Since 2014 is shaping up to be the ‘Year of the Lancero’, it seemed appropriate to review the Oliva Serie V Lancero. For many years the this stood out as the only lancero vitola cigar Oliva offered, since the Serie V originally line launched in 2007. It is blended with specially fermented Jalapa Valley ligero, and finished... and rolled out of their factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
When it comes right down to it, I'm a bit of an Oliva fan boy. I have at least 2 boxes of every Serie V Maduro release going back to 2008. I have at least a box of every Nub. I even have a box of Melanio's from 2012 (even though I wasn't a huge fan).
So when I saw a 36 count box of Oliva V lancero on sale I didn't even hesitate to pull the trigger.
I'm very glad I did.
The V lancero has inviting notes of cedar, coffee with some very light spices. I started with a single v-cut and found the draw to be quite tight. Unfortunately because of the small ring gauge there's not enough left to do an x-cut. I'd highly recommend a bullet-proof guillotine cut on these.
The first third opens with a dominating flavor of delicious ligero. At about the 5-7 minute mark some pepper breaks in and the wood and pepper find a nice balance. Earthy sweetness gets introduced into the mix at about 15 minutes, and at the 25 minute mark some leather.
The pepper falls off for a while in the first third but eventually comes back in the middle third to balance out. The V finishes out with a mostly cedar profile with a muted earth follow up.
This is a very tasty lancero. You're not going to get the same flavor complexity as the Oliva Serie V Maduro, but it has an almost perfectly balanced flavor profile from start to finish.
Pre-light draw offers great resistance with hints of milk chocolate. I really enjoy lanceros as they allow the smoker to taste more of the wrapper as compared to other vitolas.
Upon first light I am hit with cocoa and smooth aged tobacco. This cigar is over two years old at this point as I bought it back in early 2012. The ash does not hold on for as long as I would like causing me to ash on my pants. Towards the end of this third the leather and cocoa are still present. I would classify this as on the higher side of medium in strength.
Into the second third a sweet baking spice joins the mix. The sweet tobacco, cocoa, and leather profile smoothens out as the flavors all blend together nicely.
The final third does not bring any new flavors. The leather becomes dominant and I let the cigar go out with about an inch left.
Overall, I really enjoyed this cigar. It has a certain balance to the flavors that appeals to my palate. The lancer size is perfect when you wish to have a longer smoking experience without the larger ring gauge. These are definitely a great bang for buck and I always have some on hand. This cigar rates a 92/100, box split worthy.