cigar review

Bolivar: Belicosos Finos

Bolivar is a big hitter in terms of cigar brands. I have smoked a couple of these cigars in the past, I think initially based on the recommendation of a cigar sommelier in a walk-in humidor.

For the next smoke of my cigar challenge, I will be trying a Belicosos Finos.

The stats:

Length: 5 1/2″ 
Strength: Full
Ring Gauge: 52
Cost: £21.29

Bolivar Belicosos Finos

History:

The Bolivar brand was founded in Great Britain in 1901 by Jose Fernandez Rocha, however, it wasn’t until 1921 that the brand was registered in Havana, Cuba.

Named after Simon Bolivar, a Venezuelan soldier and statesman who played a central role in the South American independence movement. The cigar is often described as ‘strong’, ‘powerful’ and ‘robust’ which some say is a direct comparison to the famous statesman.

Simon Bolivar, ‘Chromolitho’ – Anonymous painter

The Bolivar brand is known for producing the world’s smallest cigar. The ‘Delgado’, measuring 1 inch 8/9 inches with a 20 ring gauge, had the honour of having a miniature box of its cigars featured in the Royal nursery’s dollhouse at Windsor Castle.

(Note: I’ve been trying to track down an image of this, but no luck so far. If you have one, do share with me – just get in touch!)

After Rocha passed away, the Bolivar brand was sold by the Rocha family to the Cirfuentes family in 1954. Production was moved to the Partagas Factory in Havana, where many of these cigars are produced today.

Check out this video on the Partagas cigar factory, a place I want to visit. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, I had a 2-week trip there planned for May 2020, but it got cancelled. One day I will make it there.

Nowadays, one of the most instantly recognisable of all Cuban brands, Bolivar cigars are thought to be amongst the strongest, most full-bodied cigars produced in Cuba. Popular with cigar aficionados.

My experience:

I must say as part of this cigar challenge I was disappointed with this smoke. This shocked me somehow. Don’t get me wrong, it was an ok smoke but not wow-factor, which I expect with the big brands. I suspect it is due to this cigar challenge making me set my expectations super high, and if I cannot detect something extraordinary, then it doesn’t feel special.

Posing with the Bolivar Belicosos Finos
The cigar band features an illustration of Simon Bolivar

My rating: 6 out of 10

Next up… a CAO.

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