Cigar Reviewed: Oliva Gilberto Reserva Blanc Corona
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Covered in a light brown wrapper that is quite smooth to the touch, the Gilberto Reserva Blanc Corona is thin and light when held in your hand and features a trace amount of oil. Taking off the cedar wrap reveals a few major veins up and down its length and the cigar is fairly dense when squeezed, allowing just a little give. Aroma from the wrapper brings notes of manure, dark cocoa nibs, espresso beans, barnyard, and strong cedar along with a touch of white pepper, while the cold draw feature extensive creamy oak, nuts, leather, pencil lead and the same white pepper.
Although the Gilberto Reserva Blanc Corona takes a while to get lit, once it does there are strong notes of salted peanuts, barnyard, hay, dark cocoa and slightly bitter espresso beans. While there is some noticeable spice on the tongue, it is not that overt as of yet, and there is a fair amount of white pepper on the retrohale that seems to actually be getting stronger as the first third continues. In addition, there is a nice—albeit not overly strong—nougat sweetness on the finish that combines almost perfectly with the peanut note in the profile. Construction-wise, the draw is a bit open for my tastes, but the burn is excellent so far. Smoke production is surprisingly massive as well as dense in body, while the overall strength hits a point halfway between the mild and medium mark by the end of the first third, although I can tell it is going increase.
The nougat sweetness gets a bit stronger during the second third of the Gilberto Reserva Blanc Corona, while both the white pepper on the retrohale and the spice on the tongue have dissipated for the most part. The dominant flavor is a creamy oak mixed with bitter espresso, while other notes include leather, earth, hay and salted nuts, with the citrus note that is quite strong at times. Thankfully, the draw has tightened up a bit, while the burn continues to impress me with its consistency. The strength has increased a bit, and manages to make it to a point close to medium by the end of the second third, but seems to stall out there.
Unfortunately, the nougat sweetness decreases noticeably in the final third of the Gilberto Reserva Blanc Corona but remains a major part of the profile. In addition, the white pepper on the retrohale has made a bit of a comeback, although it is still below the levels of the first third. Other flavors in the profile include oak, hay, creamy nuts, leather, peanuts and dark cocoa nibs leading the way, along with the ever present citrus. The draw has tightened up a bit more, but the burn has to be touched up a couple of times before the end, and the smoke production is still quite high. As expected, the overall strength does not increase noticeably from the second third and I put down the cool to the touch nub with a little more than an inch left.
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