The Melanio was created to pay tribute to the company’s patriarch, Melanio Oliva, who has been growing tobacco for Oliva since 1886. Here is a bit of background on Melanio taken from the Oliva site:
“ Melanio Oliva first grew tobacco in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba in 1886. His growing
operations were suspended while he fought in Cuba’s War of Independence. After returning from war Melanio resumed his operations. In the early 1920’s Melanio’s son Hipolito Oliva took over the growing operations. Hipolito cultivated the Oliva family fields for several decades. As Cuba became over-run by communist the tobacco landscape changed. Hipolito’s son Gilberto Oliva shifted from growing to brokering tobacco. In the early 60’s the pressure became too great and Gilberto traveled from country to country in search of the distinct Cuban taste. His travels took him to Honduras, Panama, Mexico and even the Philippines. Gilberto finally found fertile ground in Nicaragua. Today Gilberto along with his family are Nicaragua’s second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco.”
I love the Oliva Serie V and up until today it was my favorite cigar out of the Oliva line, but now that I finally had a chance to try the Melanio, I think it has stolen my heart. I love the spice the Serie V offers and expected the same from the Melanio. But, this Melanio takes the flavor profile to a whole new level and deserves its own unique evaluation.
The appearance of this cigar is absolutely stunning. As this cigar was aging in my humidor, her gorgeous exterior caught my eye every time I opened my humi. It was as if she was begging me to give her a whirl. It was finally her time to shine on this fine afternoon here in New Jersey.
The Melanio is dressed in a succulent milk chocolate Ecuadorian-grown Sumatra wrapper that is box pressed with slightly rounded edges that gracefully accentuate her firm, evenly packed body. She is accessorized beautifully with dual bands that flaunt her special edition notoriety like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s Ear. Her construction is absolutely flawless, something that I have come to expect from the Oliva brand – one of the most consistent brands on the market.
I poured myself a dram of Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak scotch and warmed Melanio’s foot with a prime toasting that led to a clean, razor sharp burn from start to finish.
Upon my first puff I was immediately greeted with robust flavors of espresso and cedar with subtle hints of citrus and floral notes. Her feisty attitude did make an appearance within the first third but she wasn’t nearly as spicy as her Serie V brethren – spicy but not overpowering just the way I like my women. The Melanio offers complex flavors that really emerge in the exhale, leaving behind a sweet floral and citrus finish that lingers on the lips like the last kiss from your beau.
As the Melanio and I continued on our tryst she started to mellow out even more, losing most of her spice. She kept most of her espresso, cedar, and floral notes but seemed to add a little nuttiness and unsweetened cocoa to the already creamy, chewable smoke that poured out my mouth. The razor sharp burn line created a perfect white ash that gripped the leaf for a good inch- and-a-half until it deposited itself on my lap. I loved the tight burn curls on the ash, a clear indicator of a great stick.
The final third of the cigar was pretty much the same as the second. It lost most of its spice and created a very relaxing and pleasurable smoke. Once we got to know each other she really let herself go – full flavored in terms of taste that offered great complex flavors. The strength of the tobacco was medium-full, which is expected given the fact that she is constructed with all Nicaraguan Ligero long fillers from some of Oliva’s oldest, most prized leaves from Condega and Esteli along with some extra tobaccos from Jalapa for more flavor and aroma.
The Oliva Melanio is an incredible cigar, complex yet balanced. Her razor sharp burn and firm, tight ash created a romantic rendezvous that I would love to repeat. She was nice, smooth and tasty – full-flavored and full-bodied, what else can I ask for.
Oliva V cigars are usually always nice and powerful sticks that are enjoyable smokes. They pair well with most scotches – always my drink of choice while smoking cigars – and the Melanio is no different. She paired perfectly with the Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak scotch.
Made by : Oliva
Wrapper: Ecuadorian-grown Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero (Esteli, Condega and Jalapa)
Strength: Medium-Full (more on the full side)
Size: 5 x 52
Vitola: Box Pressed Robusto