The Oliva Cigar Company introduced a new cigar during 2009, called the ‘Cain’. It comes in four sizes, Toro – 6”x50, Robusto - 5.7"x50, Torpedo – 6”x54, and a Double Toro – 6”x60, and is available in a Maduro or Habano wrapper. Okay, so this sounds like a lot of cigars out there, but what makes this new offering by Oliva unique? This new blend is 100% ligero tobacco! You heard me, wrapper, binder and filler are all ligero, which some smokers are going to say, “I won’t smoke ligero cigars because they are too strong.” Well, I think Sam Leccia (Mr. ‘Nub’) has challenged all of us to try this very interesting blend and see how it measures up to Oliva’s Serie V, which is a double ligero. The best I can say before even lighting up is that the combination of aged ligero tobacco from Estili, Condega, and the Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua really caught my interest, and most of those who have read my reviews know that I love tobacco from that region, as it is some of the best tobacco growing country in the world. Let’s see how the Oliva Cain measured up. For this review, I smoked a couple of 6”x50 Toro's, one in the Habano wrapper and the other in the Maduro.
Draw and Construction
The Oliva Cain cigar had great wrappers! The Maduro wrapper is a San Adreas Mexican Maduro leaf. Nice dark brown with no large veins, very firm and a pre-lighting coffee flavor and a near perfect cap. I switched around my writing and am offering comments on the draw and construction first, since this presented itself as a near perfect cigar. I almost always punch my cigars for smoking, and this one gave me a nice 1/8” thick plug from the cap (I used a 7mm punch). The draw was a good as it gets, which was free and easy. The lighting was also good and the burn perfectly even. The ash broke at only 1” but, that was after 35 minutes of smoking, so this is a very slow burning cigar. The entire cigar burned down to 1 ½” before I finally set it down, and that was after 2 hours. The one thing I will say for Oliva on the construction of this cigar is that the wrappers are great and do not damage, split, or peal like a few of their other blends. Kudos to Mr. Leccia.
Flavor and Aroma
I have to clarify my favorable rating of this cigar. This is a cigar that is certainly a bold smoke. I say that but I must also say that it is not a typical ‘bold or strong’ smoking cigar that you might experience from a ‘La Flor Dominicano Chisel’. It is a ‘smooth’ bold cigar, which means it has lots of great aromas and flavor but smooth on your pallet. You might even say that it is a ‘full flavored’ cigar in the medium to bold range, but not harsh. The strongest flavor is coffee of course, and it is like a nice strong French roast or Italian espresso. The other flavor is that of chocolate, but the dark bitter type. The cigar at least for me remained consistent throughout the entire smoke, but I did notice a small amount of spicy peppery flavor as I neared the end. The biggest difference between the Maduro and the Habano is that the Maduro was actually a bit smoother with no spice at the end.
This is an unbelievable value, and I found boxes of 24 online for a low as $96 (which puts this at around $4/stick). However, prices at typical mainstream cigar retailers can be more than one dollar per stick higher (it pays to shop around). To smoke a great cigar at that price in today’s market, with all the additional taxes, for as low as $4 a stick?!?!? Wow, now that is a good deal. And, at a NUB/Cain even at Monte’s in Albuquerque during September 2009, I had an opportunity to tell Sam Leccia that he had hit a home-run with this new blend.