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On a casual evening in Orange County last night at one of my favorite lounges, Cigar Oasis, I spent the evening with an old friend by the name of Ron Zacapa along with a tasty little lancero.

I've said before but I will say it again for anyone who missed it...I LOVE lanceros! If I could, I would smoke everything in that particular size. Before I get into the tasting notes, let me give you the blend break down this particular cigar:

Name: Oliva Serie V
Wrapper: Habano Sungrown
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: ligero from Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua
Lancero (7 x 38)
I paid $8.99 for this one.

Before lighting it, the foot gave off a pleasant leather aroma and it had just the right amount of sponginess to the touch. The wrapper was a beautiful dark straw or even caramel color with minimal veins and a light oil sheen. Using a straight guillotine cut, I snipped the cap and took a couple cold draws to test. It gave off an immediate coffee and cedar flavor.

Time to light. Using my favorite Rocky Patel double flame torch lighter I began to toast the foot and enjoyed the first couple puffs as they enveloped my tongue in coffee and caramel notes. There was a hint of cocoa on the finish and I was off to a very pleasant start.

After about 15 minutes in, I added a glass of Ron Zacapa XO rum, neat, as a wonderful compliment to this cigar. The mixture of sweet caramel and roasted nuts from the rum complimented the cedar, caramel and cocoas that I picked up in the cigar. The Oliva Serie V put out a nice white smoke with that same leather aroma noted on the foot before the initial light. The ash so far was solid and light grey.

Into the second third the Oliva Serie V picked up some espresso notes while continuing to carry the faint caramel and hints of cedar. I noticed a slight amount of black pepper through the retro hale, but it's finish was more along the earthy side.

Into the final third the flavors seemed to dance back and forth between cocoa, coffee, earth and a hint of oak. There was a bit more pepper this time on the finish than there was in the second third. I also noticed a little bit of tightness in the draw after the half way point.

Overall I found this lancero to deliver a medium to full amount of strength and flavor. It paired exceptionally well with the Ron Zacapa XO since they seemed to accentuate the hints of sweet caramel in each other. The draw could have been slightly better after the second half, but the overall construction and burn line worked decent enough for the price point.

I would smoke it again, especially in the evening after a long day. This particular cigar left me feeling very relaxed, but then again, most of them do!

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