Nice review, thank you for sharing. I'd just spotted these on JJ Fox's website and was wondering whether it was worth purchasing a box. I didn't think I'd be able to find a review, so this was a bonus - I'll definitely be thinking about picking some up now. As for the price, unfortunately a downside of living in Europe (the UK in particular). About £5 (~$8) of that price is going to be tax alone... :(
Review: Oliva Serie V Edición Europa 2010
For those of you that don’t know, in September of 2010, the Oliva Cigar Company officially released their first ever European Limited Edition cigar. Dubbed the Edición Europa 2010, it is a 4 1/2 x 50 Short Robusto that is only be available in Europe and Russia. Only 1500 boxes of ten were released (15,000 cigars total).
The reasoning behind the release is twofold: First, says Brian Shapiro, Oliva’s international sales manager:
“It was about saying ‘Thank you’ to our European retailers for their support.”
Secondly, and more interestingly, in my mind, is the fact that for the first time ever, non-Cuban cigar sales now exceed Cuban cigar sales in Germany, with 55% being non-Cuban and 45% Cuban. That is also a major reason that Oliva recently opened it’s first cigar lounge in Den Bosch (see “Final Notes” below), with a second lounge opened in Berlin on October 31, 2010.
The Oliva Edición Europa 2010 was released about 2 months before the Oliva Serie V Maduro 2010, which is the third version of the yearly release of that cigar, which was first released in 2008. While there was some confusion early on about the blend, it has been confirmed that the blend is the exact same as the new U.S. release of the Oliva Serie V Maduro 2010, albeit with different vitolas.
While former two versions of the Maduro V releases (2008 and 2009) have used a Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper, both the 2010 version and the Edición Europa switched things around, and actually use a Mexican San Andreas Maduro Wrapper, but keep the same filler and binder as the other Maduro releases.
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Oliva Serie V Edición Europa 2010
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: TABOLISA
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Petite Robusto
- Est. Price: £12.00 each (so about $19.00 each)
- Number of Cigars Released: 1500 boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 total cigars)
The cigar itself is a great size (I do love the Petite Robusto vitola!), although the band takes up almost a third of the total cigar. The wrapper is a great dark espresso brown with a few splotches here and there, and is quite bumpy and rough to the touch. It is extremely hard when squeezed, with almost no give at all. The wrapper has very little smell to it, but I did notice some coffee and a bit of pepper. Predraw notes were a strong leather, with some chocolate and pepper.
The First Third opens with a Strong spice that made my tongue and back of my throat tingle nicely. Leather is the dominant flavor, but there is some espresso and in the mix as well. The spice disperses quite a bit after the first 8th of the cigar or so, but the above flavors remain, along with a sweetish undertone.
During the Second Third, the spice ebbs and flows quite a bit, and the leather flavor from the first third takes a back seat to some great earthy, nutty flavors with just a touch of a floral note that keeps me guessing. The sweet undertone is also still around, almost unchanged.
The Final Third was basically just a combination of all of the above flavors. No real changes at all other then the fact that the strength increased quite a bit towards the very end of the cigar. A nice ending, but nothing new.
- While it was the first, the Oliva Edición Europa 2010 was not the only Limited Edition cigar that Oliva release for the German Market. There was another cigar, a 7×48 monster dubbed the Oliva Serie V “Den Bosch”, released at the same time, which is a diadema Habano Serie V. The name comes, oddly enough, from Den Bosch, a city in the south of the Netherlands that is the location of the first European Oliva Cigar Lounge. Only 50 boxes of 10 cigars (500 total) were produced of that vitola. Here is a photo of the two of them side by side:
- The biggest problem for someone wanting to buy this specific vitola is the price, and the conversion rate. One location I found (Non Plus Ultra Cigar Shop, email is Sasja@jvanhorssen.com) had them priced at £85 per box (so about $135, or $13.50 each), while another vendor (Fox of Saint James, website HERE) was about £12.00 each ($19.00) or about £120.00 ($190) per box of ten (Although they are one sale for £100/box until Friday). And that does not include shipping of about $35.
- I smoked a couple of the new Oliva Serie V Maduro 2010 to compare it to, and I have to say, I liked the Edición Europa quite a bit better. It was stronger, a bit more flavorful, and overall just a better cigar.
- While the burn was not what I would call “perfect” (I had to touch it up a few times, and the burn line wavered a bit) the draw was great for the entire smoke.
- A special thanks to Don Fernando for hooking me up with these, (and other cigars, which will be reviewed soon …Don actually has his own cigar blog, which you can find HERE.
- Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 15 Minutes.
The Bottom Line: I was a bit surprised at how much I liked this vitola compared to the Oliva Serie V Maduro 2010. Medium strength, flavorful and nice construction overall. The Edición Europa is definitely the best incarnation of the Maduro V line, and I would easily buy a box or two, if they were more readily available. Sadly, at the prices it takes to get one here to the U.S., I probably won’t be smoking any more of them.
FINAL SCORE: 89