Here we are, on Saturday, the last day of my week-long self-challenge to review a cigar each day that costs less than $5. This one, the Oliva Serie G Churchill, just makes it, at $4.99/stick.
I've always been a fan of Oliva cigars, particularly the Serie Vs, but overall, the name Oliva is easily associated with quality, so I'm certain even at less than $5 a stick, the Serie G Churchill is sure to excel.
Cigar: Oliva Serie G
Vitola: Churchill (7” x 50)
Binder: Cuban Seed Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Rating (out of 10): 9.7
The cigar is excellently box-pressed, features a dark, milk-chocolate brown wrapper with completely invisible seams, and a flawless, nearly-flat cap. It's nice and smooth, and quite oily.
The construction is everything I'd expect from a cigar with the name Oliva on it; it's got just the right amount of give between the fingers,no cracks or tears, and a cap that punches perfectly.
The barrel of this Churchill is quite woody in scent, with some rich cocoa notes at the foot.
The cold draw offers up a rich cocoa flavor, with the slightest bit of resistance on the draw. There's a very faint undertone of something earthy, also.
The draw tightens up just a bit more once lit, but the cocoa flavor only becomes more potent. It's very sweet, almost creamy. Plenty of wood and earth on the finish, as well. Of all the cigars I've smoked this week, if you were to have me smoke each one and guess, without knowing, what each one cost, I'd already be guessing above $12.00 for this stick, probably closer to $15, given its size. Honestly, I'd left this one to be my Saturday review, because of the size of it; I expected I'd need more time with it, so I held off until the weekend. It was not a case of “saving the best for last,” but I'm just going to say it: this is already the best one I've smoked this week (for reviewing purposes, anyway!).
I have to be careful; I'm enjoying the flavor so much already, it's a little too tempting to just keep on drawing through it. I have to remind myself to set it down and just let it be, before it starts burning too hot and becomes unpleasant.
Some beautiful notes of charred cedar on the retrohale.
The ash is a bit loose, and just dropped off onto my leg. But the burn is mostly even, and looks like it's going to stay that way for a good while.
Maybe an inch or so in, there's a hint of spice on the finish. Nothing harsh, just a bit of kick.
The woody, earthy finish is a bit fuller as we roll into the second third, but the overall flavor is pretty consistent.
I'm doing it again... drawing too frequently. It's just so damned tasty.
Not much change or progression in flavor, which is fine. This thing is sweet and chocolatey, and I'm not sure I want it to change. But where the complexity shows through is in the way the different parts of the profile (the cocoa base and the woody and earthy undertones) seem to increase and decrease in fullness, allowing every part of the flavor profile to be noticed.
Even woodier here at the star of the last third. Still every bit as sweet.
The spice has diminished, almost (but not quite) entirely.
Oh, man... that cocoa is really picking up as this thing gets closer and closer to the end. It just gets sweeter and sweeter.
Here we are, about an inch or less remaining... I suppose all good things must come to an end sometime...
The Oliva Serie G Churchill was easily my favorite among everything I've reviewed this week. I may just buy myself a box, because it's too good a value to pass up, especially for a cigar I would definitely smoke over and over again.