Few of the Cuban brands now being made in other countries possess their namesakes’ strength, but Bolivar, which was first rolled in 1901 in Havana, is one of the exceptions. General Cigar recently resurrected the “Boli,” enlisting four of the company’s most experienced cigar masters—Daniel Nuñez, Benji Menendez, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, and Estelo Padrón—to perfect this robust blend.
Reminiscent of espresso, the musty aroma of the dark wrapper hints at this cigar’s power. The wrapper is ligero leaf grown in Honduras’ San Agustin Valley, a remote region with a mineral-rich soil similar to that of Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo. The Connecticut-grown Havano Medio Tiempo binder is the same that is used for Partagas Black Label. The filler is a meaty blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf, with added spice from tobaccos grown on the volcanic Nicaraguan island of Ometepe. This is a powerful smoke, but one with finesse. It is, as one panelist opined, a velvet hammer.