Oliva V Melanio Figurado Cigar Review

Aug 20th, 2017 | By | Category: 80-89, Cigar Ratings, Cigar Reviews, Featured Articles, Oliva Cigar Reviews


Oliva V Melanio Band

 – 87 (score sheet)
Brand: – Oliva
Origin: – Nicaragua
Price: – Around $14.35 (Toro)

Across the cigar’s band the proudly touted ‘Oliva Serie V’ logo instantly captured my attention. I could stop the intro here, after all, what else needs to be said? Those that are passionate about the ‘Serie V’, such as yours truly, are not going to even entertain the idea of passing on this stick. Regardless of how proud the sticker price may seem; this cigar is still a ‘V’! The real question, however, is does the Melanio live up to the ‘V’ name?

There are a lot of great cigar brands out there but if I was forced to smoke cigars from one and only one brand Oliva would top that list. Do I like every cigar they produce? No, of course I don’t but in all honestly I do like most of them. Besides, Oliva puts out a long list of high quality smokes making it an easy decision for me to spend the extra coin on the Melanio. Yet, I couldn’t help but being a little apprehensive about this review. After all, the Oliva V is one of my favorite cigars and I had built up a healthy level of anticipation for Melanio stick. I know it’s not fair to create such expectations before a review but sometimes that is the price of greatness.

About the Oliva V Melanio Figurado cigars
Wrapper: Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full body
Size: Figurado (Toro (6 1/2″ x 52))
Aged: From the cigar shop to my patio


The cigar consisted of a rustic brown wrapper that was accented by two gold, brown and red bands. The top band boasted the ‘Oliva V’ label while the bottom band simply listed the Melanio name. This was a very interesting looking cigar that had tight seems with very few visible veins.

The Figurado was a box press cigar with a torpedo shaped head and a tapered foot.


The prelit cigar’s wrapper presented a strong mixture of a hay and barnyard aroma. The prelit draw was a little tight but I was still able to fill my mouth with the flavors of leather along with an airy tobacco taste.

The Flavor

First Third
The first few puffs filled my mouth with the flavors of a rich tobacco. A gratifying introduction for this already highly anticipated stick. What followed in the finish was a peppery woodsy taste that coated the back half of my tongue. Hints of cedar also floated within the smoke, yet, the dominant flavor thus far leaned more towards a toasted wood. An early retrohale in the first third revealed a spice followed by a pepper in the finish. Surprisingly the peppery spice combo had no impact on my sinuses although I instantly felt the effects of the pepper as it began to accumulate on the back of my throat.

I wasn’t even through the first section of the stick and was already taking note of the rich flavors this cigar had produced. A welcomed taste of coffee merged in with the toasted wood notes. In the background a cedar sat along the back of my tongue. A second retrohale revealed a stronger spice followed by a pepper that threw a one-two punch against my sinuses. I still picked up on the woodsy notes which found a fleeting mild sweetness in the finish. By the time I reached the end of the first third the flavors consisted of a hint of coffee mixed in with a woody taste.

Second Third
The second third section of this stick kicked off with the flavors of a creamy wood. I was already impressed with the early flavors from this cigar and this was a great introduction to the middle section of this stick. Unfortunately, the mild and creamy notes vanished almost as quickly as they came. What replaced them was a pleasant smooth woodsy taste. A few puffs later and it was a wood, spice and a smidgen of pepper that began to consume the smoke.

A retrohale in the second third produced a vigorous spice that disappeared almost as quickly as it ran through my sinuses. The pepper from the retrohale instantly began to accumulate on the back of my throat. However, the peppery zing found in similar retrohales was missing in this stick. What followed the retrohale was the familiar woodsy notes pursued by the spice in tow. There cedar taste disappeared, replaced by woodsy notes that came off as more of a toasted wood. On the finish was a fleeting spice with a mild sweet aftertaste.

I progressed through the second third with the cigar continuing to present a very smooth smoke. The spice had become more vigorous although the flavors did not stick around for all that long. The introduction of leather notes followed by a mild spice joined the blend. Hints of earth also appeared as I approached the end of the second third.

One of the most impressive key traits with this stick was that there wasn’t one flavor that overpowered the other. All the flavors seemed to work well together. By the time I reached the end of the second third it was the flavors or cedar, spice and leather danced around my palate.

Final Third
The final act in this three-act play began with a vigorous spice. An early retrohale in the final third presented an even stronger spice with a meager amount of pepper that rested along the back of my throat. The strength of the spice would vary as I navigated towards the end of this stick. There were times when the cigar presented nothing but a potent spice while at others times I tasted leather followed by a milder version of the flavor note.

I’ve already made this statement but it’s worth mentioning again. The one consistency with this stick was how continuously smooth the smoke was with each puff I took. I enjoyed all three phases of this cigar but as I worked my way towards the finish line there was a little heat that began to buildup on the tip of my tongue. The heat had some impact on the enjoyment of the smoke but not enough where I had to abruptly end this journey.

The flavors of spice along with a dry wood took over as the dominant taste. This was the driest this cigar had tasted thus far forcing me to seek refuge in my glass of water. I was about an inch and half from the end when the cigar became too hot for the tip of my tongue forcing me to discard the stick. By the time I reached the end of my journey it was still the dry wood that dominated this stick.

The Construction

The tightness experienced in the prelit draw loosened up as soon as my lighter’s flame rested along the cigar’s foot. The draw was good from the first puff until the last. However, where I did experience issues was with the cigar’s burn. The burn was crooked in the first third but did not require any touch ups from my lighter. The burn eventually self-corrected itself during the second third of the smoke but became a little wobbly again in the final act. The smoke output was decent but not quite as full as I like. I did not have any difficulty filling my mouth with smoke but the output was a little too thin.


The Oliva V Melanio Figurado cigars are priced around $14.35 per stick.

Final Comments

The reviewed Oliva V Melanio was a very good cigar with its best attribute being the smooth smoke that was present from the start until the end of my journey. However, I would be hard-pressed to say that this cigar is better than the original ‘V’. I did enjoy this stick and those of you looking forward to this cigar should make no mistake about it, it’s definitely a ‘V’. I highly recommend a heavy meal before smoking this stick. I had a decent meal before my review and the cigar still bit me a little bit.

If I had to pick my favorite sweet spots I would say that the best flavors were presented in the first and second sections of this stick. The spice in the final third just wasn’t the same caliber as the other flavors I experienced. I don’t mind spice in cigars, I just prefer that it is not the dominant taste.

Those of you that are fans of the Oliva line of cigars, and specifically the ‘V’, should give this stick a try. The cigar didn’t quite surpass the original ‘V’ but I still greatly enjoyed it. Even though this stick is a little pricier than the original ‘V’ I do see myself revisiting it again soon.

Click here to see the score sheet.

Point scale:

  • 95-100 – Cream of the crop
  • 90-94 – Excellent
  • 80-89 – Good
  • 70-79 – Average
  • 0-69 – Poor, not worth the money
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