Simon Bolivar is an enormous figure in 19th South American history, having spread the
seeds of rebellion to nearly every corner of the South American Continent, which in turn had a profound influence on the revolutions that followed in the 20th Century that stretched as close to the shores of the US as Cuba.
And so it seems only natural that Simon Bolivar, a towering near-mythological figure, should have a Cuban cigar befitting his legacy named in his honor.
While most tout Simon Bolivar as one of the most important figures in all the history of the Americas, there are a great many still who know little of his struggles and triumphs. What is undeniable is that the cigar which bears his name is itself a bold character and wondrously important part of the cigar world.
It was during the early part of the 19th Century that Simon Bolivar began his rise to fame as “El Libertador” and set forth what would end the rule of the Spanish monarchy in Latin America. A mere glance at the list of nations Bolivar directly helped create is stunning proof of his importance not to just South American history, yet the history of the entire World.
Bolivar had a hand in founding Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and of course the nation that bears his name, Bolivia. Although his dream of a unified Latin America remained but a dream, Bolivar’s influence is nonetheless engrained into every brick of the foundation that is modern South America.
A celebrated hero throughout the Western Hemisphere, Simon Bolivar was a brilliant, if not natural, choice to be emblazoned upon a new, strong-willed cigar.
The Bolivar brand began in 1902 when Spanish businessman turned Havana resident, Jose Rocha set about creating a richer, fuller-bodied smoke than what was apparently available at the time.
Although the brand garnered some notoriety, it wasn’t until Rocha’s death and the purchase of his company by the famed Cifuentes family in 1954 that the Bolivar cigar began to reach a truly international audience.
Moving operations to Cifuentes y Cia’s Partagas factory in Havana, the storied family’s firm guided the Bolivar brand to a new level of quality and popularity, which carried the Bolivar name around the World as one of the absolute best Cuban cigars.
With the extraordinary strength and body that each cigar possessed, the Bolivar brand became a go-to choice for experienced cigar aficionados.
After the Cuban revolution and the rise of the Castro regime, however, the Cifuentes family fled Cuba and in 1978 licensed the Bolivar and Partagas names to General Cigar, makers of the world-renown Macanudo cigars.
And so the Bolivar brand became two, the original Cuban and now a Dominican-made version that was a far-cry from the muscular original.
The new Dominican Bolivar was also a well-respected creation amongst connoisseurs, yet its vastly different flavor profile and mellower nature did not capture the zealous spirit of the cigars namesake. This non-Cuban blend was eventually changed to a more energetic Honduran mixture in hopes of bridging the gap between the two brands.
The results were admittedly mixed amongst connoisseurs, but the new Bolivar still maintains its own dedicated following.
Although the blends have been tweaked over the years, Cuban Bolivar cigars are still the heavy hitters of the Cuban cigar line-up, offering those with heartier palates an amazingly rich experience filled with glorious treasures that rival the best Cuban cigars, including Cuban Cohibas, Partagas and Montecristo cigars.
The secret behind the Bolivar’s success is a blend built around plush binder and filler tobaccos exclusively from the renowned Vuelta Abajo region. With a heavy dose of robust Ligero leaves, the Bolivar emerges as titan of a smoke that delivers what for many has become the stereotypically strong “Cuban” experience.
“Bolivar Bold” has become the measuring stick by which all other cigars are compared and a catch-phrase for hearty cigar lovers the World over.
With an impressive range of cigar sizes, the Bolivar line-up is a fantastic journey into the world of Cuban cigars for all those looking for big-bodied, full-flavored smokes that won’t pull any punches.
The 94-rated Bolivar Belicoso Fino and Royal Corona have become connoisseur classics that never fail to amaze the senses with blasts of leather, cocoa, earth, coffee bean and licorice. Habanos SA, the arm of the Cuban government that controls the Cuban cigar portfolio has expanded the Bolivar to include many limited run cigars and regional off-shoots that are as uniquely satisfying and occasionally, milder in character than the original.
No matter your preference in cigars, the original Cuban Bolivar is an absolute must that continues to be a rite of passage for cigar lovers around the World. With a broad spectrum of cigar sizes, there is a potent Bolivar to suit all tastes.
Settle into your favorite cigar place and enjoy a Bolivar after a hearty meal and with an equally well-structured libation for a truly grand, unforgettable adventure inspired by the man, the myth, the legend that is Simon Bolivar.
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