Comprehensive Cigar Reviews

Dating back to 1901, the Bolivar brand has been providing quality cigars for well over 100 years.  Known for their smoothness and boldness in body and strength, these cigars are not for the beginner cigar smoker.

Review By: Matt

Bolivar (Cuba)

Bolivar Petit Corona - Petit Corona 5.0 X 42




Always a fan of a nice quality petit corona and these, when you get good ones, are one of my favorites in this vitola.  Known as a stronger cigar, as most Bolivars are, and usually these give you a nice rich flavor for such a small package.  The box code on this one is ULA Jul 2015 so with only 15 months on them they should have nice full flavors but we will see how smooth they are.  (I usually like these with 3 years on them or more but I do like really rich BPCs.) 


Look and Feel: 

Seams are super tight and the pack is firm and jammed with tobacco.  The color is a nice dark brown with a waxy feel with a tad bit of toothy texture to it, rare combo.  The aroma is a little barnyard and tobacco.  The prelight draw is tight but you get some light fruits and cedar with bits light earth.  Time to light it up already :)  


Foot Third:

To start you get a quick hit of toasted bread and it quickly moves to sweet vegital flavors.  The retrohale has similar flavors and is very smooth to start.  Off and on during this third you get an aged Cuban tobacco flavor which surprised me greatly for this young of a cigar.  Milk coffee shows up on the draw with hints of that Cuban twang and rich Cuban tobacco flavors.  Through the nose it becomes a clear sweet bell pepper with touches of black pepper.  The finish is moderate in length and offer vegital flavors and black pepper but is really clean.  Draw is just right and no real relights needed for me.  Great start!


Body Third:

Moving into this third the flavors on the draw is milk coffee with vegital and fruit sweetness.  Through the nose presents white pepper with vegital notes with a slight sweetness to it with a little black pepper at the end.  The finish provides all of those flavors which speaks to how well the cigar is blended.  The finish again is moderate in length and clean but gives you a hint of black pepper at the very end as it fades.  Another great third...better than I expected for 15 months of age.

 

Head Third:
This third went well but I did relight it twice...I think because of my talking and not the construction.  The flavors became a little more earthy but the milk coffee was present.  The retrohale added a little more spice but is not as clean.  The finish became longer but not as clean as the first two thirds so age could be the reason for this drop. 


Summary:

I loved this cigar through the first two thirds but the youth came out in the last third.  It over performed the first half but came back to earth, pun intended, in the last third.  Providing milk coffee, vegital sweetness, Cuban twang, rich tobacco and some black pepper.  The blend is done very well and for its price, can't really beat it.  (Hard to at least)  This cigar is not all that complex but is super enjoyable so it is worth a box purchase.


Look & Feel:
94


Construction:
91

Flavor & Balance:

93

Value:
90

Overall Rating:

92


 

Bolivar Royal Corona - Robusto 4.8 X 49




I have had these before and they have been medium full and present deep flavors.  Some are creamier than others but the royal corona is a go to for most regular Cuban smokers.  The box code on these is ULA Aug 2014 so these should perform fairly well with over 1 1/2 years on them. 


Look and Feel: 

Invisible seams with very few veins with a little tooth to them.  Fairly smooth with a nice earthy and barnyard aroma to the tobacco.  The cigar has a box press to the sides of the cigar and it is well packed with tobacco with a clear triple cap.  Very nice looking cigar.  The pre-lit draw gives you a nice strong earth but the draw is a little tight. 


Foot Third:

The beginning is hard to light, tighter draw than a perfect draw but offers a deep earth with a dark nut flavor.  Burn started off a bit but caught up quickly.  The flavors of Cuban tobacco and rich earth with a slight nuttiness dominate the draw with a slight sweet spice with a hint of black pepper on the finish.  That pepper quickly moves to a light white pepper on a finish that becomes dominated by the earth flavors.  This is a full bodied stick in both flavors and nicotine strength.  A hint of orange zest pops in once or twice.


Body Third:

Main flavors here are earth and leather with a slight tangy cream to the draw and the finish.  The finish is dominated by the earth and leathery notes and the spice is not very strong.  You do get a little nutmeg from time to time on the finish but not on the draw.  Again, strong cigar but very tasty.  The transitions as very minor so far which is a little disappointing. 

 

Head Third:
The head third gives you more leather than earth with a little tang to it.  I'm starting to think this cigar needs to sit a little ehile longer to become a little more complex.  If the slight hints throughout come out after another year or two, then this cigar will become great.  (Orange, cream, and black pepper)  Again the transitions are not much and although this cigar tastes very good, I find myself looking for a transition that doesn't come. 


Summary:

I enjoyed this cigar greatly but did expect a little more.  I would prefer a performance that includes at least two major transitions and perhaps with some more age we will see that.  The body is full and the strength will sneak up on you if you are not careful.  If you do not like full body Cuban cigars, do not go this route or you will be feeling it.  Overall a very nice cigar that is well balanced with quality construction.  I do hope to see these progress in complexity over the next year or two so we will see... 


Look & Feel:
96


Construction:
92

Flavor & Balance:

92

Value:
91

Overall Rating:

92


 

Review By: Matt

Review By: Matt

70-80 Points - Poor to Fair          81-90 Points - Fair to Good          91-96 - Excellent          97-100 - Epic

Bolivar Belicosos Finos - Belicoso 5.5 X 52




I have always liked the Bolivar lineup but am sure to smoke them on a full stomach.  This cigar is an old Cuban standard and is known for its smooth yet strong profile.  I have had a number of these in the past and am really looking forward to reviewing this cigar.  The box has some age on it (over a year) although still a younger cigar for a Cuban. 


Look and Feel: 

Tight invisible seams with moderate veins.  Fairly smooth with an earthy aroma to the tobacco.  I have a small water spot on the wrapper but it shouldn’t change anything.  The wrapper was fairly smooth beyond the veins so not very toothy.  Overall a very nice presentation.


Foot Third:

To start off, there is an earth and walnut present with a light white pepper and cinnamon on the finish.  The burn is sharp and the draw is perfect.  The transition half way through this third the profile moved to a creamy and musty earth and milk chocolate notes.  The finish stays similar with the light black pepper (instead of white) and some cinnamon.  The walnut has nearly disappeared by the end of this third.  Medium body at the most...


Body Third:

Musty earth (aged tobacco) and rich cream is the main flavor with cocoa and cinnamon at the end of the draw into the finish.  This cigar is performing very well with a great draw, good burn, and nice aroma.  I get a slight white pepper but not much, more so on the retrohale.  The cream has become stronger during the end of the body third into the last third.  Mot much of a transition from the end of the foot third but I’m not sure I want it to change.  At times I do get a little floral aroma and flavor but it is occasional.  All of the flavors are well balanced and the body has moved to medium full.

 

Head Third:
Flavors remain the same at the front of the head third with a little more of a nicotine kick, becoming full body in flavor and strength.  The earth moved to a straight ahead earthiness with heavy cream.  Still an occasional cocoa and cinnamon but mainly earthy notes with cream.  It did get a little hot towards the end but it was minor heat.  Another year and this may get a little better…hard to imagine.

Summary:

I expected a very good cigar and got an amazing cigar.  Musty earth, cream, cocoa, and cinnamon with a finish with white pepper and cinnamon is a great balance.  There is very little room for improvement on this cigar and I simply didn’t want it to end.  Be sure to pick these up if you can and let them sit for 6 months.  Once they hit a 18 months they take off in quality.  I will try to save a few for the 3 year mark but I don’t know if I can hold off.  Habanos at their best!


Look & Feel:
96


Construction:
97

Flavor & Balance:

98

Value:
95

Overall Rating:

97


 

How we rate cigars?

Review By: Matt

Review By: Matt

Review By: Matt

Look & Feel
Wrapper quality, smell from the wrapper, smell from the foot, box presentation, and color of wrapper.

 

Construction
Burn quality, draw quality, heat on the draw, quality of the wrapper, and cap construction.

 

Flavor & Balance
Overall flavor of the cigar, balance of flavors, strength to body balance, and complexity.


Value
Value taking the quality vs. the market vs. the market price


Overall Rating
Taking all aspects into consideration we rate based on the quality of the cigar and the quality of the experience.