All posts by Swiss Cuban Cigars Reviews

SwissCubanCigars.com is the largest online retailer of authentic Cuban cigars on the Internet. We sell a wide variety of high-grade Cuban cigar brands, complete with authenticity marks that can be checked on the official Habanos SA site.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Partagas brand and the Partagas Lusitanias

At Swiss Cuban Cigars, we like to review specific brands of Cuban cigar, to give our customers as much information as possible for their buying decisions.

We also find the history of Cuban cigars extremely compelling, and finding out the stories behind each brand. This blog looks at one of the oldest Cuban cigar brands – Partagas. It’s been around since 1845 when it was established in Havana, Cuba and today its bestselling cigar is the Partagas Lusitanias.

The history and development of Partagas Cuban cigars

As well as the history of the Partagas brand, we will also review the smoking experience and see what some of our customers think of the brand’s cigars.

It all started with Don Jaime Partagas y Ravell, who moved to Cuba back in 1831. Originally, he worked for someone else, but started his own Cuban cigar factory in 1845 – called La Flor de Tabacas de Partagas.

Partagas owned a number of tobacco plantations in the prime growing area in Cuba – Vuelta Abajo. His ability to discern which tobaccos were the best on the island, along with his knowledge of fermentation and blending tobacco, soon made his brand of Cuban cigar very popular.

According to Cuban cigar legend, Partagas was the first person to think of hiring lectors to read to the men as they rolled cigars in his factory. This rapidly caught on throughout the industry and became a standard.

Partagas after Don Jaime’s death

The good times were not set to last forever for Don Jaime, and he was actually murdered by a on one of his own tobacco plantations in 1868. His brand of cigars passed to his son, Jose Partagas. A few years later the brand was sold on to Jose A Bances, a well known banker in Cuba.

By the end of the 19th century, Bances had partnered with a super successful tobacco merchant Ramon Cifuentes Llano. Bances soon bowed out all together, selling his shares to Llano. Various partnerships and iterations later, in 1916, Llano partnered with Francisco Pita to form a company called Cifuentes, Pego y Cia.

By the 1930s, they were producing the Cifuentes brand and a decade later the company was renamed Cifuentes y Cia. In the 1950s, the firm bought the La Gloria Cubana and Bolivar rands and by 1960 the Partagas factory was exporting a quarter of Cuba’s tobacco goods.

Revolution and beyond

It was in 1960, of course, that Castro seized the Government and along with it all the Cuban cigar factories in the country.

Castro decided to keep the Partagas brand under the state’s control, initially by Cubatobaco and much later by Habanos SA.

Governments have come and gone since Partagas started, but both before and after the Cuban Revolution, the brand has always been one of the best-sellers in Cuba.

By 1995, Partagas was the second most profitable Cuban cigar brand and was selling around 10 million every year. The old Havana-based factory was renamed Francisco Perez German before production was relocated to Havana Vieja in 2012.

Today, a new factory manufactures most of the Partagas vitolas and they are all hand-made.

Partagas brand vitolas

Every year since 2000, Partagas has launched a limited edition starting with the Piramide. The current range of hand-made Cuban cigars includes (but is not limited to):

  • 898 Cabinet Selección Varnished (Lonsdale – 6.75 inches with a gauge of 43).
  • Aristocrat (petit corona – 518 inches with a gauge of 40).
  • Corona Junior (petit corona – 458 inches with a gauge of 40).
  • Corona Senior (corona – 5.25 inches with a gauge of 42).
  • Culebras (culebra – 5.75 inches with a gauge of 39).
  • Lusitania (double corona – 758 inches with a gauge of 49).
  • Mille Fleurs (petit corona – 518 inches with a gauge of 42).
  • Princess (short panatela – 5 inches with a gauge of 35).
  • Serie D No. 4 (robusto – 478 inches with a gauge of 50).

Swiss Cuban Cigars review the Partagas Lusitanias smoking experience

To give an idea of what it’s like to enjoy a Partagas Cuban cigar, we’ll look at the Partagas Lusitanias Double Corona, which is 7.6 inches long and has a ring gauge of 49.

It’s a full strength cigar that needs around three hours of smoking time to fully appreciate its flavour profile. Partagas shifted its tobacco mix across all of its cigars in the mid-1990s.

This newer blend is tobacco harvested exclusively from the Vuelta Abajo zone in Cuba. Among the very finest cigars to be exported from Cuba, Partagas Lusitanias use only the finest wrapper leaves.

Despite the shortage of these in Cuba, Partagas continues to manufacture the highest quality cigars, beautifully wrapped in ligero leaves.

Leave the Partagas Lusitanias for five years for the best smoking experience

We recommend ageing of Partagas Cuban cigars, as it brings out the depth of the flavours. Generally a lighter to mid-bodied smoke, in our opinion the Lusitanias needs around five years before it develops the complex flavour profile cigar aficionados love so much.

And they really do love these cigars with one customer saying: “Rated top five of my private collections. Marvellous, big and beautiful smokes. Very flavorful, smooth and full of a wonderful aroma.”

 

 

Reviewing the iconic Cohiba Behike 52 – Swiss Cuban Reviews

The Cohiba Behike 52 belongs to the iconic Cohiba brand of Cuban cigars, which are much loved by cigar aficionados all around the world.

With a length of 4.7 inches (119mm) and a ring gauge of 52, the Cohiba Behike 52 is a solid, medium strength cigar that is popular with our customers.

What makes the Cohiba Behike 52 a favourite with Swiss Cuban Cigars customers?

Regularly considered to be up there with the very best Cuban cigars on the market, the Cohiba Behike 52 is particularly in demand. This also often makes it difficult to get hold of, although we always have plenty of stock.

We would advise cigar lovers who are seeking out the Cohiba Behoke 52 to be very careful in choosing authentic products. The counterfeit Cuban cigar industry is unfortunately thriving and it’s always a good idea to shop somewhere that can be fully trusted.

At Swiss Cuban Cigars, all of our brands are fully authentic and are sold in their original boxes complete with the green seal and all certification. Each cigar is wrapped in a rich and dark Colorado tobacco leaf, adding to the luxury vibe.

Background of the Cohiba Behike addition to the brand

Cohiba, which is one of the most revered Cuban tobacco brands among cigar buyers, released the Cohiba Behike 52 for the first time in 2010. They announced the addition to the Cohiba range of cigars at the Twelfth Habanos Festival.

However, only very limited quantities of this cigar are produced every year, exclusively at the Havana El Laguito factory.

The manufacturing process involves hand rolling only, and uses tobacco leaves carefully harvested from the best plantations in San Luis. The tobacco incorporates a rare tobacco leaf (the Medio Tiempo). This rare leaf offers a different level of flavour and a depth to the smoking experience that is unique.

How many vitolas are there in the Cohiba Behike range?

As well as the Behike 52, Cohiba also launched a Behike 54 (144mm length with a 54 gauge) and a Behike 56 (166mm with a 56 gauge).

When customers buy these three cigars, they will receive them in a special edition lacquered box of ten cigars.

A few months after the Cohiba Behike 52 was launched in Cuba, there was a London launch at No 6 Cavendish Square on 20 May 2010. Later in the same year the BHK 52 won the accolade of ‘Cigar of the Year’ from prestigious industry magazine Cigar Aficionado.

What’s the smoking experience like for the Cohiba Behike 52?

Reviewers often have very high expectations when it comes to the Behike 52, partly because it’s such an iconic release from one of the most popular Cuban cigar brands.

A reviewer on our website pointed out that the Behike 52 was smaller than they expected, but feels like the perfect size when you unwrap it. And as for the flavour, people praise its smooth and creamy flavour along with a full-bodied experience.

The first third of the smoke comes with a hit of spicy pepper, which intensifies into the middle section of the cigar. The final third is the spiciest of them all, but it burns well with a light yellowish grey smoke.

It takes just under an hour to smoke, making it the ideal choice for a one off special occasion. Be aware, however, that it’s full bodied and may not be suitable for someone who has never smoked a Cuban cigar before.

Complex flavours wrapped up in a beautiful wrapper leaf

The Behike 52 offers a complex host of flavours, with the spiciness mentioned earlier, mixed with earth, coffee, walnut and cedar. While some find it very full flavoured, it’s technically a medium-bodied cigar, so this will depend on personal taste.

This is very much not on the cheaper end of the Cuban cigar price spectrum, but we think it offers some real value. Thanks to the luxurious finish and the deep, complex flavours of the smoking experience, it’s a cut above from the average and, for those looking for something a bit special, we absolutely recommend it.

For us, the Cohiba Behike 52 offers a mix of the old and the new – the depth and tradition of fine tobacco with a relatively quick and smooth smoke. It’s never overwhelming and is accessible for most smokers.

We’re totally unsurprised at how popular the Cohiba Behike 52 is, and think that its popularity will only continue to grow over the years. Just be very careful that you don’t get stuck with fake cigars when looking for the Cohiba Behike range – there are so many counterfeit sellers out there.

Buying from Swiss Cuban Cigars gives you the guarantee that the product you will receive is definitely the real thing.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Partagas brand and the Partagas Lusitanias

At Swiss Cuban Cigars, we like to review specific brands of Cuban cigar, to give our customers as much information as possible for their buying decisions.

We also find the history of Cuban cigars extremely compelling, and finding out the stories behind each brand. This blog looks at one of the oldest Cuban cigar brands – Partagas. It’s been around since 1845 when it was established in Havana, Cuba and today its bestselling cigar is the Partagas Lusitanias.

The history and development of Partagas Cuban cigars

As well as the history of the Partagas brand, we will also review the smoking experience and see what some of our customers think of the brand’s cigars.

It all started with Don Jaime Partagas y Ravell, who moved to Cuba back in 1831. Originally, he worked for someone else, but started his own Cuban cigar factory in 1845 – called La Flor de Tabacas de Partagas.

Partagas owned a number of tobacco plantations in the prime growing area in Cuba – Vuelta Abajo. His ability to discern which tobaccos were the best on the island, along with his knowledge of fermentation and blending tobacco, soon made his brand of Cuban cigar very popular.

According to Cuban cigar legend, Partagas was the first person to think of hiring lectors to read to the men as they rolled cigars in his factory. This rapidly caught on throughout the industry and became a standard.

Partagas after Don Jaime’s death

The good times were not set to last forever for Don Jaime, and he was actually murdered by a on one of his own tobacco plantations in 1868. His brand of cigars passed to his son, Jose Partagas. A few years later the brand was sold on to Jose A Bances, a well known banker in Cuba.

By the end of the 19th century, Bances had partnered with a super successful tobacco merchant Ramon Cifuentes Llano. Bances soon bowed out all together, selling his shares to Llano. Various partnerships and iterations later, in 1916, Llano partnered with Francisco Pita to form a company called Cifuentes, Pego y Cia.

By the 1930s, they were producing the Cifuentes brand and a decade later the company was renamed Cifuentes y Cia. In the 1950s, the firm bought the La Gloria Cubana and Bolivar rands and by 1960 the Partagas factory was exporting a quarter of Cuba’s tobacco goods.

Revolution and beyond

It was in 1960, of course, that Castro seized the Government and along with it all the Cuban cigar factories in the country.

Castro decided to keep the Partagas brand under the state’s control, initially by Cubatobaco and much later by Habanos SA.

Governments have come and gone since Partagas started, but both before and after the Cuban Revolution, the brand has always been one of the best-sellers in Cuba.

By 1995, Partagas was the second most profitable Cuban cigar brand and was selling around 10 million every year. The old Havana-based factory was renamed Francisco Perez German before production was relocated to Havana Vieja in 2012.

Today, a new factory manufactures most of the Partagas vitolas and they are all hand-made.

Partagas brand vitolas

Every year since 2000, Partagas has launched a limited edition starting with the Piramide. The current range of hand-made Cuban cigars includes (but is not limited to):

  • 898 Cabinet Selección Varnished (Lonsdale – 6.75 inches with a gauge of 43).
  • Aristocrat (petit corona – 518 inches with a gauge of 40).
  • Corona Junior (petit corona – 458 inches with a gauge of 40).
  • Corona Senior (corona – 5.25 inches with a gauge of 42).
  • Culebras (culebra – 5.75 inches with a gauge of 39).
  • Lusitania (double corona – 758 inches with a gauge of 49).
  • Mille Fleurs (petit corona – 518 inches with a gauge of 42).
  • Princess (short panatela – 5 inches with a gauge of 35).
  • Serie D No. 4 (robusto – 478 inches with a gauge of 50).

Swiss Cuban Cigars review the Partagas Lusitanias smoking experience

To give an idea of what it’s like to enjoy a Partagas Cuban cigar, we’ll look at the Partagas Lusitanias Double Corona, which is 7.6 inches long and has a ring gauge of 49.

It’s a full strength cigar that needs around three hours of smoking time to fully appreciate its flavour profile. Partagas shifted its tobacco mix across all of its cigars in the mid-1990s.

This newer blend is tobacco harvested exclusively from the Vuelta Abajo zone in Cuba. Among the very finest cigars to be exported from Cuba, Partagas Lusitanias use only the finest wrapper leaves.

Despite the shortage of these in Cuba, Partagas continues to manufacture the highest quality cigars, beautifully wrapped in ligero leaves.

Leave the Partagas Lusitanias for five years for the best smoking experience

We recommend ageing of Partagas Cuban cigars, as it brings out the depth of the flavours. Generally a lighter to mid-bodied smoke, in our opinion the Lusitanias needs around five years before it develops the complex flavour profile cigar aficionados love so much.

And they really do love these cigars with one customer saying: “Rated top five of my private collections. Marvellous, big and beautiful smokes. Very flavorful, smooth and full of a wonderful aroma.”

 

 

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the popular Vegueros Cuban cigar brand

Swiss Cuban Cigars sells authentic Cuban cigars online to a worldwide market. One of the most important underlying drivers of Swiss Cuban is to always ensure that customers have access to a wide variety of guaranteed real Cuban cigars.

All of the Cubans that Swiss Cuban Cigars sell online from their base in Gran Canaria are manufactured and distributed by Habanos SA. Based in Havana, Cuba, Habanos makes 27 brands of authentic Cuban cigars and controls the distribution and marketing of them.

Swiss Cuban Cigars only sells authentic Habanos SA cigars

This is how customers know that they are buying the real thing when they buy from Swiss Cuban Cigars – every box comes in original sealed packaging complete with the green seal and security number that allow its origin to be traced to source.

Aside from never selling fake Cuban cigars, Swiss Cuban Cigars is known for its excellent customer service, its knowledgeable team and for the easy payment structure and fast delivery it offers. As part of the service that Swiss Cuban offers its customers, the team regularly review and discuss different Cuban cigar brands.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews all the brands, from the very popular big sellers to the lesser known but sought after limited editions. Here’s what they think about the Vegueros brand of Cuban cigar.

History and background of the Vegueros brand

‘Vegueros’ translates directly to ‘tobacco growers/farmers’ and that’s why the brand was created. It was introduced in 1996 specifically to pay tribute to all of the generations of farmers who have cultivated tobacco in the Pinar del Rio growing region in Cuba.

The idea is that the brand commemorates their work going back decades and pays tribute to their commitment and passion for growing the finest tobacco in the world.

Traditionally, farmers working in the wider Vuelta Abajo zone – which incorporates the Pinar del Rio region – roll their own cigars for their own use. Of course, this involves hand-rolling and expert selection of the finest parts of the leaves with which to make the cigars.

Visitors to the region wanted to find out for themselves how these cigars tasted, given that they are made by farmers growing tobacco in the world’s finest cultivation region. So, the brand was launched to share the high quality smoking experience with cigar lovers and newcomers to smoking.

Where and how are they made?

Today, the Vegueros line of Cuban cigars are manufactured at a factory in Pinar del Rio called ‘Francisco Donatien’.

The factory has been around since 1868 and was then converted into a cigar manufacturing site in 1961. While the factory had already been producing cigarettes for consumption in Cuba by this point, it was in the early 1960s that cigars for domestic consumption were first made there.

Colloquially, these cigars became referred to as ‘vegueros’ after the farmers we talked about earlier. They were, at this point, made specifically for public events and national banquets of the government. For all of these reasons, no one outside of Cuba had heard of Vegueros cigars until tourists began visiting and asking to try them.

This prompted Habanos to launch them for export in 1996.

Vitolas available from the Vegueros brand

Around 15 years after the brand first launched, the entire line was renewed along with the branding and presentation.

When the brand was relaunched, Habanos included innovative new sizes into the line. These include:

  • Tapados (46 x 120mm long)
  • Entretiempos (52 x 110mm long)
  • Mananitas (46 x 100mm long
  • Centrofinos (50 x 130mm long).

The Centrofinos is particularly popular with cigar aficionados and while the whole range is full bodied, they are still accessible for newcomers to the world of Cuban cigars.

What’s the smoking experience like?

For the team at Swiss Cuban Cigars, the revamped Vegueros line manages to combine a distinctive modernity with the old world tradition of the tobacco farmers favourite cigars. This has created what amounts to a whole new breed of Cuban cigar, for the modern smoker.

They recommend the brand to casual smokers and connoisseurs alike, given its smooth smoking experience. Customers can expect a rich and smooth smoke and to really taste the superior quality of the tobacco when they smoke it.

Each vitola in the range gives a medium to full bodied, creamy hit with undertones of earth, spice, nut and pepper flavours. Expect to get a hint of cream and some citrus notes, all adding to the complexity of the smoking experience.

Competitively priced for regular smokers

Another factor that makes the Vegueros range popular with cigar lovers is its mid price point. It’s a great choice for smokers looking for something that is elevated beyond the budget brands but isn’t as expensive as the likes of Montecristo and Cohiba.

The latter are out of many people’s price range, particularly when they’re looking for something to smoke regularly. Swiss Cuban recommend keeping Cohiba and the more pricey brands as a special occasion choice and going with the Vegueros line for an every day smoke.

Overall, it’s clear when you smoke any of the Vegueros vitolas that a lot of love, pride and care goes into their manufacturing. It’s a great mid-price brand to choose and a good introductory smoke for newcomers to the world of Cuban cigars.

The Bolivar Belicosos Finos: Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews

Swiss Cuban Cigars regularly reviews different Cuban cigar brands to help customers decide which are the best option for their cigar needs.

The expertise and experience of the Swiss Cuban team offers detailed advice on the history of the brand itself and the smoking experience of different cigars from the line.

In this blog, Swiss Cuban Cigars will explain the background of the Bolivar brand of Cuban cigars and then specifically review the Bolivar Beliicosos Finos vitola.

The history of the Bolivar brand of Cuban cigars

The Bolivar brand of Cuban cigars is named after Simon Bolivar, who is a major historical figure. The South American revolutionary lends his name and vibe to the cigars as they are considered to be some of the most robust on the market.

Simon Bolivar is known as the liberator of a huge swathe of South America from the rule of Spain, and as such is considered a strong and revered historical figure.

They are full-bodied and use specific types of tobacco leaves, known as ligero. These are the leaves found at the top of every tobacco plant. They have a coarser texture than other parts of the plant and therefore they give a cigar a heavier, more potent flavour.

This is why the ligero leaf is used for full bodied Cuban cigars, such as those under the Bolivar line.

When was the Bolivar brand established?

It’s possible that the Bolivar brand was originally started in Great Britain by a man called Jose F Rocha at the very start of the 20th century. It wasn’t until 1921 that the Bolivar name was registered in Havana under his company, which was called JF Rocha y Cia.

Right at the start of its brand life, Bolivar became known for making the tiniest Cuban cigar available on the market. This was called the Delgado and had a tiny ring gauge of just 20.

In 1954, the brand and all of the rights was bought by Cifuentes y Cia – this was after Jose Rocha died. Production of the Bolivar brand of cigars was moved to the Partagas Factory in Havana – many of the cigars under the brand are still made there today.

What is the Bolivar brand known for?

Cigar aficionados generally love the Bolivar brand for the fact that it offers the strongest and most full-bodied cigars out there. Beloved examples include the Royal Corona, Petit Coronas and the Belicosos Finos

For all these reasons, Bolivar is one of the most popular brands from Habanos SA due to its strength and flavour. The blend used in the Bolivar range of cigars is a mix of wrapper leaves and filler from the famous Vuelta Abajo tobacco growing zone.

Expert cigar smokers and Cuban cigar aficionados in particular love the Bolivar brand. Here’s a list of the cigars available from Bolivar currently:

Bolivar Tubos No. 2: Ring gauge of 42 and 129 mm long.

Coronas Junior: Ring gauge of 42 and 110 mm long.

Petit Coronas :Ring gauge of 42 and 129 mm long.

Royal Coronas: Ring gauge of 50 and 124 mm long.

Royal Coronas Tubo: Ring gauge of 50 and 124 mm long.

Belicosos Finos: Ring gauge of 52 and 140 mm long.

Belicosos Finos Reserva Cosecha 2016 to 2020: Ring gauge 52 and 140 mm long.

Bolivar Tubos No 3: Ring gauge of 34 and 125 mm long.

Libertador: Ring gauge of 54 and 164 mm long.

Mundiales: Ring gauge of 56 and 160 mm long.

Regentes: Ring gauge of 52 and 130 mm long.

Soberano: Ring gauge of 54 and 140 mm long.

Super Coronas: Ring gauge of 48 and 140 mm long.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Bolivar Belicosos Finos

So that’s the background of the brand, and now Swiss Cuban looks deeper into the Bolivar Belicosos Finos. This cigar is the strongest of the whole Bolivar range, and is considered to have a good draw and great combustion by reviewers.

While this cigar is the strongest, it’s still very smooth and has a rich and aromatic profile. Along with this, you can expect the kind of subtle spicy flavour notes that often come along with strong Cuban cigars. There are hints of chocolate, cinnamon and salt when you smoke it.

The Bolivar Belicosos Finos is the only figurado that the brand offers (figurado is any cigar that doesn’t have straight sides). Always hand-rolled and always perfectly packed, the cigar targets the palate in a way that makes the smoker keen for the next draw.

Buying Cuban cigars online

Whether you are looking for an uber strong cigar like the Bolivar Belicosos Finos or just looking for the perfect gift for a wedding or special occasion, buy from Swiss Cuban Cigars.

This isn’t solely because of the excellent shopping experience (fast delivery, worldwide shipping and the widest range of Cuban cigars available online) but also because they guarantee that all of their products are totally authentic.

The Swiss Cuban Cigars team comprises cigar experts and they are always able to give plenty of advice on brands and cigars. But more than this, they can ensure that customers do not get taken in by retailers selling fake Cuban cigars.

Just how much of the global market of Cuban cigars are actually authentic isn’t precisely known but there are estimates saying that up to 90% of Cuban cigars sold in the US are actually fake.

It’s a huge market and, of course, can ruin the smoking experience for so many people. Swiss Cuban always advises checking the boxes and seals to ensure that the product is totally authentic and also guarantee that every product they sell is absolutely the real deal.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the flavour and smoking experience of the Bolivar Royal Corona

Before we get into the ins and outs of the smoking experience of the Bolivar Royal Corona cigar, we’re going to take a look at the history of the brand itself.

When was the Bolivar brand of cigars launched?

Bolivar Cuban cigars was founded in 1901 by Jose F Rocha. It’s possible that the brand actually started in Great Britain around this time. It wasn’t until 1921 when it was formally registered in Havana, Cuba.

When it was eventually registered it was recorded as being owned by Rocha’s business, which was called JF Rocha y Cia.

Bolivar is a well established and much loved brand

At the start of its development as a Cuban cigar brand, Bolivar became known for making the smallest cigar in the world. This was called the Delgado and had a tiny ring gauge of 20 at just under two inches long.

The Delgado was such a popular cigar in Britain especially, that a tiny miniature box made it into the Royal dollhouse in the nursery at Windsor Castle.

In 1954, after Rocha’s death, the brand was bought by Cfuentes y Cia. This meant that production shifted to Havana’s famous Partagas Factory. Today, you’ll find this in he form of the Francisco Perez German factory in Havana.

Bolivar Cuban cigars are rich and full bodied

Cigar lovers rate the brand, and in particular the Royal Corona, for its full bodied strength. In fact, the Royal Corona is generally known as one of the strongest Cuban cigars you can buy.

The Bolivar brand is often chosen for special sizes and limited editions for regional release. For example, German retailer Wolters commissioned thousands of boxes of Bolivar Gold medals just for them.

These had been discontinued prior, but following this special release, Bolivar reinstated the cigars between 2007 and 2011.

Below is a list of the hand made vitolas made by Bolivar:

  • Royal Corona – a robusto with a 50 ring gauge and a length of just under five inches.
  • Petit Corona – Just over five inches long this petit corona has a gauge measurement of 42.
  • Corona Junior is just over four inches long and is a petit corona with a 42 gauge.
  • Bolivar Tubo No 3, a small panetela with a ring gauge of 34.
  • Corona Gigante, a Churchill with a length of seven inches and a ring gauge of 47.

This isn’t the entire range of vitolas available in the line, but gives a good idea of the variety.

The Bolivar Royal Corona is a very popular vitola

We’re looking specifically at one of the most popular cigars made by Bolivar is the Royal Corona.

This cigar is praised for its generous smoke and woody and spicy flavour profile. It has a Corojo wrapper and all tobacco used in this cigar is from the Vuelta Abajo growing region in Cuba. These wrappers are known for their spicy hint and oily silkiness.

The Royal Corona is a medium to full strength smoke, and is much loved within the cigar community. Aficionados praise its easy smoking style combined with its depth of flavour.

Reviewing the Royal Corona

At Swiss Cuban Cigars, we pride ourselves on our real life knowledge of the Cubans we sell. As such we often review brands and vitolas so we can best inform customers about the cigar that will suit them the best.

Here’s our review of smoking a Royal Corona from Bolivar. Right at the start of the smoke, it’s easy to tell this is going to be an easy, rich smoke. Flavours you can expect as you first draw on the cigar include deep sweet caramel. As you inhale further, you’ll be hit with the sweet aroma.

The middle of the cigar hits with some floral hints, undershot with creamy sweet tobacco, cedar, toasted nuts and finally a bit of coffee. All the way through the middle, it’s still a strong and full bodied experience.

By the final third, the floral flavours have increased even more and the soke is getting even richer. Nuttiness, coffee and cedar predominate all the way to the end.

It’s easy to keep lit as it burns steadily thanks, in part, to the quality of the tobacco and the way it’s hand rolled.

Conclusively rated a great smoke

Overall, this is a great choice for cigar lovers and newcomers to cigar smoking alike. The first third is a delight and you can rely on the entire length to offer a steady, rich and flavourful smoke.

Highly recommended for a special occasion, such as a wedding or just to enjoy on a long hot summer afternoon with your favourite drink.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill

When you think about famous cigar smokers, the chances are Sir Winston Churchill is high on the list. Frequently pictured with a cigar in hand, Churchill lived life in a way that didn’t preclude his love of alcohol and smoking. And his favourite brand of Cuban cigars was Romeo y Julieta.

This led to the brand decided name a cigar after the great man himself. This turned into a whole range of Churchills, and the latest to be added to the range in 2006 was the Short Churchill.

Since hitting the market, Short Churchills have become one of the most popular cigars with aficionados. Let’s take a deep dive into the Short Churchill and find out why smokers love it so much.

Swiss Cuban Cigars Reviews | Short Churchill from Romeo y Julieta

While the Short Churchill was launched in 2006, the Romeo y Julieta Cigars brand has been around for far longer.

The brand began in 1875 when Manin Garcia and Inocencio Alverez decided to launch a bid for the Cuban cigar market. Named after Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, the Romeo y Julieta cigar brand started off strongly.

Up until 1900, the brand won loads of awards – you can see this represented in its logo showing gold medals. It was the acquisition by Jose Rodriguez Fernandez in 1903 that really sent the brand stratospheric within the market.

Utilising his experience as the former head of the Cabanas factory in Havana, Cuba, Fernandez took the brand on the road across the Americas and Europe. This led to it becoming very popular everywhere around the world, appealing to wealthy smokers.

Romeo y Julieta | the Churchill connection

Sir Winston Churchill became the brand’s most famous fan, leading eventually to the naming of the most popular vitola after him. He acquired his love of cigars after serving in Cuba, after which he refused to smoke any other kind.

So important were Cuban cigars to his daily life, he set aside a dedicated room to store up to 4,000 cigars at Chartwell, his home in Kent.

As a lover of cigars, Churchill smoked a number of different brands but Romeo Y Julieta remained his favourite. According to historians, he smoked up to ten a day during WW2, and some say he credited his strong and steadfast leadership during the war to smoking regularly.

Over the years, Churchill and his cigar became synonymous. Rarely pictured in any memorabilia without one, Churchill waves lyrical about smoking Cuban cigars in a collection of essays in 1932.

Flavours and depth of the Short Churchill

Today, there is a cigar on display in the Cabinet War Rooms in London. The cigar is part smoked by Sir Winston himself, and is a classic Romeo y Julieta Churchills. Had the Short Churchill been around at the time, we have no doubt that he would have smoked these as well as the classic.

Romeo y Julieta Short Churchills have a ring gauge of 50 and are 4.9 inches (or 124 mm) long. Ranked consistently high smokers, Short Churchills are medium strength and are packed full of flavours – the kinds of flavours you might expect someone like Sir Winston to enjoy!

Expect flavour notes that include earth, leather and honey that belie the relatively new status this cigar holds in the market. Short Churchills are one of the newest in the range of Romeo y Juliete cigars, and has become exceptionally popular in the 17 years since it hit the market.

How does the Short Churchill smoke?

Well known for its smooth and rich flavour, the Short Churchill has hints of herbs and grass in the first and third parts of the smoke. The middle has more earthy tones, and a hint of spice.

When you first light a Short Churchill, you get an immediate combination of earthiness, a touch of pepper and an undercurrent of woodiness. You’ll find that the pepper cuts through the smoke, which is produced in creamy clouds.

The middle of the smoking experience will leave a hint of saltiness on your palate, with some darker hints of espresso and a minerally leather tone. And finally, the last section of the smoke is by far the richest, moving into a more full bodied smoke.

An accessible and enjoyable choice

The Short Churchill provides an easy, relaxing but medium to full bodied cigar smoking experience. And, thanks to their relatively good value when compared with other cigars in the Romeo y Juliete range, they’re a consistent best seller.

We estimate the smoking experience as around 60 minutes – possibly around 45 minutes – making it an accessible cigar for just about any occasion.

And if you’re wondering how Sir Winston Churchill managed to smoke 10 cigars a day with no ill effects, it’s at least partly down to the fact that he didn’t smoke them to the end. In fact, he would smoke a cigar for only a few minutes, before allowing it to burn out.

Later on, he would pick up the cigar to chew it rather than smoke. He always left around two inches on each cigar, and in later life discarded so many that his staff at Chartwells would collect the ends to regift to a gardener on the Estate.

Short Churchills represent excellent value and a great smoke

The Romeo y Julieta Churchill range now includes a regular Churchill, the Short Churchill which we are reviewing here, the Petit Churchill and the Wide Churchill.

Ideal for the casual or new smoker, the Short Churchill has a clear flavour profile that remains pronounced throughout the smoke. However, the flavours never dominate or compete in the mouth. Instead, it’s a balanced and mellow, yet rich, smoking experience.

Whether you choose to smoke a Short Churchill like the man himself – and end up with lots of cigar ends at the end of the day – or you want to find the ideal cigar for a special occasion, you can’t go far wrong with this choice.

Accessible enough for occasional smokers, but well crafted and flavourful enough for the cigar expert, the Short Churchill has a lot to offer for just about anyone who likes cigars. We highly recommend it, particularly for its good value price point.

Diving into H. Upmann – Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the brand and the Corona Major

Swiss Cuban Cigars is the biggest online retailer of authentic Cuban cigars. And this means that our team is well versed in the history and development of every major brand.

In order to provide customers with a smooth and trustworthy buying experience, we like to review different brands. In this blog, we’re looking at the history of H. Upmann Cigars before diving more deeply into a review of the Upmann Coronas Major in particular.

History of the H. Upmann cigar brand

H. Upmann cigars date all the way back to 1844, making the brand one of the oldest. The eponymous Upmann was a German banker who was living in Havana, Cuba. Herman Dietrich Upmann decided to take advantage of the burgeoning craze for cigars by creating his very own brand that he intended to use to promote his bank.

If he was around today, Upmann would be considered a disruptive innovator with a strong entrepreneurial bent! His decision to fuse the worlds of financial services and cigar manufacturing proved to be brilliantly successful for him.

Initially, Upmann catered specifically for tobacco manufacturers and dealers. Before he knew it, his brand of cigars was becoming more and more popular. Between 1862 and 1893, H. Upmann won seven gold medals across international exhibitions.

Buyers of H.Upmann cigars will see these gold medals immortalised in the inside of the boxes the cigars are sold in today.

Intrigue during the Great War

Upmann himself retired in 1890 and the business was passed on to his nephew Heinrich. The nephew ran the brand along with his business partners Theodore Garbade and Heinrich Runken up until 1914.

At the outbreak of the Great War, the brand was run by Alberto and Hermann Upmann. The brothers used the business and their links in the US and Cuba to cover up their work for German Intelligence.

Historians say that the Upmanns were responsible for kicking off the 1916 revolt in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It’s documented that the bank was a regular stopover for German agents travelling between Europe and Mexico.

In May 1922, the brothers were charged with financial fraud by the Cuban AG. Alberto used the tobacco business as a cover for any work he may have done for the family’s bank. The charges were eventually dropped. However, this meant that tobacco outlet was bankrupt.

The Revolution and beyond

Luckily for cigar lovers, the brand was bought by J Frankau & Co and soon picked up production under the H. Upmann brand. In 1935, it changed hands again and was bought by JR Freeman & Son, who tried unsuccessfully to manage a Cuban business from London.

A couple of years later it was again sold to the manufacturers of the Montecristo brand – Menendez, Garcia y Cia Co. They kept the licence for manufacturing H.Upmann right up until the Cuban Revolution in 1969, after which the industry was nationalised.

Just before US President John F Kennedy signed the embargo against Cuba, he sent his aide to buy as many boxes of his favourite Cuban cigar from tobacconists. This favourite cigar was the H.Upmann Petit Upmann and the president ended up with 1,200 of them.

H.Upmann cigars in 2022

Today, H.Upmann is owned by Imperial Brands and manufactured by Cuba’s Habanos SA. The cigars are hand rolled in the original factory, which is now called Jose Marti. The tobacco in H.Upmann coes from the Vuelta Abajo – the premium tobacco region in Cuba.

The brand remains very popular with cigar lovers today and has a relatively wide range of vitolas, including (but not limited to) the following which were all first released prior to the Cuban Revolution:

  • Epicure.
  • Corona Junior.
  • Corona Minor.
  • Connoisseur No. 1.
  • Petit Corona.
  • Regalias
  • Corona Major.
  • Majestic.
  • Magnum 46.
  • Upmann No. 2.
  • Monarcas
  • Sir Winston.

Special releases and limited editions include:

  • Magnum 50 released in 2005.
  • Magnum 48 released in 2009.
  • Robusto released in 2012.
  • Magnum 56 released in 2015.

Reviewing the Upmann Corona Major

The H.Upmann Coronas Major is just over five inches long and has a ring gauge of 42. Reviews often mention the wonderful aroma given out by the cigar as soon as it’s unboxed.

There is a distinct sweet scent of tobacco and the first third of the smoke leaves a velvety sensation, with creamy and thick smoke. Flavours for the first third revolve around the richness of coffee, leather and cedar with a very slight spicy feel left on the tongue.

The second third is where the cedar flavour kicks in harder with yet more very rich, creamy smoke. The final third evolves even further with floral hints as well as notes of honey and sweetness.

Overall, the Upmann Coronas Major is well reviewed for its affordability. It’s a great choice for regular smokers and is an accessible choice for newbies to the world of cigars.

It takes about an hour to smoke start to finish, with lots of complex flavours packed into the smoking experience. Rich and creamy smoke goes alongside an earthy spiciness throughout every third.

The final word

The Corona Major has been in constant production since 1937, and it’s safe to say that it’s stood the test of time for cigar aficionados. It’s become one of the most popular of the line for newcomers to Cuban cigar collecting, thanks to its dependable lightness.

Gentle but complex flavours along with a smooth draw make this a great choice for pretty much everyone who is interested in trying a Cuban cigar. It’s also great for celebrations, such as a wedding, as it’s likely to be enjoyed by most smokers.

Swiss Cuban Cigars: reviewing the Wide Churchill from Romeo y Julieta

Romeo y Julieta is a brand much loved among cigar aficionados, and its Wide Churchill cigar is equally popular.

Before we look more closely at the Wide Churchill itself, it’s worthwhile delving into the history and development of the overall brand.

Romeo y Julieta – the birth of a Cuban cigar brand

Named, of course, for Shakespeare’s most well loved tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the brand of cigars was launched in 1875 by Manin Garcia and Inocencio Alvarez.

Today you can see on the logo references to the gold medals that the brand won during the first decades of its existence. Between 1885 and the turn of the century, Romeo y Julieta won lots of tasting exhibition awards.

Despite this early success, the brand itself didn’t establish itself more widely until it was bought by Jose Rodriguez Fernandez (aka ‘Pepin’). Prior to the acquisition Fernandezz headed up the Havana based Cabanas factory under his company name: Rodriguez Arguelles u Cia.

He bought the Romeo y Julieta brand in 1903 and took it overseas. A keen traveller throughout the Americas and throughout Europe, Fernandez was able to spread the word about his brand of Cuban cigars.

Clever marketing and a great brand

Due to Fernandez’ exceptional sales ability, the Romeo y Julieta brand became very very popular among wealthy customers all around the world during the first decades of the 20th century.

The brand became known for its special editions and personalised cigars created for individual customers. And you may already have guessed this, but the most famous lover of Romeo y Julieta cigars was none other than Sir Winston Churchill himself – quite the accolade!

Today, the brand’s leading vitola (size) is named for Sir Winston, and continues to be extremely popular. Fernandez died at the grand age of 88 in 1954, after which Cuban cigars were nationalised following the revolution.

While we are now going to look in more detail at the Wide Churchill, it’s worth pointing out that Romeo y Julieta has a vast range of vitolas in its line.

Sir Winston Churchill loved Romeo y Julieta cigars

Just as Sir Winston Churchill was a larger than life cigar lover, the Cuban named after him is also extremely large. The Wide Churchill was added to the brand’s range in 2010 in order to provide customers with a larger ring gauge.

The original Romeo y Juliet Churchill was first named for Clemenceau. Following Churchill’s visit to 1946, it was swiftly renamed after the Prime Minister. It was another 60 years before the Short Churchill was introduced, followed by the Wide.

The Wide Churchill is hand-rolled using the same high quality tobacco hailing from the uelta Abajo region in Cuba that the other Churchills use. It’s a perennial favourite with cigar lovers, particularly those looking for something that really feels meaty in the mouth.

How does the Wide Churchill smoke?

So, we’ve had a look at the history of the Wide Churchill and we know the tobacco used to hand roll it. But what does it actually taste like when you smoke it?

Because it’s such a large ring gauge (55), the Wide Churchill naturally offers the smoker a cooler and slower experience. This actually allows the rich flavour to flourish and develop as you smoke it. Before you even light it, the Wide Churchill is extremely tactile and pleasing.

Wrapped in a very dark wrapper (Colorado leaf), the cigar’s outer has the appearance of distressed leather, which helps to add to its rich and luxurious feel. It’s the perfect addition to a celebratory event, such as a wedding, as it allows for a slow, relaxed communal smoking experience. And, of course, it’s such high quality.

Complex yet balanced flavour profile

When you first draw on a Wide Churchill, you immediately experience floral, spicy and sweet aromas. On the mouth, you will taste hints of pepper with and underlying earthy quality wrapped in a nutmeg and toast flavour.

Once the smoking is fully underway and you’re making your way through the first third of the cgar, you will taste complex flavours comprising caramel, nuts and leather with a hint of sweetmess in a blackberry flavour.

While the smoke remains largely medium bodied throughout the smoke, you will get hits of full bodied too. And, as you smoke the final third of the Wide Churchill, the flavours become even more complex.

This complexity doesn’t disrupt the overall balance of flavours, however, but just adds to the diversity.

A satisfying smoking experience

Expect the flavours to deepen as you reach the end of the smoke and also expect the sooth quality of the experience to continue throughout.

While it’s the taste that brings cigar lovers back to the Wide Churchill over and over, the price point also helps. It gives you a lot of great smoking for the price, which obviously increases its appeal with keen smokers.

The Romeo y Juliet Wide Churchill really is the whole package. It’s the kind of cigar that newcomers to Cubans recognise as a classic, just from its looks. And, while it’s much loved by aficionados, it’s also a great entry level cigar for those new to smoking.

Incredibly satisfying to hold and to smoke, the Wide Churchill may be one of the younger additions to the Romeo y Julieta line, but it’s one that’s most definitely here to stay.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Wide Churchill

The team at Swiss Cuban Cigars are primarily based in Spain, but the site sells a vast range of authentic Cuban cigars all around the world. And while much of the store’s appeal is in its ease of use, fast delivery and simple payment options, the Swiss Cuban Cigars team also has a lot of love for the products they sell.

They regularly review the most well known and most loved Cuban cigar brands in order to help their customers select what’s right for their needs. The review for the Wide Churchill is consistently positive, with customers regularly citing them as a favourite thanks to their slow, rich smoking experience.

 

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the flagship cigar from Bolivar – the Royal Coronas

Simon Bolivar is revered as ‘the liberator’. One of the greatest historic figures in the Americas, Bolivar fought against Spanish rule and was instrumental in the sovereignty of a number of South American countries.

With such a strong figurehead for a brand label, it’s unsurprising that Bolivars are particularly renowned for their robust, deep flavour profile. They’re among the most robust Cuban cigars out there and remain a favourite particularly with aficionados who have been smoking for a while and appreciate the rich, deep flavours.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Bolivar brand history

It’s thought that the brand itself was established in Great Britain originally, but didn’t stay there long.

Established by Jose F Rocha at the very start of the 20th century (possibly 1901 or 1902), the Bolivar brand was registered in Havana in 1921. By this time it was under ownership of Rocha’s company – JF Rocha y Cia.

Back then its flagship product was the Delgado, which was the smallest cigar in the world at the time. It measured just under 5cm long with a 20 ring gauge and remained extremely popular for the next couple of decades.

Bolivar cigars evolution through the 1950s and beyond

The rights to the Bolivar brand were acquired by Cifuentes y Cia in 1954. This is when production shifted to the world-famous Partagas Factory in Havana. Many of the original sizes and iterations are still made today.

As we touched on earlier, the Cuban Bolivar is known among cigar-lovers as one of the strongest on the market. The most famous examples of the brand include the Coronas Junior, the Petit Coronas, Belicosos Finos and the star of this review – the Royal Coronas.

The Royal Coronas is 124 mm long with a ring gauge of 50, making it a solid and chunky cigar to hold. Loved for its strength, the Royal Coronas is still a smooth smoking experience with luscious smoke produced in quantities.

Whether you’re looking for the ideal cigar for a special occasion or whether you want to keep some at home for the future, you can’t really go wrong with a Royal Coronas. Having said that, we wouldn’t necessarily suggest it as a gateway smoke for a newcomer, due to its rich, deep flavours.

From Charles to Royal Coronas in the 1970s 

The Royal Coronas was originally named ‘Charles’ but was renamed in 1973. World-famous, this is a brand routinely considered as one of the finest produced in the Cuban market. Thanks to its compact 50 gauge structure, it’s a real pleasure in the hand as well as to smoke.

In fact, we think there’s something uniquely comforting about holding a Royal Coronas. It has a pleasing weight and feel thanks to an extra smooth wrapper. In other words, it’s the perfect cigar choice if you’re looking for a contemplative, relaxing smoking experience.

When you first inhale, there is an aroma of roasted nuts mixed with mocha. Expect an even burn all the way through the whole cigar, which again helps it to create that relaxed vibe.

The first third of the cigar hits with heavy space but a nice, earthy feel to the base flavour. This quickly evolves and levels out into a more nutmeggy peppery flavour in the middle of the cigar. And when you reach the final third you should expect less spice and more of a lingering scent of young cedar.

Royal Coronas smoking experience and flavour profile

While you can always age this at home in your personal humidor, the great thing about the Bolivar Royal Coronas is that you don’t have to in order to enjoy its rich and complex flavour profile.

If you want to rip the cellophane off the box as soon as you get them, these cigars will still  taste great. They weigh in at 11.66g per cigar – there’s that pleasing hand weight we mentioned earlier – and have a truly luscious mouthfeel.

All of these reasons perhaps explain the brand’s popularity and longevity. It’s a properly high quality cigar that promises a reliably rich experience, but is priced well. Relatively speaking, the fairly modest price point for a cigar of this quality make it even more covetable for aficionados and new cigar smokers alike.

We like the regal nature of this cigar and the fascinating history of its namesake. But perhaps more than that, we like the array of flavours that hit the palate from the first draw onwards. The complexity and strength of this cigar make it perfect for a big occasion and just as appropriate for a solitary smoke while relaxing.

In summary

Great value, great tasting and an impressive cachet – Bolivar’s Royal Coronas packs a lot in. This is borne out by the reviews you’ll find with a simple Internet search. Again and again, customers praise its lush mouthfeel, complex flavour profile and enjoyable smoking experience.

For newcomers to the Cuban cigar market, our advice is always to buy from a reputable seller (like Swiss Cuban Cigars). This will help you to avoid the prospect of being stuck with counterfeit Cubans and it will make the whole buying process simpler and faster.

When you have your box of Royal Coronas in your hand, double check the seals and authenticity marks to be sure you have the real thing. And then dig in! Yes, you can age them and no doubt you could find endless advice online about which boxes should age for how long… but our experience tells us that the only way to learn which cigars you like best is to smoke them.

Always try them when you want to, rather than waiting for a long time because you think you have to. This is particularly the case with Royal Coronas from Bolivar as they are just as good when they’re young and fresh as when you’ve had them a few months.

It’s a great brand to start out with and a great vitolas to try for yourself. Enjoy!