Category Archives: Bolivar

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 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!