In 2007, Oliva held a meeting with his staff to gauge interest in creating a mild cigar. After hearing reports from staff that cigar smokers at events wanted full bodied cigars, Oliva shelved the idea of a mild cigar, and the Serie V was created. Once the demand was met for the full bodied cigar, Oliva again held a meeting to see if there had been any change in the perception of the cigar smoker, and this time staff reported that cigar smokers were looking for a milder cigar at events. Thus the Oliva Connecticut Reserve was created. This was in 2009. The Connecticut Reserve is available in five sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Torpedo: 6.5 X 52
Churchill: 7 x 50
Today I am smoking the torpedo for this Oliva Connecticut Reserve review.
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Connecticut
APPEARANCE: Upon inspection, the Oliva Connecticut Reserve is constructed beautifully. The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is a light to medium brown with visible veins. The wrapper doesn’t have an oily appearance and feels velvety to the touch. What I am noticing about this wrapper is the lack of flaws that a lot of Connecticut wrappers are prone to, such as discoloration or green spots. This wrapper is flawless.
PRELIGHT: Prior to lighting, I sniff the foot of the cigar to see what aromas I might pick up. While sniffing the foot of the cigar, I pick up very light tobacco and earth notes.
CUT: I cut my cigar with my Xikar guillotine cutter and check the draw. The draw is a little tight but not enough to hinder the experience. The cold draw reveals subtle cream and raisin flavors.
LIGHTING: I used my Xikar soft flame lighter to toast the foot of my cigar thoroughly before puffing on it to make sure it is nice and lit. With Connecticut wrappers, you have to be careful when lighting them, as the wrapper is fragile, and they tend to burn beyond the burn line which can cause the flavor of the wrapper to be bitter. The cigar lit easily, and I was able to not burn past the foot.
Now let’s get into smoking this cigar!!!
The first few puffs are surprising in that there is a kick of pepper on the retro hale that was not expected, being this is a mild cigar. The palate is coated by chocolate and coffee notes. The burn line started off razor sharp, but has begun to waver a bit. No touch up is needed at this time. The ash is holding steady, doesn’t fall off until almost 3”, and is a medium gray in color, almost metallic looking. There is little smoke coming from the foot. The smoke on the palate is smooth and silky. The aroma given off by this cigar is that of chocolate and nuts. I am about through the first 1/3 and the spice is all but gone. A cedar note takes over on the retro hale, the cigar is a mild to medium at this point, and the flavors have stayed the same, with the chocolate, cedar and nutty notes.
The second 1/3 starts out much like the first 1/3 ended, but soon evolves into a milder smoke. The flavors are now of cream, nuts, and a hint of spice coating the palate. The burn line is holding, albeit not perfectly straight, but no touch up is needed. The smoke is more plentiful and is still smooth and silky. Half way through the second 1/3, the cedar is back and the spice is gone. The cream and nut notes are still present. The ash is still holding strong and hasn’t become flaky, again lasting over 2” before falling off. The cigar is milder at this point.
As I get into the final 1/3, I have to do a slight touch up. Nothing major and it doesn’t affect the smoking of the cigar. The final 1/3 starts off with a slight harshness of toasted almonds being the predominate flavor, along with cream and wood notes. The ash is still holding strong, and the smoke is still smooth and silky. Half way through the final 1/3, the toasted almond flavor is coating the back of the palate, and the cream and wood notes come through predominately. As I get to the end of this cigar, the flavors all but dissipate, leaving a mild tobacco flavor as the only flavor detected. This cigar finishes very mild.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A good mild cigar to have with morning coffee. The cigar is mild in both flavor and body, with flavor notes that complement each other well. The Connecticut Reserve gets a 2/5 on overall strength score and a 2/5 on the overall rating. As a fan of a more full bodied cigar, this cigar would not find its way into my humidor or every day lineup, but if you are a fan of mild cigars then this cigar is for you.
SMOKE TIME: Will vary from person to person. This cigar took me 1 hour 30 minutes to smoke.