Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Herf #12 - Spring At Last

May 4th, 2008 - Sammamish, WA

In attendance were Fernand, Robert, Eric, Pat, and Joe. As usual, we gathered to enjoy a good cigar and give our opinion on it by holding a 'group tasting' following dinner.

The five of us dined at nearby DC's Grill in Sammamish. The steaks were very good and next we were off to Eric's back patio where we relaxed around his outdoor heater for the tasting session.

Our selection for this Herf was the Oliva Serie V Torpedo. A beautiful figurado measuring 6 inches long with a ring guage of 56. This Serie V was Cigar of the Week back on December 17th of 2007 which received a 94 from Cigar Aficionado's expert tasting panel.

Following CA's 4-part rating system (Appearance & Construction, Flavor, Smoking Characteristics, and Overall Impression) we began the tasting. This proved to be a very well-liked cigar among our group of ‘tasters’.

After averaging our scores, The Cohiba Club's official rating for the Oliva Serie V Torpedo is 90. An outstanding cigar.

Here's the points breakdown:
I. Appearance & Construction: 14 pts (93% of the points possible)
II. Flavor: 23 pts (92% of the points possible)
III. Smoking Characteristics: 22 pts (88% of the points possible)
IV. Overall Impression: 31 pts (89% of the points possible)

With an appearance of high quality construction, we couldn’t find much wrong with these torpedoes (though one did split from the foot not long after lighting). During the pre-light inspection, we detected a very sweet and rich ‘barnyard’ aroma along the wrapper.

As for the draw, a couple required a 2nd clip to get the airflow going then all agreed that these were beautifully smoking cigars. It should be noted that the smoke seemed a little thin, but this did not inhibit the experience.

The flavor was powerful up front! Very rich, but not really spicy like some others we've had recently. It was strong, but smooth in that there was little or no harshness or bitterness. We kept expecting the ligero in this full-strength cigar to sneak up on us, but it never happened.

All in all, a very enjoyable cigar which we highly recommend. The price is right too; we got them for around $7 (just under $8 with taxes). Why didn't we score it as high as CA, you ask? One reason may be that the flavor, as pleasant as it was, didn't have that complexity that you sometimes get. It seemed one-dimensional. There weren't any discernible like-flavors that we could pick out (except one of us thought he detected a cinnamon-like aftertaste in the finish). But then again, we're not exactly aficionados either. Bottom line - we did like it and a 90 is not too shabby.

In addition, a couple very nice liquors were consumed during this herf that deserve mention: A wonderful Pyrat rum with a mild, fruity, perhaps citrus flavor and a Dalmore's Cigar Malt. The latter possessed a hefty body with flavors quite complimentary to the Oliva.

Good times!

See you at the next herf, June 1st.

(click on images to enlarge)

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