Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado – A Review by Ken York

by Ken York on January 28, 2014

Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado

BnB Price: About $13 a stick

The Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado is excellent. I’m a sucker for a Figurado – the tapering on both ends gives it that unique look and feel. Just sitting on my table I can look at this cigar and know that I’m in for a treat. The feel is solid, wrapper veins are minimal, and the smell tells you that all will be right in the world for the next hour. The Oliva Serie V Melanio is continually rated as top cigar by virtually everyone.  It’s in multiple top cigar lists of all time and it does not disappoint.

The cigar deserves your full attention. I clip the end while it’s still in the wrapper with a double-bladed cutter. I find this gives a cleaner cut. I break out the butane torch and toast the foot before inhaling. I take a puff and my mouth welcomes the tobacco, while I get a nice combination of pepper, caramel and other spices in the mix. This is a full-bodied cigar. Its wrapper is Ecuadorian, with the binder and filler Nicaraguan. The aroma says class.

The flavor shifts subtly as I smoke. The spice intensifies about midway through the cigar. The cigar canoes slightly, but rectifies itself without my intervention, a great sign. The band on the Melanio is large, but I wait until the burn is near out of habit.  The heat of the cigar loosens the vegetable glue allowing the band to come off easily. The glue should only go on the paper band itself, which is the case with the Melanio, but as we all know not every cigar is treated so respectfully and the glue can rip your wrapper.


I had originally planned to have this cigar out at the Little Washington Winery, but the recent cold smashed that idea. Instead I have it with a bottle of Trout Trilogy Malbec from Sawtooth Winery out of Snake River Valley, Idaho, and some thin-sliced, aged Manchego cheese from Spain. The combination works wonderfully.





Possible Score


Construction Fresh out of the humidor, how does the cigar look? Are large veins evident in the wrapper? Does the cigar have a firm feel to it?



Band Is the band an embarrassment that you wouldn’t want to smoke in public?



First Puff How satisfying is the very first puff of the cigar?



Draw Can the cigar be smoked without strain? Does it burn up too quickly?



Flavor Does it achieve all three notes? Does the flavor come through to the smoker sufficiently?



Aroma Is the aroma of the cigar while burning fragrant or offensive?



Ash/Burn Does the cigar produce a solid ash? Is it flaky? Does it canoe?



Value Bucks per puff. For the enjoyment is the cigar reasonably priced?



Possible Score




About Ken York

Ken York has written 19 posts in this blog.

Ken York is an international cigar writer. He was the unofficial travel correspondent for Cigar Magazine, which is now defunct (not his fault). His friends refer to him as the Dos Equis guy due to his wide range of experiences: Army, Air Force (with a week on an aircraft carrier too), linguist, reporter, actor, author, and he even has a bug named for him: Isoneuromyia yorki Evenhuis, a Vietnames predatory fungus gnat. He prefers medium-bodied cigar with a nice single-malt highlands scotch.

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