One of my favorite new cigars from last year was the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro No.4. Turns out I wasn’t alone, as the cigar finished #6 on halfwheel’s Top 25 for 2021.

It was a surprising cigar for a number of reasons. First, Oliva isn’t known for releasing many new cigars, though that seems to be changing ever so slightly in more modern times. Last year, the company added three new sizes to its Melanio Maduro line, bringing the total number of sizes from four to seven.

Second, I was surprised by how lively the flavor profile was. It was one of the more peppy profiles I’ve ever smoked, in that the cigar always just had this ability to up the flavor intensity ever so slightly. While it was very good when I reviewed it last September, it wasn’t without issues. There were some very specific minor issues, though issues I thought could be resolved with just a bit of time in the humidor. Here’s how I closed that review:

My thoughts on the Melanio Maduro have long been that I’d rather just smoke a regular Melanio. At the very least, the Melanio Maduro No. 4 has me rethinking that position. It’s not as good as the best sizes of the Melanio, but I think it might be as good as some of the vitolas. While I don’t have any complaints about the current state of the cigar, I am interested to see what will happen with a few more months in the humidor. Does the soapiness reduce itself? Is there a bit more sweetness to be had? Does the cigar develop a bit more edge? These are all questions I have and I’ve made a note to do a quick redux on this cigar to find out, but you shouldn’t wait until next April to find out, these are more than ready to be enjoyed right now.

Now that it has been six months since the original review, I’m excited to see whether my predictions about a bit of age changing the Oliva Serie V No. 4 Maduro will come to fruition.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro No.4
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Petite Corona
  • MSRP: $9 (Box of 10, $90)
  • Release Date: July 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

The first thing I notice about this particular Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro No.4 is that there a small piece of a tobacco vein sticking out of the foot. It protrudes about a third of an inch out of the foot and is harmlessly removed. There’s one other visual flaw, a small crack near the foot that is also about a third of an inch in length. The wrapper is fairly dark with a matte finish that has some weird, small spotting towards the top of the cigar. Aroma-wise, the wrapper is medium with cedar and some acidity. The foot is pretty similar though there are some added sweeter flavors in the form of cranberry and some floral flavors. Cold draws have a perfume-like texture where the flavors can be both compact and, at other times, layered. Speaking of the flavors, I taste gingerbread over milk chocolate, floral flavors, nuttiness and some earthiness.

Once lit, the Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro No.4 has a dark earthy profile that reminds me of a demi-glace sauce. While it’s not present on the first puff, the second puff adds a hearty amount of black pepper. The first third eventually settles on an earthy core with a flavor that reminds me of the smell of a pile of fall leaves along with some metallic touches. That fall leaves flavor gets stronger on the finish, joined by earthiness and some sharp woodiness. I’m surprised by what the cigar tastes like, as it is certainly not what I remember it tasting like. The flavor is fortunately only medium-full, I’m not sure I’d want much more of this due to the pepper and metallic flavors. Body is medium-full and strength is medium. A touch-up is needed during the first third to help smoke production.

The second third adds leather, oak and creaminess to the existing profile, which sees the fall leaves flavor recede a bit more than the earthiness. The finish has leather and white pepper over the core earthy and pile of leaves flavors. Retrohales have even more of the pile of leaves flavor over earthiness and saltiness. When the smoke is in my mouth, I find the flavor somewhat harsh; when the smoke is in my nose, it’s a bit chalky. The finish of the retrohales is led by saltiness and woodiness along with some of that demi-glace flavor that disappeared for most of the cigar. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus. Fortunately, the Melanio Maduro’s profile gets cleaner in the final third. Leather and earthiness remain leading flavors, but it’s nowhere near as harsh as before. The finish has a sweetness that reminds me of animal crackers over creaminess, earthiness and a bit of white pepper. Retrohales have a flavor that reminds me of the smell of redwood trees, leather and creaminess. The finish has a velvety texture with flavors of earthiness, liquid smoke, a leather that reminds me of a brand new baseball glove, and some creaminess. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-full. One touch-up is needed during the second half to help with smoke production.

78 Overall Score

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro No.4 was one of my favorite cigars of last year. This cigar—which was purchased alongside those great cigars I reviewed last September—does not taste much like what I remember. I had hoped that a few more months in the humidor would remove the soapiness and maybe allow for more sweetness, but I also wondered if it could “develop a bit more of an edge.” I don’t think it developed the edge as much as the profile just went backward. I’m curious to know what fresh versions of this cigar currently taste like, as I hope they are better than this mildly aged sample.

Original Score (September 2021)
Redux Score (April 2022)

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.