This week we offer up a double header cigar review! Oliva has entered the world of infused and/or flavored cigars with their introduction of the Café lineup. My cigar brother Chris Gwaltney did a pre-release review back in September of the Café Espresso and now that we have all three flavors in stock and have begun distribution, it’s time to talk a bit about these new offerings.
Like Mr. Gwaltney, I am not a regular smoker of the infused/flavored cigars but always keep a few around for a change-of-pace smoke. So let’s pour a cup or two of coffee and see what we have!
These three flavors, Espresso, Macchiato and Cappuccino, would be the perfect companion to that morning cup of coffee or that after-dinner cup. Being the die hard smokers that we are, both Chris and I decided on these as a breakfast smoke. Chris tried the Espresso with, of course, an espresso! And he found that to be a perfect match. I am going the cream and sugar path with my tastings as both the Macchiato and Cappuccino seem to warrant the lighter cup of joe.
First up is the Macchiato and I instantly get the aroma of milk chocolate and some creamy coffee notes. I clip the end and get a nice cold draw of very rich chocolate and I know right away this is going to taste great with my French vanilla coffee. I am not disappointed once I light up! This stick definitely has taste and all the right flavors to enjoy with a good cup of coffee. The sweet, rich chocolate and creaminess of a Macchiato definitely come through on this cigar without being overpowering. Just enough flavor to know it is present but still allowing the rich tobacco flavors to shine. The tasty Sumatra wrapper is the perfect match for this medium to full smoke, offering up a little sweetness and spice. The flavors hold all the way to the final third in this cigar and I was very impressed. The smoke stayed cool and consistent to the very end. The draw was a bit tight, but overall I would definitely try this one again.
Time for a third cup of coffee and also time to try the Café Cappuccino! This is a great looking stick with a Connecticut shade wrapper and I immediately notice the aromas of vanilla bean and a bit of spice along with hints of coffee. Just a wonderful aroma to this cigar! Great cold draw of rich vanilla, a bit of cinnamon and creamy coffee notes–another perfect match to a good cup of coffee. This smoke is very similar to the Café Macchiato but with rich vanilla instead of chocolate. It is also a tad lighter in body and more of a medium smoke due to the Connecticut wrapper. Flavor holds all the way to the end and maintains its coolness. Another very impressive smoke from Oliva!
My final thoughts are that I thought they were both great smokes. Will I add them to my humidor? Definitely! They are both good smokes if you like a breakfast cigar once in a while or a great cigar for that after-dinner smoke. I wouldn’t pair them with a fine Scotch whisky, but they are an outstanding cigar for a change of pace. The perfect blend that still gives the great tobacco taste.
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Gourmet Supervisor/Certified Retail Tobacconist
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