This is my review of the El Cobre by Oliva,which was chosen as the Reddit /r/Cigars cigar of the month in September 2012.
I was expecting a strong nose on this given the reported strength. Instead what I picked up was a light mixture of nuts, and an oak / cedar combination.
Flawless construction. I would expect nothing less from Oliva. Flat veins running throughout the length. Cap has no imperfections, and there are no imperfections to be found on the wrapper. As you can see the cigar is adorned with a beautiful golden band
The first thing that is immediate is each draw produces a thick, satisfying smoke. As I started out I'm greeted with some spicy pepper. At no point as I started going did I feel like the spiciness was blasting me. About halfway through the first third I started to pick up raisins.
Just as I entered the second third the pepper started to ramp up both in strength and intensity. At this point the dried fruits and raisins became more defined and there's also this leathery earth combo in the mix.
As I entered the last third the leathery earth dropped off completely and I was left with this balanced creamy sweetness and a great spice that played off each other until the end.
I didn't realize until the end just how strong this cigar was. There's full bodied and then there's full bodied. You'll want to take your time and enjoy this cigar, otherwise you might find yourself with wobbly legs as you get up.
Really no issues to speak of. I smoked this while watching a pre-season NFL football game and the burn was even from start to finish with a nice draw that wasn't too open. Total smoking time was 2 hours 29 minutes.
I picked these up as a 5 pack from Cigar Monster. The 5 pack was $12.95, so each stick came out to just under $3 each. A bundle of 25 (they do not come in boxes) can be picked up at Famous Smoke Shop for $80 leaving the per stick just over $3. At this price you should feel like tipping the B&M because you're getting an amazing cigar for outrageously low prices.
Could this cigar shatter the 'cheap but good' boundary? Apparently it can. At prices well below $4 a stick, you've got yourself an elite flavor combined with first rate construction. If you're a fan of very full cigars with full flavors to match you owe it yourself to go out and at least pick up a 5 pack of these.