Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Churchill
Size : 7.0″ x 50
Wrapper : Sun-Grown Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaraguan Ligero
Binder : Nicaraguan Habano
Price : $11 each
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The third installment of the limited Master Blends release from Oliva, the Master Blends 3 doesn’t seem to be all that limited. I had heard it is now a regular production cigar and it certainly seems that way given that they seem to be abundantly available. It kind of goes against the whole premise that the Master Blends were predicated on, using limited supplies of very high quality tobacco, they were never intended to be regular production cigars. It seems something has changed…
I am huge a fan of the original Master Blends release (see my thoughts on the original review in the comments section below). I recently had the privilege of meeting Jose Oliva and got him to sign my original Master Blends box. The original was a Nicaraguan Puro and it is a fantastic cigar. The Master Blends 2 sported an Ecuadorian grown Sumatran wrapper and was a little disappointing to me. The Master Blends 3 has a sun-grown broadleaf wrapper which raises my hopes for it as I find Sumatran wrappers to be very hit or miss. I do enjoy a good sun-grown wrapper though.
The MB3 is dressed in a dark brown, toothy wrapper with an oily sheen. Missing is the laser tattoo that adorned the first two Master Blends. The box-pressed churchill is a firm cigar with a good heft hinting at the abundance of tobacco that is packed into it. The construction on this and every Master Blends cigar I have smoked is impeccable. An ideal draw and an ash that holds its shape and hangs on tight. You have to break the ash off rather than simply tap it. Each puff delivers a thick cloud of smoke. The MB3 starts off with a short blast of pepper but very quickly mellows out. It is smooth and creamy with a slightly dry finish I like to refer to as “sun-grown twang” as it is a flavor I pick up on a lot of cigars with sun-grown broadleaf wrappers. About midway through the flavors get very woody. Lots of oak mixed with leather. In the beginning I thought this cigar would be on the mild side of medium but the further in I got the more it picked up, becoming more of a medium-full bodied smoke. The last third of the smoke was peppery and had a bit of a bite to it with a very dry finish.
I enjoyed the Master Blend 3 a good deal more than I did the MB2, but after a few of the MB3′s I have come to the conclusion that the original Master Blend is still the best of the series. But the fact is the original MB is no longer available and the MB3 seems to be in abundant supply. It is a good smoke and sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys a good sun-grown broadleaf wrapped cigar. I recommend giving it a try. At the very least you’ll enjoy it as a good smoke, and depending on your tastes you might find a new favorite.
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