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Cuban Cigars

Famous Cuban Cigars: Bolivar Belicoso Fino

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

If you’re going to have 10 Cuban cigars in your humidor, and if you like some variety in your vitolas (shapes), then you are going to want the Bolívar Belicoso Fino in that collection. The Bolívar Belicoso Fino is, in my opinion, one of the most elegant Cuban cigars you can smoke.

FLAVOR

The Bolívar Belicoso Fino, 5.5 x 52, is among the most full-bodied of Cuban cigars. That, of course, is relative to the traditionally medium body of most Cuban cigars, but the Bolívar Belicoso Fino is definitely full of flavor. I’d call it medium-full in power. Until recently, this was the only Figurado in the Bolívar brand. (A Salomón, 7.25 x 57, called Armonías, was released in 2008 as a Regional Edition for China.) The Bolívar Belicoso Fino has delivered a complex mix of mineral notes, slightly bitter cocoa, and coffee beans. The power is there in the form of an earthiness contained in a good amount of smoke. This, to my experience, is one of the most consistent and best-drawing cigars made in Cuba. In 2018, the Bolívar Belicoso Fino was a Cigar Aficionado top 25 cigar of the year.

JUNIOR

In 2009, Habanos added a Bolívar Petit Belicoso, 4.875 x 52, as a limited edition. I found the flavor to be strong, but not at all as refined as the original. There was a bit of spice, but nowhere near the complexity that you expect from Bolívar. You need to be aware that different versions of popular Cuban cigars are released just to capitalize on the popularity of the originals. The limited editions are not always as good.

BUY ME!

At James J. Fox in London, the Bolívar Belicosos Finos go for about US$34. You can get 25 in cedar cabinets with a slide top or a dress box lined with paper. In Mexico’s La Casa del Habano, the cigar goes for about US$571 for a box of 25, or about US$23 per cigar. In duty free shops, you might find a box for half the price.

The Bolívar Petit Belicoso was listed at about US$20 in London, but was not in stock. As it is a limited edition release, the Petit Belicoso is going to be tough to find. Candidly, I wouldn’t bother looking too hard.

THE BRAND HISTORY

Among the fun facts regarding the Bolívar brand is that the cigars originally contained marijuana. That, it’s believed, is where the cigar got a reputation for being full flavored. The brand is named for the Venezuelan-born Simón Bolívar (Simón is see-MOHN is Spanish), who appears on the brand’s label. Bolívar fought for Latin America’s liberation from Spain in the 19th century. He died in 1830 in Colombia. The Bolívar cigar was born in 1901 or 1902, possibly in England. The founder, José F. Rocha, a Spaniard, did not register the brand in Havana until the 1920s. The marijuana went into the blend in 1954 after the brand was purchased by the owners of Partágas after Rocha died. Clearly, that made Bolívar cigars very popular around the world. No, there’s no longer any marijuana in the cigars.

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