Vitola de Galera: Mareva
Vitola de Salida: Petit Corona
Dimensions: 42 RG / 5 1/8 inches
Presentation: Dress box / 25’s
Vintage: Nov 2009 / OGA
Age When Tasted: 5 yrs, 4 months
Bolivar isn’t a brand I smoke that often. The main reason is that they really need about 5 years of age under their belt to get rid of the ammonia smell they tend to have while they morph and change in the box. Too young is just a waste if you want to experience them in their glory.
A secondary reason, is that the band drives me crazy. I don’t think it does the cigar justice–the face of Simon Bolivar looks cheaply printed–pixelated. I usually take the band off so I don’t have to think about that while I am smoking. It’s a super minor thing but aesthetics are an important part enjoying a cigar.
But they are awesome cigars.
This particular cigar is from a box in my collection dated November 2009.
No detectable ammonia smell when I sniff the foot.
Nice oily wrapper that is slightly veined. The draw before lighting feels slightly tight–we’ll see if that affects the draw when I light it.
Immediately after lighting, the rich aroma curls up around my nostrils. It has notes of leather, coffee and..cedar? Close to cedar but a little different. Hard to put my finger on.
The flavor is meaty. Tastes like a piece of grilled steak with a grinding of fresh black pepper on it that prickles ever-so-slightly on the tongue. And the firm pack on the cigar actually makes it feel like you have a piece of meat between your lips. Like you want to chew on it. So satisfying that I may not need to eat dinner tonight.
About 1/3 of the way in to it, the craziest thing is starting to go with the aroma. I realize now that the smell is not cedar, but pinon. Have you ever spent time in New Mexico in the fall or winter? Taos or Santa Fe? The smell of burning pinon firewood is everywhere. I’ve never smelled / tasted this in a cigar. Cedar, yes…but not pinon. But it is super compelling. It works really well with the meaty quality–it almost lightens it up a bit on the taste buds–sorta focuses it.
The cigar is burning well…evenly..and the draw has opened up–it didn’t go in the direction I thought it would based on the dry-draw. It is burning slowly…
Side Note: I’m a big fan of what’s left of the Bolivar range–I think they only offer about 6 or so vitolas, including my favorite Julieta No. 2, the Coronas Gigantes. I have a couple boxes of the Gold Medals that are getting up on 10 years of age and I am going to hold out as long as I can because they are not in production anymore. Another casualty of the trend towards fatter cigars.
As this cigar winds down, it continues to deliver a consistent experience. Not the slightest bit edgy or rough–just smooth and rich.
And the flavor doesen’t quit.