Review: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2013

I picked up a box of Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial 2013s when I was down in Orlando in December of 2013. I was attending a cigar event at Corona Cigar Company and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring some back with me to Canada.

If you’ve been following my reviews for even a short while you’d know that I’m a huge fan of Oliva cigars. I also have a growing collection of the Serie V Maduro Especial releases. Last year I did a two part blind review of the 2008-2012 releases where I smoked each group simultaneously.

Although my guesses weren’t very accurate, it did confirm that the 2010 was my favorite of all of the releases.




The V Maduro Especial have always had this quite strong nose of rich fermented tobacco, and the 2013s are no different. I’m also able to pick up some light cedar.




Oliva’s 2013 Serie V Maduro Especial was released in a 5” x 54 ring gauge double robusto vitola. The Serie V Maduro Especial has been produced since 2008, and was previously limited to 5,000 boxes of 10 count each. This year the production was increased to 8,000 boxes of 10 count each.

Although the vitola doesn’t change every year, the 5” x 54 is a departure from the 2011 and 2012 size of 6” x 50. 

As always, the Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial’s are produced out of Oliva’s factory in Nicaragua.  




First Third

The first few draws are mostly wet cedar. After the Serie V Maduro establishes itself, I ‘m getting pepper on the lips and some sweetness with each draw. 

Not much else going on in the first third here. 


Middle Third

The second third develops into spices and nuttiness. The flavors have increased in complexity to a medium level. 

Like the first third, there isn’t a lot of evolution through the second third.


Last Third

The last third is a combination of the cedar from the first third and the nuts from the second third. Again, the flavor doesn’t seem to develop beyond medium complexity here.



I initially had some issues getting it lit. Even with a double v-cut the draw was quite tight, reminiscent of the 2010 release.  Total smoking time was 1 hour and 48 minutes.



Pricing on the Oliva Serie V Maduros is still around $8.50 – $9.50 a single, even after 5 years.  Boxes of 10 are $80 – $90, although there are deals out there to be had.   In my opinion, any time you have a limited production run cigar under $10, that represents a pretty good deal.


Final Word:

The Oliva Serie V Maduro 2013 release was tasty but I feel like the bar has been set quite high with the 2010 and 2011 blends. If you prefer your cigars with less spice and pepper, then the 2013 release is likely going to be a great cigar choice. With the increased production levels of 8,000 boxes, they will be easier than ever to get your hands on.


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Comment by Docwill on May 21, 2014 at 7:39am

John, is there any way to distinguish the year of the cigars other than size and date on the box. Are the bands stamped in anyway?

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on May 21, 2014 at 1:59pm

Hey Doc.  It's quite frustrating actually because you have to go back to the earlier bands just to see 'Maduro' stamped on the band.  Even then, there are two groups of years that repeat vitola sizes.

If you take a look at my Blind Review of the Oliva Serie V Maduro's you'll see that they are very difficult to distinguish visually.

They would absolutely benefit from a second band or a foot band imo.

Comment by Charlie on June 26, 2015 at 4:05pm

I just picked some of these up from my local B&M in hopes that they aged well over the last 2 years...they still have most of the Maduros in stock. PS. I love this style of review John, you should go back to it ;-)

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on June 26, 2015 at 7:25pm

Thanks Charlie! The way I write is still quite similar I just don't have the header sections broken out like I used to. Glad you enjoyed the Oliva V!

Comment by Ky70 on June 26, 2015 at 8:25pm
Nice review. I enjoyed the the 2011 and 12. I wasn't that impressed by this 2013 and because of the ring gauge I didn't try the 2014
Comment by Charlie on June 26, 2015 at 8:47pm

I haven't smoked one yet...I just grabbed one at the B&M to see how they are aging. They still have the 2009, 2011 and 2013 in stock...I have never smoked the 13 but its more in my preferred size. When was the last time you smoked one of yours Surgeon? YOu have any left?


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