Oliva Master Blend 3 646 – Cigar Review

For 2013 Oliva is giving out a 6 cigar Special Release sampler at events. The sampler includes a Serie V Nub 460 (Reviewed here), a Serie G Maduro Belicoso Round (reviewed here), a OC -001 (an unreleased prototype cigar with a new blend), a Serie V Maduro Diadema, and a Master Blend 3 646 (which I am reviewing today). Each cigar in this sampler is either a new size, or in the case of the OC – 001 a never seen before blend. Anyone who attends an Oliva event will be able to obtain this sampler free of charge with a box purchase (if the samplers are available at the event).

The Oliva Master Blend 3 is one of Oliva’s underrated cigars. A lot of people I know that smoke Oliva often have never tried it, and in some cases never even heard of it. Yet, out of all of the Oliva and Studio Tobac offerings, the Master Blend 3 has to be one of my favorites. It is one of those hidden gems I love to share with others. Today I have the pleasure of smoking it in one of my favorite ring gauges, so lets see how the smaller gauge treats this wonderful blend.

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Size: 6 x 46
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Flavor: Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Rating: 90
MSRP: Only available in the Oliva Special release sampler at Oliva events.

Construction and Appearance: The Master Blend 3 646 features a single band which is quite artistic in appearance. It is trimmed in gold with “MB” written on the top, and a large 3 and “MASTER BLEND” written on the sides of the bottom. In the middle of the center is a picture of a nice tropical environment. On the back of the band is written “2006”.

The wrapper of the Master Blend 3 646 is a very dark, chocolate colored brown with a bit of veins but also a nice rich oil to it. The cap is very neat and tight, it appears to be perfectly applied. The Master Blend 3 646 actually feels a bit smaller in hand due to the box pressed shape, but seems to rest easily between my fingers.

Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Master Blend 3 646 has notes of cocoa, coffee, and a little bit of wood. The foot has a scent which is a blend of milk chocolate, coffee, grass, wood, and a little bit of spice. To prepare smoking the Master Blend 3 646 I use a slight straight cut across the cap, and on the cold draw there are flavors of cocoa, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of hay.

Smoking Characteristics: The Master Blend 3 646 kicks off with a rich blend of cocoa, chocolate, coffee, spices, and a light, white pepper which lingers on the palate between draws. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of the rich, cool, creamy, sweet smoke. After the first eighth of an inch, the pepper fades out of the profile and the spice spice calms down quite a bit. At this point the flavor is mostly made up of cocoa, milk chocolate, coffee, sugar cookie, grass, leather, and just a touch of spice. The smoke production is excellent, light white wisps of smoke continue to billow from both ends of the stick between draws. In this third, the strength is a nice solid medium, with a very slight buzz setting in while smoking.

Into the second third of the Master Blend 3 646, the flavor shifts quite a bit. The cocoa has faded from the profile and the chocolate has taken on more a dark chocolate flavor with a slight bitterness. The coffee remains, as does the sugar cookie flavor, but the blend looses a bit of its creaminess, and more spice joins the blend. The leather is still quite present, as is the grass. In this third, the strength progresses to the medium to full range. The ash holds firmly to about the inch point, but seems a bit too weak to attempt much further. The burn is wavy, but hasn’t needed any touch ups thus far.

During the final third of the Master Blend 3 646, the notes of dark chocolate, coffee, sugar cookie, spice, leather, and grass all remain. In this third, the creaminess and sweetness returns to the blend, and just a touch of white pepper starts to linger on the palate between draws again. The draw has become a little easy, but still provides a very full body of rich, cool, smooth, sweet, creamy smoke. The ash holds till about the inch point, and the burn has become very sharp. The strength remains in the medium to full range, with a nice buzz setting in while smoking. The Master Blend 3 646 smokes cool to the nub, becoming just a bit soft towards the end.

Conclusion: I am really glad I got to try out the Master Blend 3 646, it is delicious and packed with flavor. Compared to the larger gauge versions of the blend there is just a bit more strength and a bit more white pepper. Overall I have to say I like the robusto size just a little better, but if this line was made for full production the 646 would also find a place in my humidor. This blend is another great reason to attend one of the Oliva Cigar events and get this sampler!