliva S.A.

Factory Location: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Dimensions: 5″ By 54 Ring Gauge