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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The short of it: these are excellent. I highly recommend trying some when you get the chance! The BS that goes with these is pretty long. According to the manufacturer's description these will be produced each year with different wrappers and different fillers using scarce tobaccos. If the blends continue to be this good they may have me hooked.

I don't believe anyone's done a full review of these here. I'm happy to share the news.

The long of it...

Oliva Master Blend, Churchill (7x50) c. 2003. Samples smoked in late March -- early April 2004.

Appearance: Colorado Maduro. Kind of a chocolate brown with some nice red undertones (looks almost exactly like the wrappers on Torano Exoudus Gold). Samples vary from oily to velvety in appearance. There are no visible flaws to speak of. Some slight veins. These remind me of Torano Exodus Golds in look and feel. The wrapper is incredibly smooth -- the silkiest in recent memory. I find the "artisan" symbol (reminds me of that used by Prince when he wasn't called Prince) a little gimicky. I'd rather see these in the round and in basic packaging. Then again you don't smoke the packaging...

Construction: One of the three samples had a very tight draw. It had a knot right around the band that I couldn't work out while smoking. The other two had just the right amount of resistance, consistent thoughout the smoke, that made for an excellent experience. At the foot, the cigars look evenly rolled with black ligero swirling toward the center. Only the sample with the tight draw looked visibly over packed at the head after it was cut. The ash is light grey and firm but the wrapper tends to flake slightly. Each sample burned well with a shaply defined shoulder.

Taste and aroma: The pre-light aroma was dense and leathery, perhaps with a bit of cocoa or nuts and a touch of wood. It had pronounced sharp nicotine spiciness (tingles the nose). The pre-light taste seemed to mirror the aroma. Something in the last sample reminded me of English style pipe tobacco laden with latakia.

Surprisingly the first puff didn't strike me with the wall of spice I was expecting from the aroma. It was leathery, slightly grassy/vegital and sweet. A good dose of spiciness kicked in with the next draw.

The first thrid showed a lot of flair. Leather, spice and a smooth nutty flavor (pecan?!) appeared almost at the outset and remained the characteristic flavors thoughout the smoke. The spice was probably most prominant in the first third but it was never so aggressive as to diminish the other flavors. The texture of the smoke was very smooth, nearly belying the strength of the cigar. Its aroma would almost definitely be repellant to any non-smoker. It's heavy and rich. Very nice.

The opening of the second third adds some fleeting near-floral aspects to the flavor and aroma. Any hints of vegitation or grass fade in the second third. I cought an odd hint of something grainy, like corn, in my third sample at this point. It sounds strange but it worked. Maybe it was the johnny cakes I had for breakfast... The characteristic flavors generally smooth out some more and meld together as the second third progresses to the final third. The finish seemed fairly long and pleasant.

The final third saw all the flavors come to a fine balance with spiciness brought out at the nub. The floral component seemed to return for a bit here, especially in the aroma. Purging really didn't seem to do much for this cigar. In fact, it tastes better to me without purging.

Verdict: This is a solid cigar in construction and flavor. I'm willing to throw out the near plugged sample as a fluke (it ought to be at this price point). Even so, it was still tasty. Oliva Master Blend is on the full side of strength but it doesn't sacrifice flavor at any point. It seems like very successful cross between an Antano and a Torano Exodus Gold. This would make a very nice smoke to round out a heavy meal, something to mark a holiday or make a bad day better. I think it would do particularly well after grilling. I'm definitely looking forward to my next sample.

It swings for the fences and hits a home run in my book.
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

They are a fabulous cigar, and I have done in 2 boxes and many other samplers from snipers...I have 2 boxes, and one signed by Gilberto Oliva himself. My own collectors box, and the artwork is just lovely...FMF
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

I am definately a fan of the Master Blend. I have smoked about 10 of them and they are tasty.
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

Good cigar, but then again I tend to like the Oliva's. The laser etching on the cigar is cool to look at but if the cigar sucked it wouldn't matter what was on the cigar.

Will definitely have these again.
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

i have to say that i traded for one of these (it was a throw in), and i came away very impressed.
i'm not a fan of many non-cubans, but this is one of them that i would not mind smoking regularly... mine was not a churchill though.

oh, i don't mean to say that i'm snobby about non-cubans/cubans, it's just that a lot of domestic cigars taste like ashy burnt dirt that was just shoveled into my mouth (don't anyone ever suggest a newbie try a don diego reserve, nastiest damn cigars on earth).
i just don't like spitting after every draw on a cigar... that's how i feel about the majority of domestic cigars, they're just too earthy for me, and it's not a good earthy (like a cuban earthy). they have that metallic aftertaste that just makes your mouth dry...
i would be a happy man if i just lived on cheapy Quintero Londres' for the rest of my life. i haven't had a domestic cigar taste better yet (yes, even PAMs don't do much for me).
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

I was gifted with a beautifull box last fall. Mr. Gilberto Oliva himself gave it to me and I was humbled. He and I met at a Tour Herf Meet & Greet and he was so talkative. Wanted a womans opinion as he only goes by his wife's and parents tastes...We discussed many brands I smoke, and his knowledge was just overwhelming. He invited me out to dinner and to go pick up my hubby and it would be his treat after the last smoke shop of the night. We met him and his rep for dinner and it was a lovely time had by all. I have pics but no scanner, and Gilberto gave me a signed art box, and poster. He invited us to his home in Florida and if ever to his plantation and home in Nicuargua. It was such a great experience maybe my tastes was biased. But I really love the taste of a year old rested cigar myself, and aside from a cuban named Andy Garcia, Mr O is tops with me! woohooo check out CA cover...FMF :p
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

FullMoonFrenzy said:
and aside from a cuban named Andy Garcia, Mr O is tops with me! woohooo check out CA cover...FMF :p
i've been drawing a blank on a movie he was in that i like a lot.
uma thurman plays a blind woman, he plays a cop with a drinking problem who's trying to solve a serial murder case... or what turns into serial murder...

damn, can't remember that name of it. good movie though.
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

Didn't Garcia play a role in one of the latter Godfather movies with Pacino?

BTW, I have a box of the Master Blend robustos. Nice cigar, when in the mood for something with a bit more power. Nice box too.
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

Great review Eichen.

Seen so many strings discussing ISOM's lately that one tends to forget just how good come of the Domestics are. This is among my fave's and one that I have more than one box of.
 

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Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

Sorry Gents saw the movies, and yes he was in G/F, and yes I love Olivas, and yes I want an Andy wrapped in a cameroon wrapped, filled with Nic
tobacco, maybe Cuba has a spare one laying around they can send me!! :r :p FMF, daydreaming again dammmmitttt
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Oliva Master Blend, Churchill

I'm glad you folks liked the review!

Happy weekend.

-E
 
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