Bolivar Cigars: Powerful History Behind the Brand
Bolivar Lusiadas Cigar
A VICTORIOUS LEADER. ROBUST FLAVOUR. AN EXPERTISE CIGAR FAMILY
Continuing on with our series: Behind the Brand, where we explore the fascinating and spectacular history of the biggest names who produce the finest Cuban Cigars online. Already we have uncovered the stories behind:
Arguably, the most full-bodied and rich flavoured, Bolivar Cigars are associated with the characteristics of the powerful General Simon Bolivar, who helped free many South American countries from the Spanish, including Columbia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Famed for his strong character in the 1800’s, he seems fitting for a mighty cigar brand to be named after. Influenced by tradition and history, but inspired by contemporary innovation, Bolivar’s past dates back to more than a hundred years, starting in 1902.
BRITISH BEGINNINGS – The company originally began in Britain, where countries like Cuba were considered part of the ‘new world’. Having realised the great value of Cuban soil – perfect terrain, temperature and environment, production quickly moved. Spanish Jose F. Rocha created the cigars in the early 20th century, though they were not registered in Cuba until two decades later in 1921. At the time, Bolivar made the world’s smallest cigar. A Delgado, which has a 20 ring gauge and a length barely stretching one and a half inches. In England, the cigar is honoured with a miniature replica at the Windsor Castle playhouse. Rocha was in charged of the brand until his death in 1954, when another successful Cuban cigar brand took over.
Top Left and Bottom: Bolivar Lusiadas Cigar (Ex. Portugal 2017), Top Right: Cuban leader Fidel Castro
"the glory days spun to a cloudy horizon"
PARTAGAS FACTORY AND NATIONALISATION – Cifuentes y Cia purchased Bolivar and moved production to their Partagas factory in Havana. As uncovered in our post on their history, Partagas was eventually owned by the Cifuentes family. Ramon Cifuentes Llano who died in 1938, left the business to his three sons. They are considered responsible for Partagas Cigars becoming a worldwide success. Equally, the same accomplishment occurred when they took over Bolivar. All was well, a roaring triumph. However, the glory days spun to a cloudy horizon, as Fidel Castro rose to control. No large cigar company managed to escape nationalisation. It’s a repetitive anecdote; the owners flock to the Dominican Republic and re-launch their cigars, while the government in Cuba continue crafting the same. For the Cifuentes family, Dominican Republic Bolivar failed to gain popularity. The true quality of Bolivar Cigars remains in Cuba; the only location we source our Bolivar cigars from.
Left: A statue celebrating General Simon Bolivar, Top Right: Bolivar Belicosos Finos Cigar, Bottom Right: Bolivar Royal Coronas Cigar
"a spicy and potent flavour"
DISTINCTIVE TASTE – Although hard to verify, some believe Bolivar habanos once contained cannabis. Blended with the tobacco, adding to the unique aroma. While questionable, what we do know for certain, the cigars achieve a full and distinctive flavour, primarily by using Ligero leaves. Every leading Habanos name navigates their tobacco plantations in Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo region. The finest for constructing, Bolivar go a step further and use many Ligero leaves, the top leaves of a tobacco plant. They are closer to the sun and take far longer to mature (making them rare). The leaves form a spicy and potent flavour, contributing to the strength of Bolivar cigars. Additionally, they are characteristically slow burning and are used in the middle of filling-bundles. A varying amount of the leaves are included, depending on the age of a cigar’s production.
LEGACY AND MODERN REPUTATION – When Atladis bought into Habanos S.A, nearly all the Bolivar vitolas were condensed, and smaller machine-made cigars vanished. Bolivar has marked its name in cigar legacy, esteemed for perfect craftsmanship and a distinguishable, full-flavour. The Bolivar Royal Coronas Cigar is historic on its own – a smooth Robusto awarded “Cigar of the Year” by Cigar Aficionado magazine in 2005. Meanwhile, the Bolivar Belicosos Finos Cigar is accepted as the strongest by many, infusing tones of cedar and leather together, and again highly-regarded. All Limited Edition Cigars and Regional are seized quickly by aficionados globally, however we have a handful of Bolivar 681 Cigar (Ex. Bulgaria 2011) in stock. Measuring 153mm by a ring gauge of 53, this exquisite delight captures the spirit and life of Bulgaria, the country’s first Regional.
From a monumental leader, to a Spanish traveller and a prominent cigar family, Bolivar has gone through a century with many change and direction, never quite managing to lose its adoration or remarkable essence. The world of Cuban cigars and our cigars for sale online, wouldn’t be the same without this ingenious brand.