Bolivar (Habanos)

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia

Bolivar Libertador Edición Francia. This cigar is released three times. First in 2006 as an edicion regional for France. A year later, another batch was released, also for the French market. This particular cigar hails from the second release. Those releases came in boxes of 10 or dress boxes of 25. The cigar that we smoke for this review comes from a dress box of 25. In 2013, the cigar returned as a semi-regular production but exclusively for the La Casa del Habano franchise stores. The La Casa del Habano version only comes in ten-count boxes though.

I was gifted this beautiful, fat cigar by a friend. We were smoking a cigar pairing it with Cohiba cognac by Martell at his beautiful home. He brought out a box of these beauties and said “why don’t you do a review of these”. A task we happily accepted. The 6½x54 Sublimes has a reputation, and we had never smoked one. So to be able to review a vintage version is an opportunity we could not pass.

The cigar looks good. A nice, evenly colored wrapper. Just one vein. But the wrapper looks dry. Not dry as in no moisture, but dry as in not oily. The triple cap is beautiful. The regular Bolivar ring, with the gold, yellow and brown looks good on the shade of the wrapper. As with most Cuban rings, the exclusivo ring and the regular ring don’t really match. The cigar feels quite hard. There isn’t a lot of aromas left after thirteen years of aging.

The cold draw is good. Lightly salty with a little bit of black pepper. Once lit, the salt and pepper are hardly noticeable. The cigar has a nice honey sweetness with leather. The flavor then turns to dry leather, sweetness, and cedar. Mellow and smooth, this cigar tells you it’s aged. The second third starts with a pronounced coffee flavor, with spices, leather, cedar, and honey. The flavors gain strength as well. The mouthfeel gets dry with coffee, earth, honey, and leather. The same flavors keep lingering around, one stronger than the other and then switching. The honey remains pronounced. Coffee keeps coming back, with leather. In the final third, the earthiness is getting stronger with some more spice and pepper. It has that typical flavor of an aged Cuban cigar that cannot be found in any other cigar in the world.

The draw is good. The light gray ash is pretty and quite firm. The flavors of the cigar are smooth and balanced. In the first third, it’s clear that this is an aged cigar. The cigar starts to show character in the second third, before that it was mellow at best. The smoke is now nice and thick. White and a good volume of smoke as well. This cigar starts mild and grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is three hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Boxes with this age are impossible to find.

Categories: 91, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Bolivar Coronas Extra Vintage 2003

Bolivar Coronas Extra Vintage 2003. You won’t find any of these cigars post-2012, as the cigar was discontinued in that year. But the sample that we are reviewing is from 2003. This is one of the many cigars that Habanos and Cubatabaco have discontinued in the last 20 years in favor of thicker cigars that seems to be catered for the American market. The American market is a no-go area for Cuban cigars, yet a big portion of the yearly production of Cuban cigars ends up in the United States through webshops anyway. And Habanos is catering to that market, by making Cuban cigars thicker and thicker as that’s where the demand from the United States is. Small rings suffer the consequences of that trend.

As for this particular cigar, it comes from the collection of a serious collector of Cuban cigars in Greece. The cigars have been aged for 16 years in the box, which led to the cigar being box-pressed. But not a factory box-press, a natural box-press.

The Colorado Maduro wrapper looks great. Beautiful color, nice shine. On the side of the cigar are a few veins. The Bolivar ring is the classic one. The portrait of Simon Bolivar on a yellow background. But honestly, if Simon Bolivar saw the way he was portrayed, the artist would probably be killed on the spot as it’s not a flattering painting. The triple cap is nice and the cigar feels well packed. No hard spots, no soft spots even though the cigars come from some troublesome years when the Cuban industry had a lot of issues with the construction of cigars. That came through an influx of new rollers and declining quality control. The aroma is almost gone, there are a mild forest and barnyard smell.

The cold draw is good and has a spicy flavor. Pepper, cinnamon, and toast. Once lit, the flavors are muted. Mild. A little leather with some spices. A faint pepper. But from Bolivar, more is to be expected. A little sweetness shows up underneath the leather. Slowly the pepper gets a little stronger, and some earthiness replaces the leather. The leather doesn’t disappear at all though, and a mild toast flavor is noticeable after a third as well. Halfway the cigar picks up white pepper. The sweetness is getting more pleasant and the flavors seem to pick up a little. There’s even a hint of milk chocolate and some cedarwood.

The draw is fine and the silver-gray ash is nice. The smoke is good, thick, enough volume and white. The cigar is medium-bodied, and overall medium flavored. It started mildly flavored but the flavors progressed to get better and stronger. The smoke time is two hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Nope

Categories: 87, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Bolivar Super Coronas Edicion Limitada 2014

I don’t smoke many Cuban cigars anymore, due to the many issues with Cuban tobacco and cigars. But when I was still smoking cigars, my favorite brand was Bolivar. Not the best Cubans I have smoked, that title goes to the discontinued Punch Black Prince from the late 1990s. But a regular production favorite, that was Bolivar.

A friend gave me this Bolivar Super Coronas Edicion Limitada 2014 recently and I decided to do a review. I like the 5½x48 size, 44 would have been even better but I can live with a 48. And with five years of aging, this has the potential to be a great smoke, if the quality control is up to par.

The cigar looks good, a perfect triple cap on an even brown wrapper. No veins. The specific brown of the wrapper fits perfect with the Bolivar ring. And that ring is one of the nicer Cuban rings in my humble opinion. The gold comes back in the Edition Limitada ring, so it all fits. The cigar feels well constructed. Even though the cigar has been aged for a few years, I still smell some ammonia under the hay aromas.

The cold draw is Cuban. And I mean to say that the cold draw is tight, very tight. And that causes a mild cold draw flavor of just tobacco. After lighting, I taste sweet coffee and leather. The leather and sweetness become the main flavors, all nice and strong, yet smooth. On the background, I taste some minty green herbs, some freshness like lemon basil. About a centimeter in, I taste a mixture of leather, sweetness and white pepper. But the underlying complexity of fruity citrus acidity and fresh herbs make the cigar very interesting. Halfway the flavor is mainly leather, with some earthiness and a little spice. I taste a hint of hazelnuts and still that fruity vinegar. Then suddenly I taste roasted coffee beans. Then I get his with a nice dose of chocolate as well, but with that coffee flavor on the back. A few puffs later, there’s also a faint vanilla aroma off just a short while. The leather is getting a little bit stronger and the pepper turns from white to red. The pepper gains strength in the final third, with cocoa and roasted coffee beans on the background.

The draw is tight. And a tight draw affects the smoke, which was poor. The burn is good, and the ash is like a stack of dimes before it breaks off. The cigar is complex. The smoke time of this medium-full flavored and bodied cigars is two hours and twenty-five minutes

. It scored a 90 but could have been a 93 with better construction and smoke.

Would I buy this cigar again? I would not mind a box, or two


Categories: 90, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars | Tags: , , ,

Bolivar Especiales No.2 Exclusivo Alemania

This is the fourth lancero review and it’s a Cuban cigar, a German regional edition. When I started to smoke cigars and was uneducated I smoked a lot of Cubans and my favorite brands were H. Upmann, Bolivar and Punch. And I fell for the marketing too, hunting down regional editions even though it’s not made with limited tobacco, alternate blends, it’s just the regular blend is a limited made vitola, nothing special and nowadays Cuba seems to produce more limiteds than regular production cigars with the anejados, limiteds, gran reserva and regional editions. Once I realized the bull shit of the regional editions I stopped chasing them but when I read about the Bolivar lancero aka Especiales No.2 as a regional edition for the German market in 2009 I knew I had to buy a few as I love that vitola.

So once they were released I got in my car and drove all the way to Dusseldorf, to the biggest lounge in Europe with the biggest selection in Germany including a lot of shop exclusive cigars. Cigarworld is more than just a shop with a huge selection and a beautiful and big lounge, on the second floor they have a smaller lounge and a smaller humidor that is reachable either by a stair from the lounge or from a separate entry on the side of the building and that humidor and lounge are an official La Casa del Habano with all the unique LCDH releases. Since I’m not into Cuban cigars a lot it doesn’t mean a lot to me but I can understand that it’s a great move from owners Marc & Patricia Benden to include a LCDH at their location because it still appeals to a lot of people and now they get all the LCDH releases and way more of the limited editions than non LCDH shops. Completely off topic, but if you are traveling to visit a LCDH, check out the one in Almere, that is most likely the most beautiful shop i’ve seen in my life, their downstairs lounge is the bomb.

Now the wrapper is a nice milk chocolate brown with a few veins and a mild reddish glow, some parts have an oily shine while others don’t. It’s not the most beautiful wrapper I have ever seen but also not the worst. The construction feels good but the proof is in the pudding, especially with Cuban cigars and double with hard to roll vitolas like the lancero. The rings, printed by Vrijdag printing in Eindhoven (NL), are well known amongst cigar smokers, a yellow circle with the picture of Simon Bolivar with a golden dotted outline. The golden outline continue to the back while the inside is red and white striped and covered in the medaille d’or that Bolivar won in the past. The second band is silver colored with a white dotted line on both bottom and top, a big red band with white lettering exclusivo Alemania. The cigar measures 7.6 inch with a ring of 38. It has a triple cap like all Habanos hand made cigars. I cut the cigar with a straight cut and I just took the cap off. The cold draw is good and taste hay with a mild freshness and some spices. The cigar has a mild barnyard aroma.

I lit the cigar with my trusted vintage Ronson soft flame. The first flavor is a spicy yet sweet coffee. It’s a little bit bitter. After a few puffs the flavor changes to a little cedar with far far on the background some milk chocolate but the chocolate disappears quickly. I now taste cedar with dried grass soon to be followed by a cumin flavor. This cigar is dynamic to the extreme and a testament of why I love these thin sticks. After a third I taste spicy wood with a very mild cumin and a little bit of honey. The cumin changes into nutmeg and the wood loses its spice. In the aftertaste I get some black pepper. Halfway I taste spices with caramel and there’s a mild pepper on the back of my throat. Sometime later the flavor changes to salty nuts with some pepper. That is to be replaced with oak and pepper a few puffs later. After two thirds the salty nuts are back with a little bit of lemon.

The draw is surprisingly good, I was expecting the worse. The smoke is thick and abundant, nice and white colored too. The ash is salt and pepper colored and you can see the layers. The ash isn’t too firm at the start, later it is. The burn is straight as an arrow. This is a medium to full bodied cigar and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It was a regional edition, they can’t be found anywhere unless you go to the collectors market and pay more than top dollar. But this is a great Cuban cigar and it shows that they still can make great cigars.

Score: 92


Categories: 92, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , ,

Bolivar Coronas Junior

The Bolivar coronas junior is a 4.3×42 small stick with a price tag of € 5,60 here in The Netherlands. They are one of the favorite smokes of a friend of mine and he gave me this stick, he knows that I am a Bolivar whore too, Bolivar is my second favorite Cuban marca.
The cigar is boxes pressed and has a latte colored wrapper, which is mild oily and hardly has any veins. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell and a good construction. The predraw is fine.
I taste a strong leather flavor with a little bit of herbs. After half an inch I taste leather and earth with some herbs, the flavors are dry and definitely fit the Bolivar flavor profile.
After an inch I taste herbs, and half way those herbs get company from leather and a tiny bit of chocolate. The leather slowly grows stronger again.
This small cigar lasted me for an hour. It got a decent amount of smoke, but the smoke wasn’t thick at all. The draw is good, just like the burn. The light gray ash is firm. This cigar is medium flavored and full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, I’ll choose the Bolivar royal corona or the Bolivar belicoso finos over the coronas junior anyday.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: ,

Bolivar Simones RE Canada

In 2007 Canada got their first Regional Release from Habanos SA with the Bolivar Simones, a 5×48 Hermosos #4. I was able to get my hands on a few due to some trades and a group buy.
The cigar has a pale brown wrapper with some spots and one vein. It is a Cuban cigar, so it’s triple capped. The construction feels good but the cigar doesn’t have a lot of aroma. I have to try hard to smell a bit of wood. The predraw is fine and leaves a soft, mild spicy, nut flavor on my palate.
I taste a mild bitter coffee flavor and some leather, but the coffee is clearly the dominant flavor. The feeling in my mouth is dry. After half an inch the bitterness disappears and a hazelnut flavor joins the party, but the nuts taste mildly burned.
After an inch and a half the flavors change to earthy tones, leather and a hint of the hazelnut. Halfway the leather becomes stronger and the dominant flavor, the earth favor becomes the support and the hazelnuts are just an aftertaste. At ⅔ the nuts become a bit stronger, but still a support for the leather and the aftertaste.
I got a lot of smoke during the 55 minutes this cigar lasted. The draw is good, just like the burn. The ash is quite dark. I would rate this cigar medium to full flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? I still have a few, won’t buy them again. They are nice, but there are better Bolivars out there

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , ,

Bolivar Libertadores RE France

A friend gave me this Bolivar Libertadores, the 2006 French Regional Edition, a 6½ x 54 monster. He knows I want to smoke all Regional Editions and that I am a self proclaimed Bolivar whore and he did me a huge favor by giving me this cigar. Now collecting cigars is one thing, smoking them is another and as all cigars are mend to be smoked I decided to light my one and only Libtertadores.
The looks of this cigar aren’t up to Bolivar standards, the wrapper has a dirty brown color and the wrapper lacks oil and has a lot of veins. The cigar also lacks smell. The construction feels good and after punching the cigar I get a good predraw with a wood flavor.
I taste a nice full flavor of freshly toasted coffee beans. After a quarter of an inch I can also taste a citrus like sourness. The citrus disappears after an inch, the coffee is slightly sweet but the cigar becomes flat and less full flavored.
The coffee turns to wood, but not a very nice wood flavor. After ⅔ the flavor turns a bit musty. A few puffs later I taste a very dry chocolate flavor, it is so dry that cocoa powder is a better description. I purge the cigar and get a salty flavor with the wood and cocoa powder.

This 6½ inch cigar lasted me for about 90 minutes. The draw is good but the amount of smoke is poor. The burn is good and the firm ash is light colored, almost white. I got a huge flame while purging this medium flavored, full bodied cigar.
Would I buy this cigar again? No. I am a Bolivar fan but this Boli is disappointing

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , ,

Bolivar Gold Medal

The original Bolivar Gold Medal is a pre 1960 release but production was discontinued in 1992. In 2007 Habanos decided, partly due to the success of the 2004 special release of the Gold Medal, to start producing these cigars again as a La Casa Del Habano only cigar. I bought a 2007 box of 10 Bolivar Gold Medals soon after they hit the market and realized I had only one left for a review. The other 9 I had given away to friends or in bombs.
The packaging is quite original. The upper two third of the cigar is wrapped in gold colored tin foil and has both the Bolivar band and the La Casa del Habano band glued to the tin foil. When I remove the tin foil I see a smooth mocha colored wrapper with a few veins, some water spots and some damage at the foot of the cigar. The construction feels good. The cigar has a deep Cuban barnyard smell. The predraw is good and I taste raisin with some pepper on my lips.
I taste some coffee, earth and a full flavored leather. The leather becomes the main flavor. The coffee disappears after an inch. I get some wood next to the leather, even though the leather is still the dominant flavor. The structure of the flavors is dry.
Halfway the wood becomes the dominant flavor with leather and earth on the background. This is the mix of flavors I keep getting till I burn my fingers on the nub.
The smoke time of this cigar is 95 minutes. The draw is good just like the amount of smoke. The frayed dark as isn’t firm . The burn is great. This full flavored cigar is medium bodied. I got a big flame when I purged the cigar.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this will be another box purchase.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: ,

Bolivar Belicosos Finos

This nice looking torpedo of 5 ½ inch long has a 52 ring gauge and a typical aroma that you expect from Bolivar, a deep strong stable aroma. The wrapper is nice and oily with a few veins and the predraw is just fine.
Yes, this is what I expect from Bolivar, a full flavor, leather with some cedar wood and after an inch it gets a little bit creamy. After a few minutes the creaminess disappears and the famous Bolivar power shows up in the shape of pepper and the wood flavors return with leather on the background.

Halfway there is a toast flavor with the wood & leather and later on even a nutty flavor. This cigar is definitely full & full, full bodied and full flavored. The full body gives me a bit of vitamin N. The cigar produces a lot of smoke and the firm as is silver gray. I drank a glass of Inver house green plaid Scotch
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, like all Bolivar’s I have smoked so far. This marca has never let me down
Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 9 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: ,

Bolivar Especiales #2 RE Alemania

This Bolivar is the thinnest regional edition so far and is made for the German market. It has a ring of 38 and is 192 millimeter long. The wrapper is light brown and somewhat rough with a few veins. The cigar has a typical Cuban aroma. The construction feels quite firm what is causing a bit hard predraw that gives me a mild peppery flavor.

The first flavor I get is a full flavored typical Cuban leather flavor with a hint of pepper. The fullness of the flavor decreases a bit but there comes a herbal flavor in return.

Midway the leather is the dominant flavor again but that’s only the case for a short time, then it’s back to herbal time again with some nuts on the background. Near the end the cigar becomes a bit spicier and the nut flavor gains a bit in power.

I get enough smoke, but the smoke is quite thin. The draw is a bit hard and the ash is firm but dark colored. The burn is straight, no complaints in that department. I would call the cigar, at this stage of its development medium bodied and flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, but then I will rest them for a few years.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , ,

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