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#nowsmoking: Oliva Inferno Melt Churchill
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 7″ x 50, oval box-pressed
Wrapper: Sun Grown Broadleaf (Nicaragua)
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: High-priming Nicaraguan
Construction: Well-handcrafted with a sturdy, oval box pressing similar to the Herrera Esteli Norteño cigars, but a less extreme. No softs spots. Wrapper was even in color with a semi-gloss patina and a neatly-applied triple seam cap. Draw was perfect with a raisin-like pre-light flavor.
Dominant Flavors: Earth, charred oak, sweet tobacco.
Where it’s at: An attention-getting smack of black pepper got this ligero-laden beauty off the launch pad, but quickly jettisoned to reveal notes of earth and spice with black pepper on a long finish. As the cigar quickly settled to an even-keeled, full-bodied mix of earth and charred oak, the pepper had left the party. Flavors of earth and charred oak dominated the first act, while a light patch of sweetness surfaced.
For the most part, this Oliva-made Churchill issued a steady flow of dense, well-balanced smoke. The burn was even down to the nub exposing a mostly grey ash. Although the ash was pretty firm, it succumbed to gravity in half-inch nuggets. The earth and oak notes held true through most of the second act, and eventually took over the flavor profile. However, lighter puffs tended to release some of the sweetness off the wrapper, and the finish remained on the lingering side with more of the charred oak in the mix.
Although the Inferno Melt has a more than fair amount of ligero, to its credit, it was far from overpowering in strength. I could tell that it had some beef to it, and the smoke did run to the bolder side, but its smoothness and balance kept it from being a runaway freight train.
This Churchill was also highly consistent in flavor right through the final act. Some pepper returned in the final inches while remaining mostly earthy and woody. Although I paired it with coffee, the Inferno Melt seems like it was tailor-made for pairing after dinner with a fine bourbon or dark añejo rum. If you enjoy cigars like the Perdomo Estate Sel. Vintage Maduro or Henry Clay Stalk Cut, the Inferno Melt will hold its own quite nicely.
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