Oliva’s foray into the world of full strength and bodied cigars didn’t start with the Cain, but Serie V. The Special V Figurado bares a stunning resemblance to Ashton’s San Cristobal Maestro, and Diamond Crown’s natural and maduro Figurado; the similarity ends there though, weighing in at 6×60 with a Nicaraguan sun grown wrapper, a proprietary Nicaraguan binder, and filler composed primarily of Jalapa Valley ligero. Oliva has been known to provide tobaccos for various Fuente products e.g. the wrapper on the King B, the wrappers for all of the Maximus cigars (excluding Stanford’s 90th).

The Sun Grown wrapper is a tawny, milk chocolate color; smelling of butter, cinnamon, curry, mocha, mustard seed, and peppercorns.

There’s a hint of anise on the pre-lit/toast draw; the wrapper tastes of alum salt, cedar, cinnamon, cracked white peppercorns, espresso, paprika, and white chocolate. The wrapper also has a nice oily sheen on it, and a finely toothed grain as well.

The 36 ring gauge foot smells of caramel, cedar, cinnamon, tarragon, and toast.

Putting out little smoke, albeit white in complexion, and smelling of cashews; and on the palette there are hints of cracked black & white peppercorns, espresso, hickory, leather, mesquite, pecans, and tarragon.

Thirty minutes and a half of an inch in, and burning on a fairly even foot, and ringing in two millimeter bands. Drawing slowly but effortless, with additional hints cashews, cedar, cracked black peppercorns, cumin, ground espresso beans, mesquite, paprika, and thyme.

An inch and forty-five minutes in; a pronounced yet subtly present cone of ligero on the foot. Ample amounts of smoke are coming off of the foot; an aftertaste of Cuban coffee and espresso on the palette and tongue, with hints of bell peppers on the nose.

Three and a half inches and an hour and fifteen minute in; it’s rather a medium-full body and strength cigar, with varying complexity. The smoke on the nose here smells off of the foot smells of coffee grounds and molasses.

A partial inverted canoe at the three inch mark popped up an hour and a half in. The throughout the whole length of the cigar the ash has been extremely solid.

No particular shift in hints on either the palette or nose. One hour and forty-five minutes, and the oils are just exuding from the wrapper now, and a subtle canoe has taken shape on the foot by about fifteen degrees above the even burn, at two and a half remaining inches.

A hint of caramel wafts around the nostrils from the foot, hints of butter, cracked black peppercorns, freshly brewed espresso, leather, Madeira, oak, and vanilla extract on the palette and tongue. Two hours in and two inches remaining, there’s an after taste of toast on the tongue.

In comparison to the Serie V 7×38 long panatela (lancero) is noticeably stronger and has a stronger body to it; where as this salomon-like figurado is most definitely medium in body and strength. Though this is a tasty stick and ought not to be dismissed due to its lack of complexity and potency, it has sufficient flavor and impact for what it is; and it’s also easier to come by than its panatela brother.

Purchased from Davidus Cigars on Rockville Pike, Maryland 20852; on June 11th 2010, for 9.50$ before tax.