Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado
Size: 6.5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $15

This cigar was rated the #1 in the world in 2014, according Cigar Aficionado.  Sure, these annual rankings come with a boatload of disclaimers, most notably that no non-Cuban cigar has ever been ranked that didn’t first buy advertising in the magazine, but it is the still the closest thing the industry has to The Oscars.

Last Friday, with our wives off to a church retreat, Shaun, Steve, and I found a babysitter and went to dinner at Emerald Thai, where I had a sumptuous dish of shredded steak and cucumbers with a mouth-watering (and tongue-burning) array of spices from Northern Thailand. Afterwards, we headed to the Burning Desire lounge for a cigar and several surreptitious shots of Old Bardstown Estate Bottled bourbon from a flask.

This cigar was expertly rolled, no construction issues at all.  The outer leaf was a lighter shade of brown than I expected from the photo in CA, and it was a sort of mottled color on the bottom of the cigar.  There was no prelight aroma, which also surprised me. 

However, once lit, there was no mistaking the punch in this cigar.  Very little pepper, but a lot of deep, rich tastes of leather and oak.  It was a slow burning cigar, with a lingering finish on the tongue that kept building in intensity.  It was a combination of: the great taste of a Don Kiki Brown at its peak, combined with the strength of 5 Vegas Cask Strength and the lean finish of La Flor de A. Allones.

To make the experience even more pleasant, I had a great liquor pairing.  Old Bardstown was one of the two original recipes of the Willet family in Kentucky, and I found this bourbon to be smooth with under-notes of honey.  It was the perfect complement of sweet to offset the bold, heavy, unrelenting taste of the cigar.  Even so, by the end, the cigar was so strong my heart was racing and my stomach threatened to turn over.  I am out of practice for a smoke this powerful!

This was a great cigar!  Will definitely try again in the future. 

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