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!

How good is the Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No 2? Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the best seller

One of the iconic Robusto cigars, the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2 is complex yet smooth and offers a sophisticated smoke without too much heaviness.

Before we go through the details in our review of the Epicure No 2, here’s a bit of background on this much loved brand of Cubans.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews | the Epicure No 2 from Hoyo de Monterrey

Hoyo de Monterrey is a Cuban cigar brand synonymous with quality and the finest tobacco. Owned by Habanos SA, which is the state-owned tobacco company in Cuba, the Hoyo de Monterrey brand is consistently up there among the favourites for cigar smokers.

All the way back in 1831, a young Spanish boy called Don Jose Gener y Batet landed in Cuba. At the age of 13, he started work on a tobacco plantation in Vuelta Abajo, which is one of the five tobacco regions in the country.

By the 1850s, Jose Gener had decided his future lay in Cuban cigars and he started his own factory in Havana. The first line of cigars produced was called La Escepcion, and he was immediately successful.

Using the profits from his Havana factory, Jose Gener acquired one of the finest farms in the best growing area – Vuelta Abajo.

The birth of Hoyo de Monterrey as a brand

That’s the background leading up to Jose Gener giving his brand a name: Hoyo de Monterrey. This translates as “the hole of Monterrey”, which derives from the kind of terrain that premium tobacco farmers prefer.

Very quickly, the Hoyo de Monterrey brand of cigars became very popular, particularly with the well off customers in Great Britain. Their patronage helped the factory to become of the biggest in Cuba.

Jose Gener died in 1900, but the family remained under his daughter’s leadership for the next 30 years.

Growing in popularity during the 1950s in pre revolutionary Cuba

In 1931, Fernandez, Palicio y Cia bought the brand from the Geners. They also bought the original La Escepcion brand from the family and brought them into their existing range.

By the 1940s, demand was increasing and the factory produced the Le Hoyo series of Cuban cigars specifically for the Swiss Cuban Cigar distributor A. Durr Co. And while half of the partnership, Ramon Fernandez, died soon after, the remaining owner Fernando Palicio continued to grow the brand. By 1958,13% of all Havana cigar exports came from his lines.

It wasn’t to last much longer as Palicio fled the country when the Revolution broke out. Safely ensconced in Florida, he then sold all of his cigar brands to the Villazon family, who continued to make the same high quality Hoyo de Monterrey specifically for the American market.

Back in revolutionary Cuba, the Government nationalised all the manufacturers of Cuban cigars in 1959. Hoyo de Monterrey continued to be produced in Cuba as well, and today is one of the best known and most loved Cuban cigar brands in the world.

The Epicure No 2 is very popular with cigar aficionados

Cigar connoisseurs regularly tout the Epicure No 2 as a big favourite. It has a ring gauge of 50 and is 124mm (4.7 inches) and is part of the Epicure line of cigars from Hoyo de Monterrey.

The other cigars in this range are the Epicure Delux (Petit Robusto), the Epicure Especial (Toro) and the Epicure No 1 (Toro). And when it comes to flavour and smokability, there are a number of reasons why the Epicure No 2 consistently ranks as one of the most popular Cuban cigars around the world.

Hand rolled using the finest tobacco that can be found in the best growing region in Cuba, perhaps it’s not surprising to find out how much it’s liked. Flawless construction with a double band also adds to its elegance, and hits the mark for aesthetics.

But it’s all in the flavour. When you smoke a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2 you can expect a very smooth and pleasantly enjoyable smoke undercut with a robust taste.

While the flavour is stronger than some other Cuban cigars, it’s not at all over powering, instead finding a very balanced flavour profile. You can definitely taste the notes of dried fruit, cinnamon and cocoa through the creamy smoke.

A quick but satisfying smoking experience

The Epicure No 2 can be smoked well straight away, even when the tobacco leaves are young. However, we’d always suggest storing it in your humidor at least for a while.

It’s a popular choice with aficionados, and is great for cigar novices to give a fine cigar a go. They will quickly discover just how complex a Cuban cigar can be, when made from the finest leaves.

Even when the leaves are young it has an even combustion – although it’s best left stored in a humidor for a while. The Hoyo de Monterrey is a cigar for seasoned smokers, however, novices are encouraged to give it a try to see just how complex and flavoursome a fine cigar can be.

As we’ve seen the Epicure No 2 remains one of the most popular Robustos from Cuba. The variety of flavours and relative accessibility of the flavour profile work in its favour.

It takes around 45 minutes to smoke a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No 2, making it a fast yet very smooth smoke. If you’ve never tried an Epicure No 2, you should give it a try. You may be surprised how delicately complex a fine cigar can be. As it’s a wider ring gauge than lots of other Cuban cigars, when you draw in the smoke it’s cooler and smoother than those with smaller gauges.

Of course, because it’s a wide Cuban, it also feels great in the hand and is ideal for special occasions as well as quick but sophisticated smoke breaks. Ideal, in fact, when you need a bit of headspace and are looking for a way to relax.

Swiss Cuban Cigars reviews the Cohiba brand

One of the largest sellers of Cuban cigars online, Swiss Cuban Cigars have lots of knowledge and experience with the best Cuban cigars on the market. The customer service team not only provides great service to customers looking for a deal, they also have opinions on their stock.

Satisfied customers write and post reviews on the Swiss Cuban Cigars they have purchased, while the business finds out which cigars are popular and which aren’t.

The best way to buy Cuban cigars online

For those looking to find cigars to buy online, Swiss Cuban Cigars offers secure payments, fast shipping, a fair price and better assistance than you’d find from most retailers.

Based in Spain, the company’s website shows different reviews for the same cigar and guarantee to never sell fake Cuban cigars. This is a growing problem in the market, with lots of unsuspecting customers unwittingly buying fake cigars online.

The customer service team provide the kind of excellent service that should put cigar lovers’ minds at rest. And with easy and secure payments, fast worldwide shipping and the extra guarantee of products sold in their original sealed box, you can’t really go wrong.

Don’t get caught out with fake Cuban cigars

Of course, a business like Swiss Cuban Cigars only works this well because of a collective love for the product. This is why they have a large selection on the site, and promise authentic Cuban cigars at a fair price.

The availability is generally decent as they have a lot of brands in stock, meaning buyers rarely have to wait too long for their precious boxes. But what about the Cuban cigars themselves?

If you’re a newcomer to the world of Cubans, you need more than fast delivery and a great price. You need someone to kindly explain what makes Cuban cigars so special, and the differences between each box and brand.

Delivery is free, which means cigar lovers can look forward to their purchases being shipped in a stress-free way.

Reviews can help you make up your mind which cigars to try

While customer reviews can help to find out what others think, it’s also useful to have the company experts review brands for you before you place your first order. Luckily, for Swiss Cuban Cigars, this is all part of the service.

If you need to select a cigar for a wedding or a business event, then finding out the history of the brand is a reasonable way to ensure you make the correct choice. You may never have smoked a specific brand, but with experts ready to write reviews, you’ll find that there are no mistakes in your choice of boxes.

Swiss Cuban Cigars regularly reviews different brands of authentic Habanos cigars regularly. Here’s their account of the history of the Cohiba brand.

The Swiss Cuban Cigars review of the Cohiba brand of cigars

Cohiba is a premium cigar brand made by Habanos in Cuba and the word itself derives from a Caribbean word for ‘tobacco’. Cohiba is a word used by the Taino indigenous people in the Caribbean, who mostly lived in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

They were the first indigenous people to meet a Western invader, and actually encountered Christopher Columbus when he made his 1492 voyage.

Each box of Cuban Cohiba are made with tobacco that comes from one of the five best tobacco growing regions in Cuba, the Vuelta Abajo region. This makes the cigars exceptionally fine and gives them a rich quality that many reviews cite as a major positive.

Background on the Cohiba cigar brand

Established in 1966, this brand was originally meant as a limited private brand specially for Fidel Castro himself, as well as some of the highest level officials in the Government and Party.

This meant that the Cohiba often reached other world leaders in the form of diplomatic gifts. Over the years, this helped them become a cult brand of cigars, renowned for their fine quality.

Eventually, the Cuban Cohiba brand became commercially available to members of the public. But it wasn’t until 1982 that the general population could buy a box. Perhaps the origins of the brand go some way to explain the pleasure taken in acquiring the exact boxes that Castro himself purchased.

The Cohiba brand regularly gets high review scores

When it comes to blind reviews, the Cohiba Siglo VI has consistently reached some extremely high scores. These reviews are from expert buyers, who take into account everything from pricing and value for money to the sheer quality of the smoking experience.

This means that reviews like these aren’t aimed at a sale, but give you plenty of assistance in understanding how a cigar brand will smoke before you decide to buy. Of course, Internet reviews can’t give you the exact experience of smoking a cigar, but definitely do help to not only compare the quality of a good selection of brands and to weed out attempts to sell fake Cuban cigars.

Swiss Cuban cigars may be based in Spain, but their website has the largest selection of non-counterfeit Cubans on the Internet. The site also offers reviews for each cigar. Given the guarantee for quality and authentic derivation of each cigar brand, the website offers the kind of service that buyers can trust.

Now let’s dig a little deeper into the history of the Cuban Cohiba cigar brand to find out just why it has become such a popular company on the market.

How Castro helped to launch the Cohiba brand

Synonymous with Castro himself, the Cuban Cohiba actually originated with one of his bodyguards. When Castro was offered one of the bodyguard’s private supply of cigars that turned out to be made by Eduardo Rivera.

Always on the lookout for the perfect cigar, Castro asked for a special run just for him of the then unbranded cigars. He did allow some of his colleagues to have them too, but the production run was very small.

In 1994, Castro related the story of the establishment of the Cohiba brand and the business that manufactures it. After learning from his bodyguard that the fine, aromatic cigar was made by a friend of his, Castro said: “Let’s find this man. I tried the cigar and I found it so good that we got in touch with him and asked how he made it.”

After learning from Rivera all about the specific leaves used and how the unbranded cigar was wrapped, Castro set up the El Laguito factory for him. And the rest is history with Castro saying: “Now Cohiba is known all over the world”.

Castro said that in 1994, but it remains true in 2022.

Private production evaded threats of assassination for Castro

Interestingly, another reason Castro was keen to have special cigars produced in small quantities just for him, is that at the time the CIA was allegedly working on ways to assassinate Castro (and other revolutionary leaders like Che Guavara).

One of the assassination tools was the development of exploding cigars by the technical department of the CIA. No wonder that Castro preferred a private service and a strictly controlled manufacturing site for his cigars.

By setting up the business and providing the money, cigar makers and other elements of the service, Castro was therefore integral in launching the Cohiba as a brand and business.

During the first years of Cohiba production, there were very few boxes rolling off the line. This is because they were only for high ranking Government officials. But they were, as we mentioned earlier, often given out to other leaders and diplomats as gifts. So, we can be sure that the superior Cuban Cohiba was being appreciate outside of Cuba too.

Cohiba launches to non American markets in 1982

It was the 1982 World Cup, which was hosted in Spain), that served as a launchpad for the Cuban Cohiba cigars to new markets around the world.

At that date, there were three vitolas produced by the company. These were the Lancero, the Corona Especial and the Pantela. Seven years later, the site began producing the Esplendido, the Equisito and the Robusto. These are now collectively known as the classic line (or Linea Clasica) of the company.

At a later date in 1992, the company launched another line of cigars. Called Linea 1492, this line was produced on site to mark the 1492 voyage of Columbus. Each vitola was therefore named as markers of the centuries since the voyage.

Often, the Habanos company releases special runs to make events or festivals. For example, every year they release a limited edition with a range of different sizes of their most popular cigars. These are differentiated by the fact that they are wrapped in different leaves – a darker vintage.

You may notice that the Cohiba brand name is also used by the company for different products too. These include a range of cigarettes that have been produced on site since 1987. Another example is the Cognac called Extra Cohiba. This has been made by the company since 1999.

Which leaves are used to make Cohiba cigars by the Habanos company?

One of the reasons that Cohibas consistently garner high review scores and very appreciative consumer reviews online is the fact that they use some of the very best tobacco Cuba offers.

This brand exclusively uses only the very best leaves from top rated fields (Vegas Finas de Primera) found in the San Juan y Martinez and San Luis zones. These zones are located in the famous Pinar del Rio Province of Vuelta Abajo.

You won’t easily find the site of the exact fields as they are closely guarded Cohiba trade secret. An average year of production on site uses leaves from just five of these carefully guarded fields.

What makes the production of Cohiba so special?

The factory provides an extra service when producing Cohiba products – a third process of fermentation at the factory in wooden barrels. This, according to reviews, works really well to make a cigar with the smoothest possible flavour.

This attention to detail, and meticulous service goes a long way to explaining the high level of reviews you can find online for Cohiba Cubans.

While the brand was originally only made at the factory that Castro set up – El Laguito – eventually some production moved to another factory. This one is called Partagas and is based in Havana.

Which is the best Cohiba vitola?

Cohiba as a brand is the best known around the world, and one of the most popular products in the range is the Cohiba Siglo VI.

This is one of the 1492 Line that we mentioned earlier, which launched in 1992. According to a blind review, the Siglo VI scored highly on just about every aspect, including 88/100 for appearance, 89 for aroma, 91 for the first third in terms of flavour, 93 for the second third, 88 for the final third.

Overall impressions came in at 91, with 87 for how it burns, 89 for construction and an overall score of 90.

Descriptions in the review include: “… this was a very good, smooth and velvety smoking experience,” and “… The cigar is fairly nuanced without having the spice to eat you over the head).

A great choice for a wedding or other special occasion

This review was blind and conducted by four reviewers, and we have to agree with its main points.

Anyone who is looking for the ideal smoke for a wedding, other special occasion or wants to be sure to avoid fake products should take advantage of the service that ensures a bona fide product.

Any of the Cohiba line is ideal for special occasions, or just as your everyday smoke. It’s for discerning smokers who want to enjoy a superior smoke, a smooth flavour and something a little bit special.

The brand has come a long way since it started as Castro’s private production line, but the very high quality remains the same.

 

Read product reviews on Swiss Cuban Cigars