The Story Behind Bolívar Cigars
The Bolívar brand was founded in 1901 by Jose. F. Rocha, but was not registered as a Cuban cigar brand for just over twenty years. The story goes that Jose named the brand after General Simon Bolívar, a valiant hero who led the revolution that liberated Latin America from Spanish Rule. It’s said that his courage and bravery was what led them to victory and freed them at last after two centuries since the Spanish invaded. It also earned him the epithet’ El Libertador’ and inspired the powerful flavours found in every Bolívar cigar and that's why they are so full-bodied and robust in flavour.
Bolívar sounds like an interesting character, especially if he inspired one of Cuba’s most powerful brands, strength and sales wise. Let’s get to know him a little better.
Simón Bolívar whose full name was Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios Ponte y Blanco (wow that was a mouthful), was born in Venenzuela and moved to Spain when he was 16 to study. It was during his travels in Europe, including Spain and France where Bolivar began to understand the teachings of Enlightenment, which was supposedly what motivated him to rebel against and in turn overthrow the reign Spain had in colonial South America.
From 1808 , Bolívar played a very important role in the establishment of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama as sovereign states, independent of Spanish rule using his conservative philosophy.
Right enough of that, let’s get back to the brand. As aforementioned, Bolívar was founded over a century ago by Jose F. Rocha. It was established in Great Britain, but thankfully moved to Cuba to make the most of the incredible tobacco being farmed there. A true visionary, Jose knew Cuba was where the brand had to be to make a mark in the cigar world.
When the founder died in 1954, Cifuentes y Cia. Production bought the brand and moved production to the Partagas factory in Havana. In fact, a lot of Bolívar cigars are still made there today, over 50 years later.
Like many other brands, Bolívar fled Cuba during the Cuban Revolution, but unlike some lucky few, the brand was not as popular or well received when production took place outside of Cuba (obviously!) and the brand suffered in sales. The brand was therefore nationalised and continued production in Cuba, creating more powerful cigars.
In 2004, Altadis U.S.A bought a share in Habanos S.A and became an official sponsor of the Cigar Rights of America. The General manager, Javier Estades gave out a statement saying “We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Cigar Rights of America, and we look forward to working together to help our industry, and to build a more positive environment for all of us who appreciate and enjoy the premium cigar lifestyle,” which he felt was put into practice brands were required to focus on handmade cigars, rather than machine made ones.
As you very well know, Bolívar cigars are famous for their bull-bodied flavours and known as powerhouse smokes. The following are an example of the most loved cigars for sale:
The Robusto vitola of this cigar makes it very popular amongst aficionados, particularly with its bold flavour palette.
One that surprises most as it’s a particularly small format, this cigar still packs quite a punch.
No.9 in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars List of 2015, it is the only figurado in the Bolivar line and delivers strong earthy flavours in abundance.
Final Fun Fact: Bolívar once produced the smallest Cuban cigar, known as the Delgado. It measured only 47.625mm long and had a ring gauge of just 20.
We hope you enjoyed our article about the brand. Shop our collection of Bolivar cigars on our website!