Bolivar Robusto Crystal

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Yet another cigar brand name that has Cuban roots: Bolivar. This is the "2005 blend" made in Santiago, Dominican Republic by General Cigar. It's an interesting blend of leaves, with a Honduran wrapper, a Connecticut binder, and filler from the D.R. as well as Nicaraguan leaf from both Esteli and the volcanic island of Ometepe.

The wrapper is from the small valley of San Agustin, Honduras, which is also the source for the wrapper on the Punch Gran Puro — a rich and powerful leaf that is rightfully gaining a solid reputation. The binder is "Havana Medio Tiempo" from the corona part of the plant, a step above ligero at the very top. And the higher you go, the more powerful the leaf becomes. This leaf is used as a wrapper on the Partagas Black label. Ometepe is an island in the middle of lake Nicaragua where the Plasencias have been experimenting with tobacco cultivation. I would expect the volcanic soil to have a profound effect on the flavor and quality of the leaf. (The current issue of Cigar Aficionado has an article about Ometepe, but I haven't picked up a copy yet.)

The "2005 blend" was created by master cigar maker Daniel Nuñez, with advice from such luminaries as Estelo Padron, Benji Menendez, and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. It was developed with the original Cuban Bolivar in mind, intended to be a "flavorful powerhouse of a cigar, and worthy of its pedigree."

The wrapper on this solid cigar is fantastic in every way, a dark oily delight. The aroma from the wrapper is the best part of this smoke– rich with leather and something like coffee or strong cocoa. It's not a powerhouse, in my opinion. I'd call it medium at best, but a flavorful and smooth medium.

I can't render a final opinion on this cigar however, because the sample I tried was really tight. It burned very well, but the draw was laborious. I was really enjoying the flavor of the smoke, but I tossed it at the halfway point because the draw was so annoying. I will have to pick up a few more of these to see if I just got a bad stick this time.

For the moment, I'd say go with the Punch Gran Puro for a similar taste (but definitely more powerful) and better construction.

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6 thoughts on “Bolivar Robusto Crystal

  1. I’ve looked around at other reviews and it looks like most folks have had a better experience than I did. It’s a great tasting cigar, no doubt. Hope yours is a good one. Thanks for dropping by, Mark.

  2. I think you got a bad stick man. Your review was right on in every aspect so to miss on the draw is just bad luck. Let us know when you pick up another stick and give it another chance.

  3. Interesting information on the origin of the tobacco.

    Ive never had one of these cigars, although i have one in my humidor that was a gift.

    The look seems to be much more upscale that the cafordia series. I just havent been able to get myself to light it. Maybe I have that common misconception that a good looking tubed cigar deserves to be smoked on a special occasion.

    At any rate, lots of good information here. Keep up the good work.

  4. Just a note about the Bolivar Cofradia– for some reason the distributor decided to play around with the names here. The Cofradia is what the Bolivar Fuerte used to be; and the 2005 blend is what the standard Bolivar used to be. I had a few Fuertes in the past and liked them pretty well. Don’t know if they tinkered with the blends or not, but I expect they did.

    And it looks like you’ve seen through the glass tube misconception, so to speak, and yet you haven’t seen the cigar! I’ll make you a deal, Walt. Smoke that sucker and review it. I’ll get another one to see if I just got a bad stick.

  5. Ok – I think you hit on a bad one – I loved mine! And the one before was a Romeo Y Juliet Rothschild, and the one prior to that was the Gran Puro – I would take this Bolivar over either of the others (They had no flavor in comparison)- I will get another or two. If you want an inetesting cigar, try the Carlos Torano Reserva Decadencia. Thank you for the interesting history.

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