The Saison cigar by Oliva is said to be made from several different aged tobaccos all harvested in the same year. This cigar has a very dark wrapper leaf and a good draw after cutting. The cigar starts off with good flavor (cedar, earth, and chocolate), but there is a bitter and acidic finish that drown out those flavors. The bitterness subsides in the second third and the cigar tastes great with sweet cedar and earth. That bitterness comes back in dominates the final third. Overall, we expected a little more out of an Oliva cigar, a brand we hold in high esteem. Aging may solve the bitter problem, but then again this tobacco is supposed to be from 2011. There are worse cigars in this price range, but we can’t think of a reason to recommend this one.
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Flavor and Taste: 14/20
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
StraightUpCigars: Nice looking dark wrapper leaf on the Saison, and it has a pleasant fruit-like smell. Draw is tight on mine.
IamDarren: Medium draw here, about right. Very leathery looking wrapper, not much sheen. Nice construction though.
IamDarren: Hard to pick out a flavor on the cold draw, maybe cocoa. Slightly sweet with a bit of richness.
Terry1: Black wrapper. I wonder if it’s dyed. My cigar is drawing fine. I’m getting sweet cedar and barnyard type of notes on the cold draw. Ready to light.
IamDarren: me too
IamDarren: Looks like these were a very limited release. There was a First Harvest 2009 and 2011.
StraightUpCigars: I’m getting buttery smoke with cedar and some acidity/tannins.
IamDarren: Mine is nice and rich to start. Getting plenty of that hearty maduro flavor. Meaty and earthy up front with a little cedar and a hint of chocolate on the finish. Nice start.
IamDarren: Looks like we lost Terry
Terry1: Loads of smoke coming from the Saison. Creamy sweet chocolate, cedar, earth and a mild pepper in the aroma. After taste is all tannins and acid, like yours. Nose is happy, mouth not to much.
Terry1: Sorry I was trying to figure out the flavors. I’m slow tonight. Might be the heat.
IamDarren: Huh, well I hope your sticks start tasting like mine. No acidity or bitterness on mine.
StraightUpCigars: I’m sure they’ll come around.
IamDarren: boy am I glad my porch is on the east side of the house and there is a breeze. The summer heat is here to stay.
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, it’s been a nasty month.
StraightUpCigars: So I made the mistake of logging onto cbid… there’s a ton of new stuff out there. I feel like the manufacturers may be trying to push out all their new lines before the regulations.
IamDarren: I looks like CI is calling these Saison Maduro. Was finding nothing searching for first harvest 2011. They are still available. Looks like retail is 5-6 bucks.
IamDarren: So was the mistake logging on, or pulling out your credit card
StraightUpCigars: Credit card is stored in the system… even though we have plenty in our queue, we have a lot more coming
IamDarren: lol, you rock
StraightUpCigars: I figure it could be the last time to buy them affordably before the FDA screws us. I dunno.
Terry1: Loving the aroma and retrohale on this cigar. Sipping water has helped with the acidity. Ash fell off without warning.
IamDarren: I was pissed at Holts the other day. They put the 60 count boxes of Omar Ortez on sale for 1.50 a piece awhile back and I had to bite. Then I got an email deal the other day and they had reduced them again to a buck a piece.
StraightUpCigars: That’s insanely cheap!
IamDarren: yeah, don’t know why they are trying so hard to get rid of them. I have smoked a couple from my box and they are very good.
StraightUpCigars: Mine is very slowly getting a bit sweeter and earthier. Tastes pretty good right now.
IamDarren: ash is starting to get a little flakey on my cigar, going into the second third. Not much flavor change as long as I smoke slowly. I started smoking fast and got the tannin you guys were talking about so I slowed back down.
Terry1: I’m thinking the retailers still have two years to get rid of inventory. Doesn’t make sense to blow it now.
IamDarren: Unless they are going to get flooded with inventory and need to make room.
Terry1: Yeah I heard there are a LOT of new cigars coming.
IamDarren: Here is what I think. Most of the cigars that are coming to market right now were being sourced and blended several months or even years ago. Now they know that those new blends will have to be terminated so they want to get everything rolled and shipped asap while they can still make a profit.
Terry1: My cigar is getting sweeter too. What little pepper there was is almost gone. I’m starting the middle third and the tannins have faded. Really pleasant cigar for a hot night.
IamDarren: no doubt, glad there isn’t too much strength or I would be sweating.
StraightUpCigars: I think you’re right. IPCPR is this weekend too.
IamDarren: oh that’s right, trying to bring them to market for the show also
StraightUpCigars: I think it hits guys like Pete Johnsons the hardest – he’s got a million different small batch blends, none are older than 10 years.
Terry1: It’s going to be weird not anticipating anything new after August. I wonder what he’ll do for the monster series.
IamDarren: At the halfway. Mine has mellowed out a little. Very pleasant medium bodied smoke.
StraightUpCigars: Mine continues to mellow. I like it more and more, still maybe not as much as I expected to though.
IamDarren: Good time to buy a bigger humi. Will probably get some really good deals in the next year.
IamDarren: I probably won’t upgrade. I got rid of several boxes that only had 5 cigars left in them and made a lot of room
StraightUpCigars: That’s a good point, I’ll be keeping an eye out.
IamDarren: I’m just about ready to buy one of those electric humidifiers. The beads are having a hard time keeping it above 60rh in the summer.
IamDarren: bands came off with ease
StraightUpCigars: I’m surprised you haven’t already. They’re not all that expensive, last I looked.
IamDarren: I was going to at one point but I couldn’t decide how big. I was going to save some money and buy a smaller one and just take an old PC power supply and put a couple of extra fans in there.
Terry1: Great, we had a power surge and the network was shut down.
StraightUpCigars: That sucks. Random power surge?
IamDarren: i had that problem until i bought a battery backup. Best investment you can make.
Terry1: I’ve got a broken mini fridge that I’ll be converting to a humidor soon. Should hold about 400 cigars. I’ll be ready for the deals.
IamDarren: good idea. You can buy cedar trays on ebay for cheap
StraightUpCigars: Nice! I’ve finally made some room in mine the “hard” way.
IamDarren: what is the “hard” way? smoking more?
IamDarren: i actually threw away a box of cigars. Got a great deal on a box of padilla habanos. They weren’t terrible at first but after a few months of aging they lost all of there flavor and turned bitter.
IamDarren: not the regular habanos, they were some newer blend i can’t remember the name.
Terry1: That sucks. Never had to get rid of a box. Most I’ve had to do is pitch a half smoked cigar and vowing never to buy it again.
IamDarren: La Terraza, that’s it. They still sell the maduros but not the habanos
IamDarren: had a couple of those too
StraightUpCigars: I’ve given some to a family member, they don’t know the difference!
IamDarren: lol, i feel guilty giving away a cigar i know is crappy
Terry1: Wow that’s interesting to know about the La Terraza. Never tried the habano but I’ve been smoking through a box of the Connecticuts and I’m really like them.
IamDarren: I think it was an issue with the habano wrapper they were using. If you don’t ferment a habano leaf properly it is just spicy and bitter.
StraightUpCigars: Construction has been perfect on mine. I’m still not convinced on the flavor though, that acidity is back. Very un-Oliva like.
IamDarren: Well, it is an online exclusive i believe, so I’m sure they were either on a budget or CI had a say in the blending.
Terry1: I’m into the final third and agree, the acidity is back on mine. Flavors are disappearing. Pepper is gone, sweetness fading. Mostly earth and a generic ashy tobacco taste now. Trying to smoke slower to see if the flavors improve.
IamDarren: Mine is getting dryer and stronger. More pepper now on the finish. Still decent but I’m smoking slow.
Terry1: Last few puffs were better. Smoking slower helped. Feeling a touch of strength now with an inch left.
StraightUpCigars: I can feel it a bit too. I’d call it medium in strength. Smoking slow has helped, but not saved it for me.
IamDarren: same here, about an inch left
IamDarren: i may end mine early, acidity is really picking up
StraightUpCigars: I’m going to set mine down.
Terry1: I’m setting mine down too. Acidity is getting stronger no matter how slow I smoke. I can rate anytime.
StraightUpCigars: The middle third was decent with sweet cedar and earth, but the other two thirds were not pleasant for me. I hold Oliva in high esteem, so this comes as a shock. Not a fan of this particular stick, but there are worse out there for more money.
IamDarren: Not a bad cigar, but i agree Oliva should be better
Terry1: Middle third saved this cigar. Very good flavors in the middle. The start and end was overwhelmed by the acidity on the finish. Construction was great. I could recommend buying a few and sitting them down for a long rest. Age might help the acidity.
StraightUpCigars: I agree 100% Terry, I think the issue is age.
IamDarren: Considering they are from a 2011 crop i would have thought that they would have aged them properly. Oh well
Terry1: I agree. I was thinking the same thing. It should be ready to smoke now.