April 20, 2021

Cigar Review: Oliva Serie V No. 4

 In 2007, Oliva released the Serie V, and it was a line that would bring much success to the company. They had a solid portfolio to begin with, the Serie O and Serie G were good cigars, but what they lacked was a cigar like the Serie V that was truly exceptional. The Serie V was also the fullest cigars they had released in body and strength, and when this cigar hit the market it hit at the perfect time as smokers were looking for fuller body and full strength smokes. It earned praise left and right, and within a few months of its release it was in the top 5 for Cigar Aficionado. Since then, the line has done well and it has been the flagship line for Oliva. They have added vitolas over the years, but one of the most successful additions to the the line was the No. 4. It was initially a limited production addition to the line in 2017, but since then it has become regular production and in my opinion a smart addition to the regular portfolio. Today I look back at the Oliva Serie V No. 4, and revisit one of the biggest lines for several years.

The smallest offering in the Serie V Liga Especial, the No. 4 is a corona that measures 5" with a 43 ring gauge. Production is coming out of Oliva's factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A., and the cigar is a Nicaraguan puro. It features a Nicaraguan Habano Sun Grown wrapper, Nicaraguan binders, and Jalapa Valley Ligero fillers. The No. 4 is a well made corona and it has a great looking cap on the finish. It is firm overall and the wrapper has some oily qualities present to touch. The wrapper shows some minor to medium sized veins throughout, but it is still a smooth cigar overall. The coloring is that of a a dark Natural coloring, and it is showing some faint Colorado qualities present with that. The wrapper gives off an aroma of spices, leather, and wood, and the foot is showing some qualities of rich earth, spices, and cocoa.

The first third begins by showing a nice bit of pepper notes and there is a noticeable red and black pepper flavor present. I am getting some meaty and leather qualities on top of that, and it has some hints of strong black coffee and dark cocoa on the finish. The flavors are very full, and it is a cigar that is packed with flavors. The strength and body are matching the flavors and are smoking at a full level and while it is very full, it is balanced and very enjoyable. I haven't had a Serie V smoke at this level in a long time, and it is a tribute to the line when it was first released in 2007. The construction is absolutely perfect on the cigar and it is showing an even burn line with a nice solid charcoal ash on the end. The ash is firm and showing some tooth, and there is a nice bit of smoke being produced on each cool draw.

The second third shows some transitioning in flavors and it is delivering a lot more coffee and cocoa notes. The cocoa notes have actually become pronounced chocolate bar notes, and it is a combination of  milk and dark chocolate. There are some spice qualities present as well, and it is showing touches of pepper with that. The finish has a cedar and leather quality and this is a well rounded cigar that is full flavor. The construction has been near perfect so far and it has been showing an even burn line with that solid charcoal ash on the end. The ash has been holding on firmly, and it is producing a nice bit of smoke with each cool draw. The strength and body have come down to a medium-full to full level, and it has been showing a nice bit of transitioning. There is a lot of complexity and depth with the cigar, and this has been an awesome smoking experience.

When I get into the final third, I find that the flavor profile is a cross between the first and second third, and while it is showing that coffee and chocolate flavor profile, there is a return of the pepper and spice notes. The spice notes are not that strong, but they are more present than they are in the first third. There is a nice bit of leather and cedar present as well, and it is a complex third delivering solid flavors. The body and strength are around that medium-full level, and everything is working together in harmony, delivering a complex cigar with a lot of depth. The cigar has never lost touch of balance and flavors, and that is the sign of a great cigar. In terms of construction, the No. 4 smokes great and it shows an even burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The ash is holding on firmly and with that is a cool draw that is producing a lot of smoke.

The No. 4 is possibly one of the better vitolas in the Serie V line, and it is a line filled with great offerings. I don't care for the lancero option, but this is definitely the best small ring gauge offering in the line. It is a complex smoking experience that delivers an abundance of flavors with a nice strength and body level alongside that. From beginning to end it kept my attention, and it is a cigar I would smoke many of in one day if I was only smoke Serie Vs and Oliva products. The construction is absolutely terrific and the size alone is my kind of a size. With limited and annual maduro offering each year being produced, and the Melanio option as well, they have really added on to the line in a positive way, but at the end of the day I would go with the original lineup as I believe it is the best Serie V option. The Serie V No. 4 is possibly the best vitola in the line, and is definitely a cigar you should come back to if you have not smoked it in a while. This is not a new cigar, but it is a classic that gets a solid 91 rating.

Seth's Humidor Rating: 91

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