Cigar Intel 2013 Cigar of the Year – Oliva Serie V Melanio

This is our second annual Cigar of the Year Award, or simply to make Google happy in the search criteria world, the Cigar Intel 2013 Cigar of the Year. (Take that Google!)

At Cigar Intel, we do things differently. We are normal people who smoke cigars just like the rest of you. In presenting this award, we didn’t follow the methods of the likes of Cigar Aficionado (who we love) and other cigar magazines and sites. We used our own criteria to select the Cigar Intel 2013 Cigar of the Year. And seeing as how we don’t have statisticians, research analysts, or the like on our staff, we went old school. Our 2013 Cigar of the Year criteria is simple; we selected the cigar that we smoked the most of all year. The cigar that our friends asked to bum from us. And the cigar that our acquaintances admired and snagged a few from us. This is the cigar that we smoked while hanging out at cigar bars, working on this website, and enjoying life. This is the cigar that we handed out to the people we wanted to impress and the people we wanted to enlighten.

Cost was not a driver in our decision and the cigar we chose is not cheap. Size, color, shape, or origin had no play in our decision. Strength was not a factor in our decision but the medium body certainly played well with a variety of our fellow cigar smokers. Look and feel was not a criteria but this cigar sure felt good. It wasn’t the prettiest cigar we’ve smoked or the best constructed.

To be honest, in the end, we didn’t really give a shit about any of these things when it came to selecting our 2013 Cigar of the Year. We only cared about selecting the best tasting cigar. So, it is time to unveil the Cigar Intel 2013 Cigar of the year. . . (drum roll please). . .

Oliva Serie V Melanio


4.5″ x 46 Petite Corona

5″ x 52 Robusto

6.5″ x 52 Figurado

6.5″ x 52 Torpedo

7″ x 50 Churchill

Style: Churchill, Figurado, Petite Corona, Robusto, and Torpedo. We smoked them all and they were all fantastic.

Wrapper: Ecuador

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium to Full. OK, Oliva describes the cigar as full. If it is truly full, it is the smoothest full bodied cigar we’ve ever smoked. If you are not into full bodied cigars, do NOT be put off. Just try one. . . or five.

Price: $6.80-$11.90 per stick. Note that Oliva Serie V Melanios come in boxes of 10.

Source: We bought boxes of these cigars from a variety of locations, both online and brick and mortar.

Propaganda: The Oliva website provided the following information. The Oliva Serie V Melanio is hand rolled using expertly fermented ligero fillers, leaves known for their robust and rich flavor. Five years in the making, this special cigar is sure to exceed a premium cigar smokers’ highest expectations. The Serie V is full flavored yet smooth. The long filler tobaccos are a blend of Oliva Nicaraguan Habano that emphasizes tobacco from the Jalapa region, an area known for a more nuanced leaf than the Esteli or Condega regions. This carefully aged Jalapa blend produces a particularly flavored smoke.”

Look:  This is not the prettiest cigar in the world. For most of the Oliva Serie V Melanios we smoked, the wrapper was mottled with a chestnut color and a light brown color. Veins were minimal and most of the cigars we smoked had a slight oily sheen to them.

Feel:  The cigar is box pressed and firm throughout. The wrapper is silky smooth and leaves a small amount of oil on the finger.

Smell: Before lighting, the cigar had a faint woody and nutty odor. After lighting, the cigar smoke had a sweet smell. Perhaps a faint hint of the perfume from the thighs of the 20 year old virgins who rolled the cigar (at least in our mind).

Taste:  Oliva states that this cigar is full bodied. We disagree but we have to admit that some of the cigars started out pretty strong. Just smoke about an inch and the cigar will mellow out to a wonderfully smooth smoking experience.

 Location: Pretty much everywhere we could smoke a cigar in 2013.

Accompanying Beverage: Iced tea, beer, port, Pepsi Max, etc. depending on the setting.

Other Comments: We’ve never once commented on the packaging of a cigar but the packaging of the Oliva Serie V Melanio is impressive. Opening a box of Oliva Serie V Melanios is like opening an Apple product. No expense was spared creating a professional and pleasing aesthetic. From the box to the marketing materials to the fancy wrapping paper to the ribbon to the band, the Oliva Serie V Melanio is one class act. Every time we open a box to pull out this great cigar we are impressed. We know it doesn’t change the taste but it is definitely a plus.

Rating: It doesn’t get much better than this. This cigar is exceptional and the Cigar Intel 2013 Cigar of the Year and a Nubber Classic!




c.gar loves all things cigar-related. He typically falls in love with cigars that are discontinued shortly thereafter. His first cigar was a Swisher Sweet with a wood tip. Sadly, these are still in production.

2 thoughts on “Cigar Intel 2013 Cigar of the Year – Oliva Serie V Melanio

  • January 1, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Dear Olivia,

    c.gar and I are about to run out of these. Please send more.

    Smokey Butts

  • December 18, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    In 2013, NCR Cigar picked the Oliva Serie V Melanio as our cigar of the year. One year later, Cigar Aficionado magazine picked the same cigar as their cigar of the year.


    We will announce the NCR Cigar 2014 Cigar of the Year in early January. Dear Cigar Aficionado Editors. . . Feel free to benchmark us!



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