Nicholas Melillo began his career in the cigar industry working in a cigar shop in his home state of Connecticut. He would eventually wind up at Drew Estate where he become one of the top blenders. It is here that some controversy over the Liga Privada No. 9 line starts to emerge. Depending who you ask some might credit him with the creation of that blend, while others would credit Steve Saka. No matter who made that cigar, there is no doubting he is a Master Blender.
The Olmecs were the earliest known Mesoamerican civilization. They occupied the tropical lowlands of the modern-day Mexican states of Veracruz, Tabasco and San Andres Tuxtla. Today, this is the same region that grows some of the finest San Andres Negro wrapper tobacco.
Cigar Review: Olmec Maduro
Size: Robusto (5 x 50)
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli & Jalapa)
Debut: July 2022
Box Count: 12
The Cigar: Personally I think if you remove the band from this cigar it would be hard to differentiate from some Padron cigars. In fact despite that cigar being listed as a Nicaragua puro there are many who believe it uses a Mexican wrapper and the Natural and Maduro lines are just separated by color. This is similar to Olmec which both use the same wrappers with the darker being labeled Maduro and the lighter as Claro. The cigar features a black and almost orange band with a drawing of person from the Olmec tribe. In the hand the cigar is firm with no voices of tobacco.
The Taste: Once the cap is clipped and we pull on the cigar the prelight draw is very reminiscent of a Mallomar cookie. There are notes of marshmallows, cookies and dark chocolate that are easily identified. The aroma from the foot is a more traditional cedar and hay.
Once the cigar is lit notes of cedar, earth and cocoa emerge along with a subtle saltiness. The retrohale sees the addition of molasses, charred oak and espresso.
The second third sees charred oak and cedar with a hint of cocoa that is fleeting on the puff, but lingering on the finish. The retrohale continues to offer hints of espresso with the addition of pepper and cream.
As we finish our cigar it has continued notes of earth, cocoa, espresso and charred oak. The retrohale is exceptionally smooth with notes of red pepper, cinnamon and leather which is especially noticeable on the finish.
Conclusion: The Olmec can be difficult to find as it seems to be produced in lesser numbers then many of the other Foundation Cigar Company lines. This is flavorful and rich and comes off as very Nicaraguan which I and his fan base seems to enjoy. It’s worth a purchase.
Price: $13.50 (Before Local and State Taxes)