Oliva Connecticut Reserve

One of the best Connecticut Shade Cigars?

How does one describe perfection?

When Oliva decided to temporarily deviate from their norm of making full-bodied cigars to a mild one, cigar enthusiasts had no idea what was in store for them.

Oliva Cigar Co. is a cigar giant renowned for exquisite full-bodied stogies featuring flavourful Nicaraguan blends and a myriad of impressive wrappers.

Lovers of the leaf cannot get enough of Oliva’s perfectly constructed cigars with aristocratic knock-out flavours and dainty poise.

Sometime ago, Oliva Cigars Co. decided to heed their customer’s pleas to create a cigar that novices as well as seasoned smokers can enjoy.

And they went all in. The result was a beautifully crafted Oliva Connecticut Reserve that took the stogie world by storm.

A Little History

The making of a good cigar is very intricate. So is the reception by cigar aficionados.

Oliva Cigar Co. is already renowned for complex, polished cigars that leave nothing to chance.

In fact, Oliva Cigars Co. is so hands-on with their stogies that they grow and roll all their premium smokes in order to maintain quality and consistency.

It is this focus, and the fact that it’s a family owned and run company that has grown Oliva Cigars Co. into the trailblazer that it is.

About Oliva Connecticut Reserve

Oliva Connecticut Reserve is a delectably mild handmade cigar rolled with Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long fillers, a Nicaraguan binder, and draped in a savoury Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut shade wrapper.

The Oliva Connecticut Reserve presents in 6 Vitolas; the Churchill (7.0×50), Double Toro (6.0×60), Lonsdale (6.5×44), Robusto (5.0×50), Toro (6.0×50), and the Torpedo (6.5×52).

This cigar is mild and sweet with a nutty disposition and plenty of refined, matured flavour. When you imagine the perfect cigar to start your day, this is exactly what you need. The makers of this stogie wanted you to experience a full flavour without the overwhelming strength.

Perhaps my experience of smoking this cigar in Robusto will give you a better picture.


My Oliva Connecticut Reserve Robusto is a stunning light brown stogie with clean invisible seams and almost no veins. The wrapper has a slight oily sheen and the double cap is flawless.

My inspection of this stogie revealed a tight body, very slight give in the construction, and absolutely no knots or soft spots.

A slight whiff of the wrapper gives off very subtle dry hay and cedary notes. I can barely smell any tobacco on the wrapper but the light woody notes are pleasant.

The cold draw has perfect resistance. Still, I can’t really taste anything solid, perhaps fleeting woody and earthy notes.

First Third

The first draw is simply delectable. This baby does not shy from wowing right from the start.

I can immediately taste sweet creamy butter leaning on a toasty finish; kinda like a graham cracker. There are definite hints of a floral, citrusy flavour mixed with dry hay.

A few draws in and I began to taste a bit of vanilla sweetness with a little spice. The citrusy flavour is more of a dried fruit savour, some sweet honey, and still more of the dry hay-now transitioned to dry leaves.

Retrohale brings out a long sweet tobacco finish with splashes of coffee and butterscotch.


As my Oliva Connecticut Reserve settles, the citrus flavours perfectly blend with fleeting floral notes, and flashes of pepper and cinnamon. Dark coffee, toasted nuts, sweet vanilla, and subtle premium tobacco notes hold down the fort.

This is perhaps the most enjoyable and perplexing part of this cigar experience. Even though the long finish felt a tad dry, the whole draw and beyond is enveloped in a delicious creaminess.

The Retrohale is a mix of the original buttery toast flavours surrounded by savoury oakiness, and a tangy orange citrus zing.

For a mild cigar, these flavours deliver a bang. If you are not keen, you would think this baby is gaining in strength but that simply isn’t the case. Strength remains a mild, maybe weak-medium, but the flavours are full-circle.

My Robusto burns famously with a razor-thin burn and lots of smoke output. The ash is a healthy silver-grey falling in thirds. There are no issues with the draw or construction; but then again, this is an Oliva!

Final Third

In the final third, flavours remain the same but still pretty interesting. There are no new flavours introduced but the same flavours keep interchanging.

Now dark coffee marries a sweet cedary and mild spice mix in the front of the palate. Sweet vanilla and dry hay stay constant while the long finish features lots of cream, dry fruit, and warm pleasant tobacco notes.

Towards the nub, the cigar gets a little warm, but pleasant. There is no bitterness or harshness even on Retrohale. You may notice a bit more peppery zing and much more sweet creaminess towards the end.

My Robusto smoked for a little over an hour. It was a badass smoke from start to finish and a great start to my day.

Seasoned smokers know that a Connecticut Shade leaf is the ultimate wrapper for a mild cigar. However, Connecticut wrappers tend to get bitter if they get hot especially towards the nub.

A good mild cigar should be able to balance this aspect and ensure you can enjoy your whole cigar without the bitterness.

The Oliva Connecticut Reserve is a superior stogie that manages to smoke down to the nub while maintaining a piquant superlative finish.

The Oliva Connecticut Reserve Price Point

In addition to being a delectable treat, the Oliva Connecticut Reserve is fairly priced compared to other cigars in its category. It retails from $6 to $10 depending on the Vitola.

Overall Review

In my opinion, the Oliva Connecticut Reserve hits all the right marks. It is a famously consistent smoke with exquisite flavours, superior construction, and great price to boot.

Its not just my opinion though, Cigar Snob Magazine gave it a whopping 91-rating in their April 2013 issue.

Whether you are a novice or inveterate, this cigar should be permanently in your humidor starting today.