Made by: Oliva
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Ring Gauge: 50
I paired The Bear and The Nightingale with the Oliva Connecticut Reserve based on the sips selection more than on the book. To honor the Russian folklore within the book, I chose Stolichnaya Elit vodka; vodkas are not normally paired with a cigar because their lighter taste is often overpowered by the cigar flavors. Because of this, I chose Oliva’s mild Connecticut Reserve. The Connecticut Reserve has a slightly oily sheen and is a deep, golden brown that feels good in the hand. It smells like sugary marzipan and espresso.
The cigar lights easily with a v-cut and has a surprising amount of smoke; I am well pleased with the first inhale. After showing off all it’s visual appeal, the cigar provides an unexpected amount of tobacco and toasted almond flavor. I am concerned it may over shadow my vodka after all, but it quickly settles on the second inhale into buttered toast.
It burns a little quickly but evenly and the smoke remains abundant into the second third, where it continues to be easy on the palate. The nutty taste is complimented by a little pepper and some wood flavors, keeping a note of the coffee. It continues to smoothly build in flavor but maintains an overall, incredibly creamy flavor.
Overall complex and savory, the mildness of the smoke does not keep it from flavor. It’s consistency was impressive and it went well with the Stolichnaya Elit and complimented the rich flavor of storytelling in The Bear and the Nightingale.