One of the cigars introduced at the 2012 IPCPR in Orlando was the Oliva Serie V Melanio by Oliva. The Oliva Serie V Melanio was made as a tribute to Melanio Oliva who started growing tobacco in 1886, and has been in the works for quite a while. It is the first cigar Oliva felt would be worthy of a tribute to Melanio. Here is some info about Melanio 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 Nicaraguas second largest grower of Cuban-seed tobacco.
The Oliva/Studio Tobac booth was quite impressive and reflected the two brands. The Oliva side of the booth had the old world feel that the cigars are known for, and was very comfortable with a nice coffee station set up. The Studio Tobac side of the booth had a much more modern feel, a nice post modern theme. Check out the photos below:
Size: 4 1/2 x 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Strength: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The wrapper of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona is medium brown with very fine veins and a nice oil. The wrapper of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona is smooth to the touch, and it is a slightly rounded box press and feels fantastic in hand. The band is the typical Serie V band with a second band that says Melanio and Gran Reserva below it.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona has notes of sweet cocoa and hay. The foot has the scent of cocoa, hay, wood, and herbs. I go with a straight cut to prepare smoking the Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona and on the cold draw there is cocoa, hay, wood, light earth, and spice.
Smoking Characteristics: The Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona opens up with some rich deep spices, a bit of pepper, a little cocoa. The draw starts out excellent, providing a full body of rich, cool, dry, savory, sweet, smooth smoke. I retrohale one of the first puffs and the strength is around the medium to full range with so much rich spice it makes my eyes water just a little bit. After the first few puffs a lot of the pepper fades and there are flavors of cocoa, toasted nuts, spice, and a nice mint which lingers mostly on the palate between draws. The smoke is very salty and savory, quite enjoyable. The burn is excellent with a very sharp burn line.
Into the second third of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona, there are notes of spice, cocoa, earth, nuts, and still a light herbal mint which lingers on the palate. The smoke is still very smooth, salty, rich, and savory. The strength picks up a bit moving to the full side, and the flavors are also a bit more full. Ash hold firm with easily past the inch point. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of smoke.
During the final third of the Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona, there is a complexity of flavor. The cocoa becomes a bit more dominant, but the notes of toasted nuts, and herbs remain. The smoke is a bit less salty and savory, and is now much creamier, smoother, and still very cool, and smooth.
Conclusion: The Oliva Serie V Melanio Petit Corona is an absolute home run for Oliva. I could easily see this cigar landing in the top 10 for 2012. It has some knock out flavors, a great constancy, and a wonderful blend. It is savory, rich, smooth, and creamy. The strength is what a lot of smokers look for and should leave them well satisfied. This is a box purchase without a doubt.