Gary Korb takes one more look at the Holidays with his list of top shelf cigars adorned with fancy white & gold bands. Whether it’s a last minute gift idea or a humidor-worthy primo to ring-in the New Year, you’ll find 12 of them all dressed-up and ready to smoke.
Flor De Oliva 6 X 50
The prelit taste is strongly barnyard, while the body smell is almost acrid. After toasting, it’s readily producing a moderate stream of semi-sweet smoke. The burn is already inconsistent after a few puffs, with a half-inch variance, mostly alongside the vein.
The cigar’s aroma and flavor pick up some sweetness by the first half inch, although the barnyard smell is still present, making up the flavor profile. Interestingly the ash’s range in color parallels that of the wrapper color. Despite this, the ash is firm, making inch-long tater tots of ash that are brilliantly white at its best, and mottled charcoal at worst.
While the aroma is pleasantly sweet, the flavor lacks a tremendous amount of depth and has a short finish. The flavor is surprisingly feeble, given the medium-bodied smoke. Because I love the Olivas’ regular lines, from Serie G to Master’s Selection, I find myself desperately hoping it picks up.
And pick up it does. At 4 inches remaining, the aroma is consistently pleasant, and a second plunk in the ashtray has revealed a conical cherry and even burn line. The flavor has shifted immensely to a foundation of medium roast coffee with mild notes of leather and semi-sweet chocolate, delivered in more robust, velvety smoke. The ash color has improved to a baseline of white-gray. While the flavor profile has become decidedly more complex, the finish is still somewhat abrupt.
Notes of aroma of leather become much more pronounced in final third, although the cigar’s base flavors remain the same. The cigar burned well from the second third to the nub. It became too hot to handle comfortably with less than 1 inch remaining.
Overall, I’d say this is a decent smoke, especially at less than $2/stick. I get the feeling that the burn issues contributed to the lack of flavor in the first 3rd, and a better-constructed stick would yield a better flavor profile and more initial depth.
Final Score: 7.5