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In December 2014, Alliance Cigar released the third in what now encompasses four different exclusive cigars under the DeSocio moniker, which was named after company owner Tom Sullivan’s maternal grandmother. Measuring 6 1/2 x 54, the new box-pressed Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio shared the same blend with the other cigars in the line: an Ecuadorian sumatra wrapper covering binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. Limited to just 5,000 cigars, the new vitola was sold in boxes of 10 with an MSRP of $12 each.

In a news story about the Flor de las Antillas DeSocio, Tom Sullivan talked a little about the meaning behind the DeSocio name:

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DeSocio is Sullivan’s maternal grandfather’s last name. His mother is the only living DeSocio family member so Sullivan decided to use his cigar business to keep the name alive.

“The stories I’d hear all the time from my aunt and uncle, particularly when I started in the cigar business, ‘oh, he’d be proud of you,’” said Sullivan. Sullivan’s grandfather, an Italian immigrant, was a cigar smoker.

So far, there have been four different DeSocio releases.

DeSocio-Cigars.jpg

  • Alec Bradley Tempus DeSocio (6 x 54) — Regular Production
  • Flor de las Antillas DeSocio (5 3/4 x 54) — $8.60 (Boxes of 20, $172.00) — 500 Boxes of 20 (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio (6 1/2 x 54) — $12.00 (Boxes of 10, $120.00) — 500 Boxes of 10 (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Alec Bradley Prensado DeSocio (5 1/2 x 56) — $9.00 (Boxes of 20, $180.00) — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)

Here is what I said in my original review back in January 2014:

Ever since it was first released at the 2012 IPCPR show, I have loved the Serie V Melanio blend for its complexity and construction, and I am happy to say that the Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio carries on that tradition. The profile is creamy overall for the entire smoke and the hazelnut sweetness and citrus that flits in and out combines quite well with the other flavors that are present, while the finish is nutty and lingers on the palate. Construction is excellent overall, and the strength is high enough to notice without being overpowering at any point. While I still enjoy the Figurado and Petit Corona vitolas a bit more, the DeSocio is a wonderful addition to the Melanio lineup, and the full flavored blend is easily better than the regular V in almost every regard.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • MSRP: $12 (Boxes of 10, $120)
  • Release Date: Dec. 18, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

The cigar for this redux review of the Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio came from the same box as the cigars for the original review, and as a result, they are quite similar visually, with a mottled milk chocolate brown wrapper that is extremely smooth to the touch, and almost a complete lack of oil. The box press is very obvious from the first glance, but it is somewhere between a soft press and a sharp box press, and the cigar is quite spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong dark chocolate, manure, earth, ground coffee, creamy oak and leather, while the cold draw brings distinct flavors of peanuts, hay, barnyard, cedar, dark chocolate and sweet nutmeg.

Starting out, the Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio features an almost shocking amount of maple syrup sweetness, both on the retrohale and the finish, interspersed with other notes of creamy cedar, peanuts, espresso beans, earth and yeasty bread. There is a wonderful amount of pepper on the retrohale along with a touch of spice on my tongue, although both start to lose strength after the first third draws to a close. The sweetness in the blend begins to recede noticeably after the cigar reaches the halfway point, but it is still strong enough to be a major player in the overall profile. Other flavors of dark cocoa, creamy cedar, leather, peanut butter, cinnamon and hay flit in and out, and while the spice disappears totally around the start of the final third, the black pepper on the retrohale remains noticeable until I put the nub down with a little more than an inch left.

Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio

Construction-wise, the Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio feaures and excellent resistance on the draw, and while the burn was not quite razor sharp, I did not have to touch it up at any point at all. Smoke production was quite dense, flowing from the foot like a house on fire. The overall strength is extremely well integrated, hitting a solid medium mark by the start of the final third before stalling out there after one hour and 50 minutes of smoking time.

93 Overall Score

I was impressed with the Oliva Serie V Melanio DeSocio the first time I smoked it and almost two years of age has only made it better. The profile is sweeter overall with the age, with a distinct maple syrup note that makes a great backbone to a rich profile that includes a strong and creamy cedar and peanut notes. Construction was excellent, and the strength was noticeable without being close to overwhelming at any point. This cigar has really aged into something wonderful, and I only wish I had more of them to smoke when I am looking for a full-flavored, medium-bodied smoke to last almost two hours.

Original Score (January 2014)
90
Redux Score (October 2015)
93

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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