This pair was inspired by our pair with between Flor De Cana 18 year and Olive Serie V. The Serie V has been rated in the top 25 cigars by Cigar Aficionado for the last 5 years – two of those years it was ranked #1. I wanted to find out what one of Oliva’s best cigars from 10 years ago tasted like as well.
Flor De Cana is made just 140KM away from where the tobacco was grown for the Oliva Ole Maduro, in Nicaragua. Both companies were founded within 4 years of each other in the last 1800s. The tasting notes and strengths of each components seemed to line up perfectly. So how did they do?
About the Oliva “O” Olé Maduro
It was very difficult to find information on this Nicaraguan cigar. Made in 2003, the “classic” version was rated a 91 by Cigar Aficionado and was ranked #9 in their Top 25 for 2005. This Maduro version was rated a bit lower at 88 points which is still a respectable score. Despite being nearly 10 years old the wrapper was still beautiful and rich and very well built. The cellophane and label were slightly yellowed from the rich oils.
This cigar is very earthy and leathery with vanilla and black pepper notes. We found the flavour of this cigar did not change too much throughout the smoke. The draw had a good amount of resistance but still produced a good volume of smoke.
About the Flor De Caña 18 Year-Old Centenario Gold Rum
All rums by Flor De Cana are slow aged naturally with no additives or accelerents in traditional un-airconditioned aging rooms. This rum has won double gold medals at the 2006 & 2008 San Fransisco World Spirits Competition and is rated a 94 by tastings.com. It is full-bodied with rich complexity. It smells of chocolate, caramel and tobacco leaf. Smooth in the mouth it tastes like brown sugar, coconut and dark chocolate. The finish is long and bites back with spice, oak and vanilla. This is a great rum to enjoy any time.
Pairing Flor De Caña 18 Year-Old Centenario Gold Rum and Oliva “O” Olé Maduro
We sipped the drink first and really enjoyed the sweetness and full flavour but with a long sharp finish that I hadn’t noticed in other higher-end rums. We cleansed the palate a bit with some water and tried the cigar. It was a bit tough to get going – the draw was quite tough but opened up after the first 3/4″. The flavour was full but not over powering and was a maduro you could smoke any time. When we sipped the drink it seemed that the sweetness was almost gone and we were left with just the strength of the drink with that sharp finish. Going back to the cigar our palates opened back up and we were able to taste the finer notes of the smoke.
Overall, we didn’t mind what happened to the drink though it wasn’t what we expected. I think that this pair works well for people that enjoy stronger drinks and it in fact led us to start a new category for “Strong Pairs“. If your drink of choice is typically in the whiskey family, give this a shot – I think you’ll enjoy it!
We also tried the Flor de Cana with the Oliva Serie V which went well. I tried this cigar with Taylor Fladgate’s 10 Year Tawny and didn’t feel it went well.