A story about the beginnings of appreciation.
The first time I smoked a proper cigar was to celebrate New Year’s Eve of 2019/2020.
In my excitement to dip my foot into the waters of the cigar realm, I bought three different sticks to give myself a selection for the evening.
One was a Romeo y Julieta No. 3, another was a H. Upmann half corona and the other was the Oliva Serie G maduro.
The Upmann was the first one I smoked, and I made a proper hatchet job of it.
Being a first timer, I smoked it alone to ‘practise’.
Let’s just say I’ve never seen such an uneven burn since.
The one I actually smoked on the evening in question was the Romeo & Julieta, and it was exquisite.
The Oliva, however, would languish in my humidor for a while.
I’d done some research on these cigars at the time of purchase, and I remember a common comment being that they were quite a rough ride when immature, and that it was best to age them for one year before lighting up.
Having seen it mentioned over a dozen times, I decided to do so.
It’s been a litle over a year now, and I recently had the occasion to light up again, so I decided to dig out the Oliva.
I’ve always liked the torpedo shape, and the size is just right for me, with an expected burn of around half an hour.
The olfactory presentation was quite simple, consisting mostly of hay.
Flavour wise, it was delightfully mellow for two thirds, ramping up in intensity towards the end.
The year of aging certainly helped to change the character from the rough hand I read about, to a thoroughly enjoyable indulgence.
My amateur tastebuds didn’t detect much of a sensory buffet, with the palate staying largely in the typical tobacco and hay taste range.
The final third began to ramp up in pepper and spice, which gave me a couple of surprises on the couple of occasions that I took too heavy a draw.
This was one of the tastiest cigars I’ve had.
I burned it further down than I usually do with most others, smoking it down to a nub of around four centimetres before it began to feel like the fire was going to touch my lips.
The strength remained mellow throughout, with no challenging intensity.
An aged one of these would make for a nice introductory cigar to newcomers.
I did note that there was quite a blockage in the draw, initially.
Using my PerfecDraw I had to punch out a couple of centimetres to clear the blockage.
Once that was done, the draw was quite good.
Given the low price, I’d happily buy a couple of boxes of these and stow them away to age for a while.