Oliva Master Blends 3 – Cigar Review

This week’s group cigar review is of the Oliva Master Blends 3 cigar.  This is the most expensive cigar in the Oliva line, so we are looking forward to seeing how it stacks up compared to the others.  It has a perfect draw after cutting and we like how to box press shape feels in our mouths.  After lighting, we are hit with a big bang of flavors right off the bat.  We tasted a complex mixture of coffee, cream, and earth with pepper, sweetness, and spice on the finish.  That sweetness fades in the second third then, surprisingly, comes back for the final third.  Overall, we loved this cigar.  This is a complex full flavored and full bodied stick, but somehow remains easy to smoke.  It also had perfect construction, rare for box pressed smokes.  They are somewhat pricey, but entirely worth it.

StraightUpCigars: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 19/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 8/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
Total: 47/50

Terry1: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 19/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 8/10
Would I buy a Box: 4/5
Total: 46/50

IamDarren: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 19/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 8/10
Would I buy a Box: 4/5
Total: 46/50


Apr 29 2014, 7:28 PM
IamDarren: I had a Master Blends a couple years ago and couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. I remember it being super complex. Maybe my taste buds will appreciate it more this go-around.
Apr 29 2014, 7:31 PM
IamDarren: heading outside
Apr 29 2014, 7:34 PM
Terry1: I can say the same thing. Had one a few years ago but don’t remember much about it. It’s interesting to revisit cigars.
Apr 29 2014, 7:35 PM
StraightUpCigars: I have the same problem! I’ve had a couple and only remember them being good ones.
Apr 29 2014, 7:36 PM
IamDarren: Love the shape and the mouth feel. Good construction.
Apr 29 2014, 7:37 PM
IamDarren: im getting earth and chocolate on the cold draw
Apr 29 2014, 7:38 PM
StraightUpCigars: Perfect draw after a shallow cut, love the super box pressed shape. Same here, chocolate on the cold draw.
Apr 29 2014, 7:39 PM
IamDarren: the band on mine says 2006… surely that isn’t how long this has been aged ?!?
Apr 29 2014, 7:39 PM
Terry1: Yeah, it reminds me of the Oval. Great art on the band. I get the chocolate on the cold draw which is about perfect. Ready to light!
Apr 29 2014, 7:40 PM
IamDarren: firing up
Apr 29 2014, 7:41 PM
StraightUpCigars: Wow! Super rich coffee flavor with cream and chocolate sweetening it. Also a mild spice on the finish.
Apr 29 2014, 7:42 PM
IamDarren: yep, definitely complex. im also getting a charred oak flavor as well.
Apr 29 2014, 7:42 PM
Terry1: First few puffs are really rich with flavor. Lots of creamy flavors. Great start.
Apr 29 2014, 7:43 PM
IamDarren: interesting, just a hint of spice on the draw but tons of it in the retrohale
Apr 29 2014, 7:45 PM
Terry1: Yeah this is one to be careful with. You get quite a zing in the sinus. Nice sweetness.
Apr 29 2014, 7:45 PM
IamDarren: easy draw, tons of smoke, very flavorful, im really liking it so far.
Apr 29 2014, 7:46 PM
StraightUpCigars: This one just has so much flavor, it’s ridiculous. It’s not overly full bodied though, still easy to smoke.
Apr 29 2014, 7:48 PM
IamDarren: interesting ash, very dark with white dots. Im sure they have some propriatary tobacco only used for this cigar.
Apr 29 2014, 7:48 PM
StraightUpCigars: I was wondering why this one commanded a higher price than the V, now I know why. This is easier to smoke, and possibly better tasting (from what I remember about the V).
Apr 29 2014, 7:49 PM
Terry1: Quarter of an inch in and the cigar seems to be finally settling down. Getting more of the coffee and earth with a slight sweetness. Pepper is more tollerable. Burn and draw are perfect.
Apr 29 2014, 7:50 PM
IamDarren: I like the V alot but it is a little more one dimensional.
Apr 29 2014, 7:50 PM
IamDarren: mine is also getting more creamy with a nice sweet maduro / chocolate flavor.
Apr 29 2014, 7:50 PM
StraightUpCigars: Is it just me, or is this a strong stick?
Apr 29 2014, 7:51 PM
IamDarren: well im not feeling anything yet but time will tell
Apr 29 2014, 7:51 PM
Terry1: I’d agree with Darren. I’m not feeling it but I expect I will in about 30 minutes.
Apr 29 2014, 7:52 PM
IamDarren: i would call it med/full bodied at this point. It started full but has backed off a little.
Apr 29 2014, 7:53 PM
StraightUpCigars: Well, I can feel this one already. It’s just a matter of time for you guys
Apr 29 2014, 7:54 PM
IamDarren: seems to me like the sweetness is gradually changing. Im probably in an inch (fast burner?) and im starting to taste caramel.
Apr 29 2014, 7:55 PM
IamDarren: Terry would probably be a better judge of strength than me. I have been smoking a lot of full bodied / strong cigars lately so i have built up a tolerance.
Apr 29 2014, 7:56 PM
IamDarren: smoke a few of those Camachos and you will see
Apr 29 2014, 7:56 PM
StraightUpCigars: I agree with the caramel sweetness. It’s very buttery smoke that is coating my palate too.
Apr 29 2014, 7:57 PM
StraightUpCigars: I know whatcha mean Darren, Camacho is easily the strongest line of cigars all across the board.
Apr 29 2014, 7:57 PM
IamDarren: and those really creep up on you! First time i had one i almost couldn’t stand up when i was finished.
Apr 29 2014, 7:58 PM
Terry1: Looked up the Oliva site for more info. The Master Three has ratings from 2006 and 2007. Makes you wonder how old this particular cigar we are smoking really is.
Apr 29 2014, 7:58 PM
IamDarren: where did you get these Matt?
Apr 29 2014, 7:59 PM
StraightUpCigars: I bought them from the bid site. They ran about $6 ea
Apr 29 2014, 8:01 PM
StraightUpCigars: I have always wondered the same thing Terry, how long certain blends remain on the shelves before they re-stock.
Apr 29 2014, 8:02 PM
IamDarren: from what i can tell the Master Blends 2 was released in 2005. So maybe they just put that date on this one when the blend was released.
Apr 29 2014, 8:03 PM
IamDarren: In 2003, Oliva released the first in the Master Blends line, followed by the Master Blends 2 in 2005 and the Master Blends 3 in 2006. Intended to be the flagship line of the brand, the length of updates since the introduction of Master Blends 3 has meant it has fallen slightly out of notoriety with consumers, particularly after the introduction of Serie V in 2007.
Apr 29 2014, 8:03 PM
Terry1: Maybe I’ll ask someone at the festival this year for some insider secrets. How long can Rocky claim the Vintage 1990 still has 1990 tobacco in it?
Apr 29 2014, 8:05 PM
IamDarren: speaking of festival… two more days
Apr 29 2014, 8:05 PM
IamDarren: still have to convince the wife
Apr 29 2014, 8:06 PM
Terry1: If you want a discount on the general admission it ends tomorrow.
Apr 29 2014, 8:06 PM
Terry1: Are you thinking VIP?
Apr 29 2014, 8:06 PM
StraightUpCigars: There was actually an article in Cigar.com’s mag with a Rocky interview. He said there is no tobacco anywhere near 1990 in it, but he’s kept the name the same so as to not confuse customers.
Apr 29 2014, 8:06 PM
IamDarren: screw that, if im taking off for one day Im going VIP baby!
Apr 29 2014, 8:07 PM
IamDarren: lol, yeah cause that is totally not confusing
Apr 29 2014, 8:07 PM
StraightUpCigars: Exactly
Apr 29 2014, 8:08 PM
Terry1: I’d guess you’ll have the month of May to convince the wife. It takes a while to sell out.
Apr 29 2014, 8:08 PM
StraightUpCigars: Mine is getting more of that charred oak flavor and the sweetness is backing off. This this has come full circle, and I like it!
Apr 29 2014, 8:08 PM
IamDarren: yeah but im sure hotels will sell out quick
Apr 29 2014, 8:10 PM
Terry1: You’ll be okay. There’s lots of hotels within 10 miles. There’s only like 1500 at the festival. I’m staying in Louisville. There’s a great cigar shop within walking distance.
Apr 29 2014, 8:11 PM
IamDarren: just crossed the halfway and the second ash fell off in the tray. Still very mellow compared to the beginning. Maybe a bit more spice creeping back in on my stick.
Apr 29 2014, 8:11 PM
Terry1: I’m liking the middle third a lot. Very creamy and flavorful. Nothing is really dominating right now.
Apr 29 2014, 8:12 PM
StraightUpCigars: I’m not going to make it this year. We are tagging along with my family’s vacation to Wisconsin in June (that’s a cheap way to vacation ) – we are going to do another October trip this year. I’m trying to convince her to go back to Alabama for shark fishing again
Apr 29 2014, 8:13 PM
IamDarren: I hear Tuna fishing is the way to go. Catch one and you pay for the trip
Apr 29 2014, 8:15 PM
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, no kidding. We don’t know enough about the legalities of what we’re catching (or even what species until we get on google!), so we’re all catch and release.
Apr 29 2014, 8:16 PM
IamDarren: how long does it take to reel in a shark?
Apr 29 2014, 8:17 PM
StraightUpCigars: We had a 45 minute fight that eventually snapped the line (and broke the reel). I upgraded to high end tackle though now and we can get 40ish pounders in about 5 minutes. We haven’t caught a huge one… yet. She like it too It’s thrilling.
Apr 29 2014, 8:19 PM
IamDarren: i bet, sounds like a blast
Apr 29 2014, 8:21 PM
StraightUpCigars: We like to combine a lot of coors light and cigars (winecoolers for her), that seems to make it even more exciting (and possible stupid). We’re classy
Apr 29 2014, 8:21 PM
Terry1: Okay I’m at the band and now I’m starting to feel some strength. Band come off easily. Flavors are primarily a caramel sweetness, earth, hint of leather, and a nice zing in the sinus. It’s smoking well.
Apr 29 2014, 8:22 PM
IamDarren: yep, spot on Terry
Apr 29 2014, 8:23 PM
IamDarren: i ate a burrito for supper and am starting to get a hint of heartburn. Probably from the strength.
Apr 29 2014, 8:24 PM
StraightUpCigars: The sweetness on mine had faded for a minute, it is back again. This is my favorite third of the stick.
Apr 29 2014, 8:27 PM
IamDarren: everything blended together well in that third. Nothing was overpowering. Liked it a lot.
Apr 29 2014, 8:28 PM
Terry1: This cigar is much better than what I remember. I’m thinking this is an older cigar than what I smoked the first time. It’d be interesting if they had a born on date on the band like beer does.
Apr 29 2014, 8:28 PM
IamDarren: agreed, or at least the year the tobacco was grown for the cigar.
Apr 29 2014, 8:29 PM
StraightUpCigars: This goes back to a convo we had a while ago, the HAVE to start printing the BOD on the band or cello. It;s silly they don’t.
Apr 29 2014, 8:30 PM
IamDarren: i have noticed on a few box purchases they stamp a date on the box.
Apr 29 2014, 8:31 PM
IamDarren: into the last third now. Strength is increasing. Starting to feel more relaxed and drinking more of my beverage.
Apr 29 2014, 8:31 PM
StraightUpCigars: That’s a good start. For us enthusiasts who rarely buy a box they need it on the band.
Apr 29 2014, 8:31 PM
Terry1: If they can fit a bar code on a cigar they can include a date as well.
Apr 29 2014, 8:32 PM
IamDarren: maybe we need a barcode scanner
Apr 29 2014, 8:32 PM
StraightUpCigars: That would be cool to have
Apr 29 2014, 8:33 PM
IamDarren: i think they might make an app for that by no
Apr 29 2014, 8:33 PM
IamDarren: now
Apr 29 2014, 8:33 PM
StraightUpCigars: Finally… a use for that fancy phone of yours
Apr 29 2014, 8:34 PM
StraightUpCigars: You guys are just in the final third? I am burning my fingers, I’ve got to set it down.
Apr 29 2014, 8:34 PM
IamDarren: speaking of cool apps. We just bought a controller that mounts on the irrigation system. It has gps and will allow us to control the system from our computer or phone
Apr 29 2014, 8:34 PM
StraightUpCigars: I don’t want to give too much away prior to ratings, but this is one of my favorite cigars we’
Apr 29 2014, 8:35 PM
StraightUpCigars: ve had for a while.
Apr 29 2014, 8:35 PM
Terry1: I have about a half inch left. No transitions but still very nice.
Apr 29 2014, 8:36 PM
StraightUpCigars: That is insanely cool Darren. Technology at work there.
Apr 29 2014, 8:37 PM
IamDarren: and the controller is only about as big as a shoe box. It has a small gps receiver mounted on top as well as a cell phone antenna.
Apr 29 2014, 8:38 PM
Terry1: Okay I’m done. It’s starting to burn my fingers too.
Apr 29 2014, 8:38 PM
IamDarren: same here, ready to rate
Apr 29 2014, 8:41 PM
IamDarren: Glad i could revisit this one! Thanks Matt
Apr 29 2014, 8:42 PM
Terry1: The price was the only negative I had. I little high for my budget. But if I could get a deal it’s worth getting.
Apr 29 2014, 8:42 PM
StraightUpCigars: Great scores! This one is a little more expensive than our usual taste, but one of the few that is entirely worth the high price.
Apr 29 2014, 8:43 PM
StraightUpCigars: Perfect construction for a box press too, good work Oliva.
Apr 29 2014, 8:43 PM
Terry1: Thank you Matt for the cigar. It’s one I would have overlooked.
Apr 29 2014, 8:43 PM
IamDarren: in order to know how good those cheapies really are you have to compare it to the super premiums
Apr 29 2014, 8:44 PM
StraightUpCigars: NP at all. Glad to kick off our group reviews with a bang. Leave it to Oliva to nail this one, they are the best value from cheapos all the way up to high ends.
Apr 29 2014, 8:45 PM
IamDarren: agreed, Oliva always delivers. Great brand to recommend to new BOTLs
Apr 29 2014, 8:46 PM
Terry1: It’s what I recommended to my friend to try (Oliva G) when he decided infused cigars were not as great as he first thought they were.
Apr 29 2014, 8:47 PM
StraightUpCigars: Right guys, Oliva offers a good transition for new smokers, start with the G, and progress to the V/Master.


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