Since 2008, Oliva as released an incarnation of the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial. Each year has seen a different size for the limited release, but the 2011 version had a first: it was the first year that a Torpedo vitola was not used. However, like the 2010 version, it used a San Andrés Maduro wrapper.

Here is what I wrote about the 2011 version of the Oliva V Maduro in my original review back in September of 2011:

I was really impressed at how rich the flavors and profile was for this release. I have liked all of the incarnations of the Serie V Maduro, albeit some MUCH more than others, and last year’s release was the weakest of the four in my opinion, but this one seemed to have an added “something” in the profile that put it over the top for me compared to last year. This is most likely due to the different vitola and the tweaking of the blend that was used, just a great, classic Maduro profile of earth, dark chocolate, espresso and leather. I liked this version better than the last two and definitely will be buying a box, but honestly, I still think the 2008 release is KING.


But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?

  • Cigar Reviewed: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2011
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (TABOLISA)
  • Wrapper: San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $9.00 (Boxes of 10, $90.00)
  • Release Date: Early November 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

The cigar is a wonderful example of a seemingly perfectly rolled cigar with an excellent triple cap. There is a nice dark reddish brown wrapper with quite a bit of tooth to it when felt. It is hard when squeezed, but not rock hard, and there is no indication that the draw of the Oliva will have any issues whatsoever. The wrapper smells very strongly of leather, barnyard, hay and espresso.


The Oliva V Maduro starts off with very strong notes of earth, dark chocolate, dark and bitter coffee beans and a slight sweetness that reminds me at times of plum. There is some black pepper in the profile, but it is relegated to the retrohale, and there is no spice to speak of as of yet. The burn is perfect in the first half, but the draw is just a bit tight, although not bad enough to effect the flavors. Strength is a solid Medium by the end of the first half, and does not seem to be getting much stronger, at least not very quickly.

Oliva Serie V Maduro 2011

The second half of the Oliva sees an abrupt turnaround with the addition of a sweet floral note that takes me by surprise with its strength. Smoke production increases and the Toro seems to have a chewy quality that is quite interesting. There is also less earth and chocolate, and more nuttiness, cedar and espresso. The burn continues to be perfect and the draw opens up nicely. Strength of the Oliva ends at a solid medium, which I am fine with.


The Bottom Line: This cigar has the whole dark, gritty and earthy profile down pat. The flavors are distinct, easy to identify and extremely rich on the palate. Easily one of my favorite Olivas to date and also easily one of the best V Maduros to date, in my humble opinion. The ten months of age this release sports has done wonders to the cigar, adding some nuances not present when they were first released and increasing the strength of some of the notes that really help the overall profile. In fact, even with the changing flavors, there seems to be quite a bit more balance overall than when the Serie V Maduro 2011 were first released. An excellent cigar that will only continue to get better.

Original Score: 91

Redux Score: 92

Overall Score

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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.