This is the second generation of the Master Blends, this time with an Ecuadorian grown Sumatra wrapper. (The Master Blends 1 was a Nicaraguan puro.) Oliva's farms in Ecuador have been producing wrapper leaf of tremendous quality in recent years, as evidenced by their use in Ashton's Virgin Sun Grown brand and Diamond Crown's Maximus cigars.
The Master Blends are limited edition cigars, with only 120,000 of the MB 2 churchill produced. The churchill measures 7 by 50, and is made in Esteli, Nicaragua. An interesting design flourish is the insignia below the band– etched into the wrapper with a laser, I'm told, to thwart counterfeiters. It also makes this cigar a little difficult to use in a blind taste test…
It's square pressed, and the cap is a little rough. Prelight the smell of the wrapper is fairly strong, and the draw is perfect.
It lights up easily and burns evenly. This is a medium bodied cigar that doesn't waver too much; though it does grow in strength, it never achieves a truly full body. The flavor profile is not extraordinary; no particular taste really jumps out at me. The aroma of the smoke is pleasant, but I can't really put my finger on any particular descriptor. There is an astringent, mouth puckering quality that I find with many Nicaraguan cigars, and the one distinguishing element I can identify is a semi-bitter aftertaste, like Columbian coffee. I'm not a fan of this taste, so I can't say I found it all that pleasurable.
The Oliva Master Blends 2 Churchill is a very well made cigar, and it commands a premium price. I would recommend it for fans of other Nicaraguans, but I would also advise prospective buyers to taste a few before purchasing a full box.