Fatal Halo Rating
Dimensions: 6” x 54 (Torpedo)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Tobacco: Nicaraguan Long-filler Ligero
Purchased at: Montecristo House of Cigar (Powell, Ohio – www.houseofcigar.net)
I read that this cigar was on Cigar Journal’s Top 25 list, so I figured I’d give it a shot and see what it was all about. Cigars by Olivia have never really been exceptional in my experience, but knowing that each blend has different characteristics and nuances, I’m certainly not going to pass up an opportunity to explore further – and being that this cigar rated pretty high among the others, I’m interested to see what it has to offer. Noted as a more “mild” smoke than others in its brand, it may provide just the cut off the top I’m looking for.
The wrapper itself is almost seamlessly rolled – looks as if it were rolled from a single leaf with no seams or breaks anywhere to be seen. Very nice job. The Habano wrapper itself is a little veiny, but doesn’t feel that way when I run my fingers along it. Very smooth and delicate. The aroma coming off of the wrapper is exquisite. Very aromatic. It has a sweet yet earthy aroma to it that is very pleasing indeed. The tightly bunched tobacco at the foot looks like the cross section of a fallen tree and I’m tempted just for a moment to count the rings as if that will be any prediction as for what’s in store! The strengthened aroma coming off of the foot is a little more earthy and roasted, but still very enticing.
The First Third
The cap clipped cleanly with no fraying and the cigar took the flame from my torch well and the draw was surprisingly perfect for a torpedo. Occasionally I’ll have some difficulty with drawing off of a torpedo because my guillotine cutter tends to smash the tobacco together and makes it hard for any smoke to pass through, but this one seems to be just fine for now. I wonder if it has anything to do with the way the ligero filler is rolled? It was certainly impressive to see it so finely packed at the foot before lighting it.
The first draw was a little strong, so I’m sampling it gently as the burn begins to even out. The aroma is unique to anything I’ve smoked before – somewhat difficult to pinpoint specific flavors, but I’m picking up a sweetness blended with coffee and spice which is very satisfying. That earthy/cedar-like aroma that was present on the pre-smoke is certainly still evident and even more pronounced now. Though the Daytona is toted as being more on the mild side, it will still likely pack a punch to the inexperienced smoker, but the flavors are certainly worth experiencing for yourself.
The Second Third
I am starting to have some real difficulty keeping this cigar lit – and I’m beginning to wonder if the torpedo cap is mostly to blame. I’ve had to correct the burn several times, relight once and re-clip the cap to try and get a better draw. The flavors remained pretty consistent throughout this segment of the cigar. Smoke was thick and heavy, but full of flavor – particularly pepper and spice. I really have to draw hard on it and give it a good couple of puffs before I get any substantial smoke to sample though. I’m beginning to wonder if the number of times I’m having to torch this cigar to keep it lit and to keep the burn even is charring the tobacco and affecting the flavor though as it is beginning to leave a bit of a bitter taste on my palate.
The flavors have remained consistent right up until the end. Nothing notable or revolutionary about it in my opinion. It is a milder version of some of the other Olivia cigars I’ve had in the past, but it wasn’t as complex a cigar as I was expecting it to be.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this one and not sure if the Olivia brand is really one I appreciate as much as the others. The cigar started off very well, but the trouble I had keeping it lit was maddening and really detracted from the overall experience. It was constantly canoeing in the burn and I’m sure at least half of the cigar was burned up just in the process of relighting and correcting it. Looking past the difficulty I had with that, the aromas and flavors just weren’t packing that punch I like to have in a cigar. Consistency is generally a good thing for some brands, but I was expecting more considering how highly it was rated by more experienced connoisseurs than myself. On the appearance and construction aspect, I give this cigar high marks, but the real proof of quality should always be on the smoking experience and for this one I feel it was a bit of a let down. I would like to think that maybe a different shaped cigar of this same line may smoke more evenly so I can give it a proper review, but I don’t see myself looking into buying another one any time in the near future.
Liked It?: I’ve had worse.
Buy It Again?: Not likely.
Recommend It?: Probably not.