Today’s review is the last in our event-only Oliva sampler series, the Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema. Last July we announced the sampler that would be offered at some of the upcoming Oliva events. It featured five new cigars – four new sizes for existing lines and one test blend.

These samplers have become staples of the STUDIO TOBAC World Tours, having the same general idea for both 2011 and 2012 that there are a few never before seen line extensions and test blends filling up the remaining space. The same idea continues with the Oliva sampler as with the STUDIO TOBAC sampler that you get one with every box purchase at the event, however the Oliva sampler will not be offered at every Oliva event.

The sampler box looks like this:

Oliva Special Edition Sampler Box

And here are the cigars included in the sampler:

Oliva Special Edition Sampler

And here’s all the U.S.-released Oliva Serie V Maduros:

Oliva Serie V Maduro 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Diadema

  • Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2008 (6 1/2 x 52) — Connecticut Broadleaf — 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2009 (6 1/2 x 52) — Nicaraguan Habano — 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2010 (6 x 54) — Mexican San Andrés Maduro — 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2011 (6 x 50) — Mexican San Andrés Maduro — 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2012 (6 x 50) — Mexican San Andrés Maduro — 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
  • Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema (6 x 49) — Mexican San Andrés Maduro — 1,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (1,000 Total Cigars)*

In addition, there was also the Oliva Serie V Edición Europa 2010, which featured a Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper.

Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (TABOLISA)
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 49
  • Vitola: Diadema
  • MSRP: n/a
  • Date Released: December 21, 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (1,000 Total Cigars)*
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1

*Oliva says the initial run was less than 1,000 samplers, though they left open the possibility of making more.

Picking up the cigar I’m greeted with the expected Mexican San Andrés wrapper feel: a little rough and tough. The deep brown wrapper is well applied with what looks like a quadruple cap topping it all off. Pinching the cigar produces very little give though it’s far from what I would call hard. Clipping the cap and taking a cold draw I get a burst of enjoyable chocolate, raisins and the slightest touch of pepper on my tongue. The aroma off the wrapper and foot are both very light and I only get a vague barnyard note.

Lighting up the cigar the first third starts out with slightly bitter cocoa, a touch of peppery bite and sweet dried fruit. It’s kind of strange to have the bitter, spicy and sweet all there at the same time, but it is. The draw is just slightly tight but still manageable. Within a half an inch the flavor profile takes a massive turn. The bitter cocoa and pepper are gone completely and the sweet dried fruit note starts to dominate. Alongside the sweet dried fruit are sweet caramel, sweet plums and sweet leathery tobacco notes are just inundating my taste buds – it’s like every single flavor being thrown at me is just dripping in sugar. I can’t say it’s unpleasant, however it is quite unique and I can’t remember another cigar off the top of my head with such a dominating sweetness.

Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema 2

With the draw still tight moving into the second third I took another quarter of an inch off the head, which instantly brought it to a perfect draw, so I only have myself to blame for that. I’m assuming because of the difficult draw the cigar had burned a little crooked, so a quick touch up took care of that. As far as flavors the dried fruit, plum and leather are still reigning supreme with their sugary goodness, but a cinnamon note has joined in that gives it just a bit of bite. Smoke production is your usual Nicaraguan affair, which is to say plentiful long after you set the cigar down. The sweetness is starting to wane a bit, though the overall profile is still a veritable dessert platter. Light grey ash holds on easily to over an inch before falling into the ashtray, which for an Oliva cigar is unsurprising to me since construction is almost always top-notch.

Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema 3

In the last third the sugary bombardment has died down considerably though it is still what I would call a sweet cigar. Plum has faded leaving just the dried fruitiness to intermingle with the leather, cinnamon and a new note that I can only describe as a damp woodsy flavor, much like a forest after a rainstorm. The draw continues to be superb and the burn only requires minor touch-ups occasionally. As the cigar continues to march towards the end the sweetness slowly dwindles, though the flavoring of the cigar stays consistent. Even with the diminishing sweetness the cigar hasn’t become bitter or harsh and is enjoyable until the very end.

Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema 4

Final Notes:

  • Unlike the STUDIO TOBAC samplers which had six cigars, the Oliva sampler only had five.
  • As Charlie noted in the Oliva Serie V NUb review, Serie V cigars have had supply issues lately, possible speculation being that this could be the cause.
  • We’ve seen three other Oliva Diademas within the last year; Two releases for the Special S and two European releases for the Serie V line and the Special Release for Atlantic Cigar’s 15th anniversary.
  • These cigars were provided to halfwheel by Oliva.
  • Final smoking time was about an hour and 45 minutes.
  • The only way to get the Oliva Serie V Maduro Diadema or any of the other cigars in the sampler is to attend an Oliva event that is featuring them. Just a note: not all Oliva events will have them, so it is best to confirm before you go if you are wanting to pick one up.
91 Overall Score

As I went back and read through the review, even though I just finished smoking the cigar, it comes off as me stating the sugary sweetness was too much - almost to the point of being overwhelming. This is not the case at all. The Serie V Maduro Diadema was very unique with the dessert-like flavor profile, but it was entirely enjoyable and only what I could call a delectable experience. I like the regular Serie V line and the yearly Maduro release, but this size has brought a whole new enjoyment level to the line. I can only hope that these are turned into a regular release, because if the only way I can get my hands on these is to seek out a limited sampler, then I will be sorely disappointed.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.