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CW Review: Bolivar Royal Corona

  Published Monday, February 26, 2001

The Bolivar cigar was introduced in 1901and is almost as widely know as it's namesake, Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan warrior who liberated all or part of what is today Venezuela, Columbia, Peru and Bolivia.

The Bolivar brand was developed by the Jose Rocha Company and manufactured at the El Crepusculo factory, but was later acquired by Menendez, Garcia y Cia.

The Bolivar cigars are manufactured in the Por Larrañaga factory, which is located at 713 Salvador Allende. The factory dates back to the 1830s and produces about 4 million cigars a year. It's also produces Por Larrañaga, Partagas and Ramon Allones cigars.

Simon Bolivar, 1783-1830

Patriot and hero of the independence-wars of Latin America. He participated in the foundation of the countries Bolivia, Columbia, Peru and Venezuela. Son of a wealthy Creole family born in a region of Venezuela, he visited Europe and was influenced by the French revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte was his idol. As a self-proclaimed "man of destiny" he started the uprising against the Spanish crown in Bolivia. The independence from Spain did not lead to the liberal states and democracies as he expected. Simon Bolivar died on December 10,1830 as a disillusioned man- "America cannot be ruled".

Front Mark Size SRP
Belicosos Finos 5.5 x52 $12.40
Belvederes 4.93 x 39 $3.80
Bonitas 5 x 40 $5.25
Coronas Extra 5.687 x 44 $9.75
Coronas Gigantes 7 x 47 $14.10
Coronas Junior 4.375 x 42 $5.70
Immensas 6.75 x 43 $10.00
Lonsdales 6.5 x 42 $9.15
Panatelas 5.06 x 35 $3.10
Petit Coronas 5.125 x 42 $6.40
Royal Coronas 4.93 x 50 $9.25
Tubo #1 5.625 x 42 $9.60
Tubo #2 5.125 x 42 $7.85

Cigar Weekly reviews are blind taste tests conducted by our readers. Reviewers are sent three samples with all identifying marks removed. Reviewers are chosen randomly from the list of everyone that has signed the Cigar Weekly Guest Book. Their comments are below.

Pre-Smoke Comments

Andy Kerman (ChicagoHemi): Cigar # 141 is a Havana Robusto with a smooth, silky Colorado wrapper. The bunch was hard in a couple of spots, but overall firm. First sample tunneled a bit at the start, but straightened out with no help. Also, it had a dent in the middle, which leads me to believe this was a Cabinet Selection. Second sample had slight damage at the foot. Pre-light aroma was pungent and herbal. Well-made triple cap. First impression: a high quality vitola with a promise of full body flavor.

James L Wiley (JimnGA): #141 was a light to medium brown robusto w/a slightly oily, very fragile wrapper w/little to no veins. Pre-light draw was easy and there were good tobacco aroma and flavors w/o a trace of ammonia present. The wrapper was unraveling and cracked in several places on both samples. This was not a well made robusto!

John Marcello (Oppie X): Very nice looking veiny Colorado wrapper robusto.Approx .5 x 50 in size. The cigars came in very good shape upon arrival. Rolled very good with no soft spots and nice triple cap. Very pleasant pre-smoke aroma. After cutting the cap and testing the draw which was dead on, I was treated to a slight cedary flavor.

Steven R. Case, Jr. (Jayhawk): Cigar #141 is a nice robusto. It has a dark tan wrapper that is kind of rough, but I've found that to be normal with Cuban smokes. It had a perfect burn, and a solid gray ash. Both samples, though, were way too tight. Nearly plugged.

Travis Adams (MrSevenAndSeven): This light wrappered Robusto smelled marvelous. A little rough looking with a few nicks that I attribute to shipping. The wrapper was oily and perfectly rolled. Both samples had nice caps that made cutting them a breeze.

Cigar photo by Steve Faccenda.  Copyright � 2001 Cigar Weekly Magazine.  All rights reserved.Smoke Comments

Andy Kerman (ChicagoHemi): A richly flavored cigar with a nice balance. Started off very spicy then settled into woody flavors with mild spice, hints of leather and earth with some vegetal notes on the finish. Lots of thick smoke and a nice long finish. The flavor reminds me of a Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2.

James L Wiley (JimnGA): The cigar produced ample amounts of medium strength smoke. At first I there were slightly grassy bland flavors then the first half of the samples yielded rich flavors of tobacco, coffee, and slight hints of herbs w/honey on the finish. The second half picked up an earthiness but then went bad, I had significant problems--burn & tunneling--so bad I had to torch both samples the whole second half which killed the flavor IMO.

John Marcello (Oppie X): After lighting the cigar and taking the first draw which remained excellent I knew I was in for a treat. The cigar produced volumes of full-bodied smoke. Not a spicy taste but more of a woody and earthy flavor. It was never a boring taste that left you wanting more. It kept my interest throughout smoking it. Slight cedary taste that I noticed in the pre-draw remained constant throughout. Burn and draw of the cigar remained on throughout. Flavor profile was very agreeable and never bitter.

Steven R. Case, Jr. (Jayhawk): The flavor was very interesting. It started out with a mild earthiness that was almost sweet, and added a rich, medium spiciness in the later parts. There was a slightly bitter aftertaste, but not overpowering.

Travis Adams (MrSevenAndSeven): While the cigar smoked well (burn, volume of smoke etc.) the taste was truly awful. Both samples were extremely sour and hot. While I wanted to like this cigar for its beautiful construction, I just couldn't do it. Both samples tasted very young to me, leaving a very bitter and harsh taste in my mouth.

Summary Comments

Andy Kerman (ChicagoHemi): A pleasant well-made cigar with very agreeable flavors. The pre-light aroma was misleading as the body was a bit on the mild side. It's not one that I would seek out as I favor a more robust smoke. However, I would certainly enjoy tasting these from time to time, perhaps on a lazy weekend morning with a cup of coffee.

James L Wiley (JimnGA): Although I did somewhat enjoy the first half of the cigars, I think the construction problems in the second half rendered these ISOM's barely acceptable. I've had some MM/HF ISOMS that make these appear as seconds in the flavor and smoking characteristics! Unless these were exceptional bargains I would never buy them!

John Marcello (Oppie X): Great looking robusto that smoked excellent with a nice dark grey ash. Agreeable full-bodied flavor that was never bitter. It didn't spin my head but never let me forget I was smoking it. I would best describe the flavor profile as earthy and woody with a slight cedar undertone. A robusto that I would recommend smoking after a nice meal. A welcome addition to my humidor.

Steven R. Case, Jr. (Jayhawk): If not for the draw problems, this would have been a great cigar. But I found the extreme tightness frustrating. I'm hoping I just got a couple bad samples.

Travis Adams (MrSevenAndSeven): A beautifully constructed robusto that just didn't make the grade with me. If other reviewers liked this cigar then perhaps I simply did not appreciate its strong flavor. However, the bitter and harsh aftertaste was just too much for me. This is definitely not a cigar I would buy.


Andy Kerman 4.0 4.5 5.0 4.0 8.0 8.5 9.0 43.0
James L Wiley 3.0 2.0 4.0 4.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 28.0
John Marcello 4.0 4.0 5.0 4.0 8.0 7.0 8.0 40.0
Steven R. Case, Jr. 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 7.0 8.0 6.0 37.0
Travis Adams 4.0 4.0 4.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 5.0 22.0
Averages 3.8 3.9 4.2 3.6 6.0 5.9 6.6 34.0
To achieve the final score we throw out the high and low total scores then average the remaining scores. For more information see the link below for Review Methods.

Review Results
Final Score: 34.0 out of 50

3 1/2 Stars -- Above Average

This week was another split decision with three reviewers enjoying this week's cigar, and two wishing for something else. Some construction problems may have contributed to the less-than-stellar ratings. Another contributing factor may have been the relative youth of this box of cigars. Bolivar Royal Coronas are generally lighter than others in the brand with flavors of earth and wood and some spice. Royal Coronas are generally considered medium bodied with medium strength.
Cigar photo by Steve Faccenda.  Copyright � 2001 Cigar Weekly Magazine.  All rights reserved. 

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