A Feisty Stick, Oliva Serie V Lancero – Review

A Feisty Stick, Oliva Serie V Lancero – Review

The Lancero size is a non traditional cigar size or vitola. Many manufacturers simply do not make them, and others do so half-heartedly. Oliva, in the guise of the Serie V Lancero, does it with style and potency. Please allow me to explain.

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Mysterious Origins

The origins of the Lancero all swirl around the persona of the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. Stories claim many origins. –They were a favorite of one of his attendants, and he tried it and liked it.  –He came up with it all on his own and gave them out as State gifts to guests visiting Cuba. –Some say they were originally made in the Trinidad facilities as the Fundadore cigar, and still others claim the Cohiba Laguito #1 is the original, and production at Trinidad was after. However it began, it was the beginning of a love affair with the long, lean and elegant Lancero.

Oliva Serie V Lancero

A Worthy Challenge

The size is a challenge for several reasons. The standard accepted size is 7.5 x 38; that’s seven-and-one-half inches long with a 38 ring gauge. (Ring gauge is calculated in 1/64 increments — 64/64ths equal 1 inch.) ( Guys, ask your significant other to explain ‘ring’ gauge to you. 😀) So, the rub is that it is a long, narrow cigar that will show every flaw, and if crafted poorly, it will not even draw or stay lit. Add to that the limited area inside the narrow body for tobacco.

Wait for It….

Most Lanceros are naturally mild, so the manufacturer stresses their subtle nature and the elegance associated with them. Here is where the Oliva Serie V enters the picture and turns Lanceros on end. These are potent and flavorful without clubbing you over the head. Great spice and heady herbal notes, then BAM!  You get a great power note placing you on notice that this ain’t Castro’s chauffeur’s cigar, though still well-mannered and yes, a touch elegant. Plus, if you take it slowly, it rewards you with a balanced flavor + power delivery.

These smoke well but don’t rush them. Along the way, you receive baking spices, cedar, and white pepper. Lanceros should be savored and treated gently, or you will overheat and ruin them. So, don’t do that. Ease into a Lancero, and slow your roll.  In return, you will receive your money’s worth and then some, from the Oliva Serie V Lancero. I highly recommend. 👍

Brian for
The Smoking Monkey


6 thoughts on “A Feisty Stick, Oliva Serie V Lancero – Review”

  1. Hi

    I know a friend of mine who would love this product, as he is a keen cigar smoker. I did not know that cigars come in more than one size and it is mysterious that they come up with such a novel design. Cigar smoking is sadly in decline and only a few aficionados will want to buy them , but this product comes in a more manageable  size. 

    Do you think it is a good smoke for those who wish to try a cigar for the first time?



    • Antonio, Thank you for the question. You raised several questions, but The first is the main question. Paraphrasing; Is this a good first timer cigar? That is a straight forward question that I can answer in kind. While the Oliva Serie V is a truly admirable cigar, I would not recommend it for a brand new smoker. It requires patience and it is, despite it’s slim profile, a powerful cigar. I always recomend that new smokers start on milder cigars. The reason for this is two fold: 1) A milder cigar is easier and more forgiving to a new smoker. 2) You do not want a person unfamiliar with tobacco products to smoke a potent cigar it could actually make them ill. That’s the worst thing to do, because they might never have another if the think they are all like that. Plus, there are veteran cigar smokers whom simply prefer lighter bodied (milder) cigars and that is totally okay. So, start with a good quality milder cigar for your friend. Here are a few recommendations. Arturo Fuente – Gran Reserva Robusto. Perdomo – Reserve Champagne 10th anniversary ( not the Noir version) again Robusto size. Macanudo – Cafe or the Hyde Park size. Of course the Oliva brand has several offerings. The Connecticut Reserve Robusto and if you wish to get them a mild but Special cigar then try the Master Blends 3 in any size. They are excellent cigars. You alao mentioned the decline of cigar consumption and to a point that is true. Fewer people are enjoying hand rolled cigars, but those whom are, are enjoying the best varieties and broader profile choices of cigars that are unpresidented. The good news is that the core cigat folks ( ladies and gents) are better informed and better equiped to enjoy the ever evolving Art, that is Fine Cigars. Good luck to you Sir!

  2. a non standard cigar stick sizeis all I would love to get at this very time. Very glad to be able to read this and understand how it turns out to be a big challenge to may people. It’s the first time I am seeing something like this to be honest and you seem to possess so much knowledge about the underlying topic. That’s good stuff there.

    • Henderson, the wonderful thing about cigars is that they can appeal to anyone and everyone with an open mind to life experience. Cigars are by their nature a singular experience and that is fine. But, also true, is that sharing the experience of cigars with others almost always inhances the level of that experience. We as humans love to do things together, enjoying quality hand rolled cigars is no different. Add the fact that, cigars now come in a cornacopia of sizes and types and flavor profiles from mild to wild. That simply means that there are cigars for every cigar smoking palate. Your challenge, should you choose to accept, it is to find your new favorite cigar. Then when you find it, grab a few. Then go back out and find your new, new favorite cigar. I smoke a different cigar every day. I look at my humidor and think…..What sounds good today? It is wonderful to have that kind of quality and variety easily available where ever you are. It also does not require a huge investment. I rarely buy a whole box of cigars, without trying a few first. No one wants to buy a box of cigars they don’t like. You don’t have to. Pick up a couple of singles and try it, when you find what you like, then get a box. That’s the beauty and reality of todays cigar market. In the history of humanity there has never been a better time to be a Cigar Person. More brands, more exotic tobaccos and more new and exciting cigars than ever before. So, go exploring ! Cheers!

  3. We have this vitola in stock locally, and the reviews (including this one!) have me champing at the bit to give it a spin. I smoked a Hiram and Solomon Traveling Man lancero the same day you posted this, and was hooked on the lancero experience.

  4. firstly, I must admit that I am not a fan of smoking, although I have several close friends that do and I have no problem with it. However, I know so little about cigars and I must say that this post has been very helpful in helping me shed much needed light on the topic. The Olivia Serie V Lancero Feisty stick is intriguing and I’ll definitely be telling my friends about it. 


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