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 1,500 boxes of ten were released.

The reasoning behind the release is two-fold. Brian Shapiro, international sales manager for Oliva, explained, “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 percent being non-Cuban and 45 percent Cuban. That is also a major reason that Oliva recently opened it’s first cigar lounge in Den Bosch with a second lounge opened in Berlin on Oct. 31, 2010.

The Oliva Edición Europa 2010 was released about two 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 Andrés maduro wrapper, but keep the same filler and binder as the other Maduro releases.

Oliva Serie V Europa 2010 1

  • 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: $19.00 (Boxes of 10, $190.00)
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)

The cigar itself is a great size, 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. Cold draw includes 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 eight of the cigar or so, but the above flavors remain, along with a sweet undertone.

Oliva Serie V Europa 2010 2

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.

Oliva Serie V Europa 2010 3

The final third is basically just a combination of all of the above flavors. No real changes at all other than the fact that the strength increases quite a bit towards the very end of the cigar. A nice ending, but nothing new.

Oliva Serie V Europa 2010 4

Final Notes:

  • While it was the first, the Oliva Edición Europa 2010 is not the only limited edition cigar that Oliva release for the German market. There was another cigar, a 7 x 48 monster dubbed the Oliva Serie V Den Bosch, released at the same time, which is a diadema in the Serie V line.
  • 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 were produced of that vitola. Here is a photo of the two of them side-by-side:

Oliva Serie V Europa 2010 5

  • The biggest problem for someone wanting to buy this specific vitola is the price, and the conversion rate. One location I found had them priced at £85 per box ($135), while another vendor lists them for about £12.00 ($19.00) 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.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 15 minutes.
89 Overall Score

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.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.