Habanos SA, the Cuban state-enterprise responsible for the production and distribution of cigars from that fabled island, have been smoking something over the last few years. Sadly, I don’t think that what they’ve been smoking comes from their own range of fine, tobacco filled, options… I’ve already lamented the loss of classic cigars from the Cuban line-up, deleted from production by a faceless (and arguably moronic) bureaucrat. Just a couple of cigars which have been lost to the smoking public are the Partagas Serie de Connaisseur No1 (along with many more slim and small cigars) and the Trinidad Robusto T. Perhaps, to my mind, the greatest loss of all has been the cigar which I am reviewing here – the Bolivar Coronas Extra. It was included on HSA’s 2012 deletions list, so they are still about. Is it worth grabbing a couple of boxes before they’re all gone? Read on to find out… (Apologies for the lack of pictures, this is a review from the ‘archive’ which is my old notebook, so there are no pretty photos to go with it).
This Bolivar Coronas Extra was just a little hard to the touch – not the nice firm springiness one hopes for. It wasn’t rock hard, but perhaps just a tad under-humidified. The wrapper was a lovely milk chocolate colour with just a couple of small veins. All in all, good looking cigar, but perhaps a slight suggestion that it was well packed. 13
Smoking Characteristics /25
Pre-light the draw was reasonable, if a little firm. The cigar lit quite easily, and the burn was relatively even from the off. As the cigar progressed the draw opened up a touch, making it more or less ideal. The burn remained generally pretty good throughout the stick, though a couple of little touch-ups were required as we went along (nothing major). The ash was a nice light grey, but never instilled terribly much confidence that it would hold on much beyond half an inch – it certainly seemed quite delicate. 22
The pre-light draw was grassy with hints of liquorice. This was in stark contrast to the quite intense roasted nut profile on lighting. This nuttiness was tempered, very nicely, with a slight coffee-creaminess. This was a Bolivar par excellence at the outset. After about twenty minutes a slight grassiness did eventually develop, though hints of nut still remained alongside a touch of woodiness. There remained a distinct nuttiness to the aroma. The grass continued for a short while before giving way to almonds as the primary flavour (slight grassy notes remained at the back of the profile though). Gradually the grass faded entirely, and the almonds became more subdued at the same time, with a lovely creamy flavour returning – this time highlighted with citrus notes. As the cigar drew to a close, there were some more hints of coffee before some meaty flavours started to develop, alongside a slightly tannic mouth feel. At this stage, as the cigar came to its conclusion, I decided to lay it down and relax contentedly. 23
Overall Impression /35
Habanos SA deleted the Bolivar Coronas Extra, eventually, in 2012. They must have had their reasons, though clearly the quality of the product cannot have been one of them. I found this cigar to be a delightful journey, and everything that a bolivar should be – rounded creaminess for the most part, with hints of nuts, wood, and citrus. The CE hit the mark perfectly with a satisfying medium-full body and flavour. It will be a very sad day when these are no longer available because they really are a perfect cigar. Perfect size, well balanced flavours, and a Bolivar fan’s absolute dream. RIP. 32
Grand total… 90/100
SO… Grab some boxes whilst they’re left!