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.