Vindicator by Oliva is a Famous Smoke shop exclusive. I managed to grab 5 from the website for a review. I paired a variety of drinks, including red wine, coffee, and water. Here’s the description from Famous Smoke, which I found to be, for once, totally spot on:
“Vindicator by Oliva cigars are an all-Nicaraguan blend of triple-fermented Ligero and Viso longfillers in Habano-seed binders and wrappers. The smoke is full strength and impressively bold up front. Settling into the medium-plus range of body, they become almost deceptively smooth, with dark tobacco flavors balanced by a light sweetness. Best enjoyed with a drink on a full stomach. Try a box with confidence: as with all Olivas, you get super high-quality at a really fair price!”
Appearance & Construction
Construction on this cigar, after four smokes, was pretty much flawless. The wrapper is a rich brown with a reddish tint. No retouches, no relights, few veins, and very consistent throughout. The band seems to be, as others have put it, “a total rip off of Gurkha.” I agree. But, playing off of another brand is hardly an unforgiveable sin if the cigar is good. That’s what I set out to find on this cigar. On the foot, I get notes of spice, coffee, and something that reminds me very clearly of the cream soda I drank as a kid.
Flavor & Smoke Characteristics
I’m sure most readers will be a bit disappointed when I report that this cigar does not kick off with loads of cream-soda flavored smoke. However, I was excited to receive a nice initial kick of spice, followed by notes of roasted peanuts and cedar. Medium – full bodied smoke, with a really enjoyable retrohale. In the second third, the smoke remains fairly spicy, but the flavors deepen in richness and sweetness, and a slight slight grassiness appears as well.
In the final third, like clockwork, the spice picks back up and tickles my tongue.
Though this cigar has gotten less than glowing reviews on other sites, I would recommend trying this cigar – but you have to give it at least a couple of weeks before smoking it to let it settle. The first I had of my batch a few days after buying it was in dire need of some time. What is most special about this cigar (to me), is that in all four cigars I smoked, the retrohale was very, very satisfying, though for the life of me I couldn’t actually isolate the taste (readers – any idea what I’m tasting here?). A great $5 cigar – try it immediately.
UPDATE: The retrohale is, as best I can tell, a sort of tanginess