Today we will be exploring the Oliva Connecticut Reserve. Years ago, I smoked my share of Oliva cigars, primarily the Serie V robusto. In time, my palate changed and I found the Serie V to be simply too strong on the retrohale, and I began my move toward milder cigars. Over the years I tried a variety of other Oliva offerings, but didn’t find any to really be in my wheelhouse. Fortunately for me, following the release of the Serie V, Oliva turned its attention to creating a milder cigar, culminating in its release of the Connecticut Reserve, with its Nicaraguan binder and filler and an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper. Today I will be smoking the Connecticut Reserve in a toro.
Pre-light, I notice that there are some truly gnarly veins in the wrapper. The cold draw seems tight. The draw remains a bit tight on lighting, but doesn’t present a problem and isn’t distracting.
Upon lighting, there are initial notes of nuts and hay in a medium pepper. The flavor quickly settles down to a consistent sweet, creamy light pepper, with notes of coffee that come and go through the first third. The aroma is pleasant, filling the air with smells of wood and nuts.
The pepper dissipates as do the notes of coffee in the second third, leaving nothing more than a light sweet creaminess. At times it seems that there is just a hint of cedar in the sweetness. A light to medium pepper returns near the end of the second third and continues into the final third, still dominated by the sweet cream.
In the final third, the sweetness builds and the nuttiness that was present at the outset returns for just a bit. The ash is well formed throughout. While the burn line is less than razor sharp, it’s not distracting and never requires correction.
The Connecticut Reserve is mild to medium in strength, though it leans toward the mild side. My smoking time was approximately 2 hours.
While not overly complex, I found this to be an incredibly enjoyable cigar, perfect for relaxing, especially at its $7-9 price point. As a side note, upon finishing, I immediately ordered a box – despite the fact that I have absolutely no room in my humidors.