In 2017, Oliva released their first regular production cigar since 2012. The name was supposed to be Facundo, but before going on sale the name was changed to Gilberto. The name Facundo comes from the son of Melanio Oliva and Gilberto Oliva Sr. The name was came about due to a trademark conflict with rum company Bacardi. The blend remained unchanged since the original project began. The Gilberto line is a vaule line with prices that range from $5.25 – $6.40. At launch, there were two versions of the Gilberto Reserva, the regular version, which uses an Indonesian Sumatra wrapper, Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan filler, and the Blanc which uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Ecuadorian binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Last year, the company released a third version “Noir” as a catalog company exclusive. Gilberto Reserva Noir uses Honduran Jamastran wrapper, Honduran binder, and Nicaraguan fillers.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
All blends come in five sizes: Robusto (5 x 50) — $5.80, Toro (6 x 50) — $6.10, Torpedo (6 x 52) — $6.40, Churchill (7 x 50) — $6.40, Corona (5 3/4 x 43) — $5.25.
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
Number of reviewers: 4 – Kevin A. (Kevin A.) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Jake P. (Jake P.) Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
Age: 8 Months
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
“Dark milk chocolate colored wrapper leaf with tight invisible seams. There is a little tooth to it along with a nice oily sheen. The surface of the cigar is a little bumpy and there a small veins visible throughout the cigar. It has a slightly spongy feel to it. The cap on this cigar is almost flat, making me consider punch cutting it, but I went ahead with a straight cut” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Dry fermented tobacco and raw almond can be found as to smell the body of this cigar. Taking a whiff of the foot you can find dark earthy aromas. Overall, it is a middle of the road cigar.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“I get notes of cashew and raisin in the prelight draw. The first few puffs give me more of the cashew and raisin from the prelight. Retrohaling almost immediately I get a mild black pepper note along with a oak like wood note that is very pleasant and really warms up the palate. There are also hints of cinnamon, baker’s chocolate and coffee in there all with a creamy undertone. Everything is blending together nicely making this a superb first third. I am very intrigued to see how this cigar progresses and am already making space in the humidor for a new box, I think it is starting off that good! Burn and draw have been superb with just a slight wave to the burn line. Ash is light grey and flaky.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“I though the first third was fantastic. Lots of smoke output. You started off with spice and a cracked pepper. Moved into some dark roasted flavors. At times I would get a very nice earthy bark note which played well with the pepper. Only downside was the draw was a little loose for me but didn’t impact the first third that much.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“Graham cracker becomes the main showcase on the palate. Baking spice can be found by smacking my tongue on the roof of my mouth. The retro has no changes. Smoke production has increased which has created a mouthwatering experience in this third.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“I was wondering if I would pick up on the cinnamon from the pre light aroma and I did at the start of the second third. Was also getting some black licorice. Toward the end I was picking up a bitter leafy green taste like arugula which was interesting, and some roasted peanuts.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“Getting into the final third, the sweet tobacco has faded, as well as the cashew and raisin. There is still
the cinnamon, baker’s chocolate and strong black coffee is the prominent note. Pepper, cedar and leather have entered the game, changing the cigar quite a bit, but in a great way. Strength has kicked up a notch, earning this third a medium-strong rating, while the body still remains full. The retrohale is still very pleasant with a good pepper burn. Burn and draw a still excellent and it was amazing to be able to finish the cigar with only the one ash drop! The ash even stayed put wrestling to get the band off to finish!” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“The cigar closes much like it started. Baking spice, wood, and graham cracker. The retro has been constant with little change. The draw has tightened back up causing me to set the cigar down just after taking the band off. What a shame.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Loose draw which was ok. I would have preferred a little tighter at times but I do not think it impacted the smoke very much.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“This is where the cigar shined. Clean and even burn that made me wish that the draw was better. Never needed a touch up.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The fact I got all the way through this cigar only needing to ash once says about all you need to know about the construction. The menagerie of flavors and the incredible burn make this one outstanding cigar!” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 88
“One word for this cigar, Excellent! This is one of those cigars that I would not hesitate to hand to any regular cigar smoker. I think there are flavors in here that would satisfy just about any palate, add in the fact that the cigar is maintenance free while smoking makes it a true win! I am not sure of the price point on these, but regardless of price, I would not hesitate on a box buy on these! There are not many cigars out there I could say that about” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“I couldn’t get pass the tight draw on this cigar. The only time it wasn’t a problem was the second third. During that time this was a fine cigar but the other two thirds were just too much work to enjoy.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“I really enjoyed this cigar. Burned nice at a great pace with some wonderful Flavors. Starting with the pepper and earth which moved into the roasted nuts and bitter veggie flavors. While I was smoking this I had a glass of bourbon which paired nicely. The sweetness from my bourbon and the bitter roasted flavors from the cigar was excellent. I look forward to seeing what this was so I can pick up more.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“Copy paper, fall leaves with subtle hint of raisin and cayenne.” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 75
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.