Cigar Review: Oliva Hellion Devil’s Due

After the success of the Wrath line from Oliva came their follow-up: The Hellion: Devil’s Due.  I smoked a Robusto, measuring 5 x 54.  The Hellion is handmade in Nicaragua with a Habano wrapper grown from a Cuban seed, and Nicaraguan long filler.  This cigar is considered a “puro” meaning the binder, wrapper, and filler all originate from the same place–Nicaragua in this case.

The construction of the Hellion is solid, with a dark appearance and smooth surface.  It is firm to the touch, and slightly spongy.  Sweet notes of leather and fresh soil are present in the nose before lighting and it presents a stiff but not unpleasant draw.  The unlit flavor is sweet, earthy, and green with hints of leather and hay.

Upon lighting I notice that the foot burns easily and emits a smoky aroma of burnt alfalfa.  My first draw was earthy and sweet with floral notes that continued through the first tercio (first third of the cigar).  From the start the Hellion has flavors of deep cedar wood, rich leather, and raw cocoa nibs, with a waxy feel in the mouth.  The slight bite of black pepper is present and subtly compliments the earthy flavors.

Moving into the second tercio the flavor of cocoa nibs evolves into a more refined chocolate taste with a red wine finish.  The cedar gives way to dark wood, toasted but not burnt.  Thick leather sapor pleasantly permeates the second tercio and continues into the third, along with earthy, woody character.

The third tercio is no less pleasant than the first two–an important characteristic of fine cigars.  The earthy character is maintained, decreasing only slightly in sweetness and never taking on a burnt taste.  Cocoa notes fade away, and hay darkens to smoky herbal flavor.  There is little tar build-up in the head, which makes the entire smoke more pleasant.  My only complaint about the Hellion is that my wrapper began to unwind, as did my smoking partner’s, during the first part of the third tercio.  The stiff draw present on pre-light quickly resolved itself at the beginning of the smoke.

The Oliva Hellion Devil’s Due may pair well with a sweet red wine with a mild flavor.

Summary:  The Oliva Hellion: Devil’s Due is a great every day cigar and can be enjoyed socially or in solitude by cigar aficionados of all experience levels and tastes.  It has a medium to full body and medium flavor, and satisfies without overbearing the palate.  This cigar may be a good choice for occasional cigar smokers and beginners, as the sweet floral notes are easily detected and appreciated.  Still, experienced smokers will appreciate the nuanced cocoa and woody earthiness present throughout.  This is, in my opinion, a cigar to keep in the humidor.

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