Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by dannymayo, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. It was my friends 30th birthday the other day and I forgot to bring some smokes. It's a good thing he had received some Bolivars from a buddy earlier, Royal Coronas! I haven't had a Bolivar in at least 2 years, I've been going through my existing stock. I've had a bunch of Cuban cigars before and I was always pleased with them but rarely amazed. The Bolivar was perfectly constructed and was so smooth and full flavor. I only have 2 Cubans left, a rather large Cohiba and a petit H. Upmann. My preference for Cuban's is as follows:

    Hoyo De Monterrey
    H. Upmann
    Romeo Y Julieta

    If the consistency is good I'd put the Bolivar up there with Hoyo De Monterrey and Punch.

    I've tried other Cuban smokes but not enough of any other brand to make judgement. I'll add that I find most Cuban cigars overpriced and are riding on their reputations from decades ago BUT 90+% of the Cuban cigars I've tried were excellent cigars.

    *Your mileage my vary, only one man's opinion, etc.

    Any Badger and Blade Bolivar fans?

  2. Aye. Received some as a gift. I had a pleasant experience. They were aged too. Much to say about smokability and texture...lovely.
  3. i've got a few sitting around, but kinda saving them for a bit. looking very forward to it though!
  4. I rarely smoke cigars these days, but when I did, the Bolivar Royal Corona was my favorite. I may or may not have a few aging nicely somewhere....
  5. I have not had a Bolivar, but I can say that I believe Cubans are overrated. After decades maturing the tobacco plants in other countries and training the rollers, I think you get a much more consistent cigar out of the D.R., Honduras or Nicaragua than you do in Cuba. The last box of Cubans I had (this was years ago, by the way, don't know if it is current), they were plagued with construction problems. Out of the 25, 15 were excellent. Five were Ok but either too tight or loose, or did not hold together well. Five were a real problem either tunneling or canoeing. I've never bought Cubans since.

    Maybe you can get better cigars there, I don't claim to know. But I think a lot of their appeal in the U.S. is because you cannot get them. Creates an undeserved mystique, IMO.
  6. Argonaut

    Argonaut Moderator Emeritus

    I think that the majority of the members on this forum (and others) that can acquire Cuban cigars legally, prefer them over the rest. To me, that shows that they are still top of the line. I do not consider the Bolivar Royal Corona as the best example, and there are DR, Hon, Nic, cigars that are it's superior, but there are Cubans that can't be touched by these countries. It's all a matter of taste though, and no one is wrong or right. 50 years ago the best selling cigar, and favorite of JFK, was the Candella wrapper. Most folks will describe it now as tasting like lawn clippings, but it used to be the primo smoke.
  7. 73mountaineer

    73mountaineer Moderator Emeritus

    +1 to Jason's comments above.

    I can honestly say that having smoked both Cuban & also non-Cuban cigars, Cubans are very unique. Are they always better? Depends on your particular tastes, just like anything else. I have had Cubans with construction problems, but I have also had many non-Cubans with the same. As a general rule, the flavor profile of Cuban tobacco just hits the sweet spot of what I am looking for in a cigar. Someone else may prefer something else.

    What really does rub me the wrong way is when I see someone compare a $5 Cuban cigar to a $15 non-Cuban cigar and proclaim that Cubans are overrated and not worth the trouble. Compare like for like and the Cuban will come out on top more often than not.

    Generally speaking, my order of preference would be:
    1. Cuban
    2. Nicaraguan
    3. Honduran
    4. Dominican
    5. Other

    There are exceptions all up and down that list though. Dominicans are usually too woody to me, but I have also had some that I really like. I pick up an earthy, almost mineral-like flavor from Cubans and Nicaraguans that I really like, but I have had others that are a swing & a miss for me too. I don't get all of the little intricacies that some people try to pull out of a cigar taste so whatever is the most dominant taste is what will usually decide whether I like it or not.

    That said, as a rough estimate, probably 25-30% of the my cigars are Cuban & I usually save them for special occasions or gifts to good friends. If I am just walking the dog, I grab something else.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  8. I probably should not have chimed in--my experience has been with one box quite a while ago, and the occasional Cuban a buddy hands me on rare occasion, I don't really have enough experience with them to have what would be considered an 'informed' decision.

    I remember the candela wrappers! My uncle always had them. It's funny how quickly it seemed to turn, I only remember him smoking green cigars when I was a kid, by the time I started enjoying them in college and my early military days you almost never saw one, it was all natural or maduro wrappers by then. Do any premium brands even offer candela wrappers any more? I've gotten away from cigars over the years and on a pipe kick recently.
  9. 73mountaineer

    73mountaineer Moderator Emeritus

    La Flor Dominicana and Illusione both offer candelas, or at least they did recently. I keep thinking that I would like to pick one up because I have never tried a candela, but then I see them in the store and can't get myself to pull the trigger on a green cigar. :huh:
  10. +1

    huge fan of good cigars regardless of where they are from. the Habanos SA are still plagued more by construction issues than many of the non Cuban brands for reasons of pure economics, thoguh from what i am told the situation ahs improved greatly in the last 10 years... but as cigars are one of the top exports of Cuba, and like most Nations, they are in debt, they make too many for quality control to adequately handle.

    That said, the soil in the Vieja district especialyl is still the best to my taste than any other on the planet- though the Esteli valley and Jamastran valley in Nicaragua are a close second (think padron... OMG, flavorful and I'd put a Padron Anniversario up against nearly any Cuban made - Ramon Allones, Trinidads Cohibas, and a few others excepted) for that reason I often stick to the cigars and or brands of the Habanos variety that the best tabacalaras (cigar rollers) make. Any of the brands' figurado shapes (as they are harder to roll, the better rollers are put on em), or any of the top end brands: Trinidads, Cohibas, Ramon allones, Vegas Robainas etc etc.

    for the most part I favor Cubans and Nicaraguans over Hondurans or Domincans -tho the Fuente's of the Dominican Republic also make some incredible smokes.... (the Opus line is as overpricd as any cuban) alot of it does come down to personal taste.

    The variety in non cuban cigar wrappers is tremendous as well (ie Sumatran, etc), and I think for most casual smokers the price difference isn't necessarily worth the difference in taste.

    Many still like the allure of smoking something forbidden, or rarer smokes...

    Look at the run on pipe tobaccos that are low on production at various times.

    as for Bolivars. I am a huge fan of both the Cuban and Honduran brands - though in this case, there is no comparison between the two. It is a brand I only get in the figurado form as there was major production issues with their Churchills and robustos back in the day.

    smoke what you like and like what you smoke :)
  11. Argonaut

    Argonaut Moderator Emeritus

    Fuente still had a Candella last I checked, so did Hoyo. The Fuente was the best, I like them, but they are generaly very mild. They do have a grassy, sweet flavor, definately worth trying. JR cigars seems to be the place that carries the most variety, they classify them as a "double claro" or " claro/claro".

Share This Page