Bolivar is the brand name of two premium cigars, one of which is produced in Cuba by Habanos SA. Habanos SA is a tobacco company owned by the Cuban government. The brand is named after Simon Bolivar, the famous South American revolutionary who freed much of the continent from Spanish rule.
The Bolivar brand of cigars was developed in 1902 by Jose F. Rocha. The company was registered in Havana, Cuba in 1921, and currently has its headquarters at the heart of Havana in the Partagas factory.
The robust blend of the Bolivar matches the powerful might of the man the cigar was named after. It is one of the most full bodied, strongest cigar of all Habanos. The cigar boasts an unrivaled rich flavor due to the fabulous blend of tobacco from the Vuelta Abajo region. This blend makes the brand one of the most popular marques of experienced smokers.
In the Beginning
When the Bolivar brand first began production, it produced the smallest cigar in the world called the Delgado. It measured just under two inches and had a gauge ring size of 20. A miniature box of the cigars were featured in the doll house of the Windsor Castle nursery.
That was a strange accessory for a child’s toy, but at the time people didn’t think about what a box of cigars in a doll house may imply. Today, that would probably be deemed inappropriate, but since at the time it was the home of the Queen of England, people probably didn’t make too much of a fuss.
The cigar company and the legal rights to the brand name were sold to Cifuentes y Cia in 1954, after the death of Jose F. Rocha. That was when production moved to the famous, historical Havana Partagas Factory. The factory is known today as the Francisco Perez German factory. Many of the most popular sizes are still produced there.
While the company was under the direction of Cifuentes, the Bolivar brand gained huge popularity in some of the biggest world markets and began to be exported all over the world.
The Cuban Bolivar is world renown among cigar aficionados as one of the strongest and most full flavored cigars in the world. Some of the most famous marques of the brand include Royal Corona, Petit Coronas, Coronas Junior and Belicosos Finos.
Altadis, a multinational purveyor and manufacturer of cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products, bought a controlling interest in Habanos SA, the government owned Cuban cigar distributor, in 2002. This brought a number of changes in the way the cigars were produced.
One of the changes was to gradually change the production process of the various brands of Cuban produced cigars to be either made entirely by machine or entirely by hand. Historically, Bolivar had produced a variety of cigars made by hand, by machine or hand made and finished by machine.
The 2002 changes meant that several of the company’s vitolas had to be cut from the production line up. The only vitola to survive the cut was the cigarillo sized Chicos. Cigar aficionados are wondering and worrying that this size will eventually be cut from production, as well.
The Bolivar brand has been selected many times as special edition features and in special sizes in various regions around the world. One such incident was in 2004 when Wolters in Cologne, Germany ordered several thousand boxes of special cigars. The Habanos SA produced the special edition Bolivar Gold Medal exclusively for this shop. This special edition was actually a revival of a discontinued, older Bolivar size produced in the Cervantes (longsdale) format.
Half of the Gold Medal cigars were wrapped in gold colored foil and had a special Bolivar band around the middle of the cigar. They were packed in elite boxes of ten. Since this renewed interest in the Gold Metal, it has once again become a regular part of production.
Bolivar Line of Vitolas
This is a list of the commercially sold vitolas produced under the Bolivar brand. The size of the cigar and the ring gauge is included in both Imperial and metric measurements.
Vitolas that are Hand Made:
- Belicoso Fino – measures 5½ × 52 inches (140 × 20.64 mm), officially called the Campana, pyramid is the slang name
- Bolivar Tubo No. 1 – measures 5⅝ × 42 inches (143 × 16.67 mm), officially and commonly called the Corona
- Bolivar Tubo No. 2 – measures 5⅛ × 42 inches (130 × 16.67 mm), officially the Mareva, the slang name is a petit corona, which many of the vitolas are known as
- Bolivar Tubo No. 3 – measures 4⅞ × 34 inches (124 × 13.49 mm), officially the Placera, small panetela in slang
- Corona Gigante – measures 7 × 47 inches (178 × 18.65 mm), officially known as the Julieta No. 2, churchill in slang
- Corona Junior – measures 4⅜ × 42 inches (111 × 16.67 mm), officially named Minuto, a petit corona in slang
- Petit Corona – measures 5⅛ × 42 inches (130 × 16.67 mm), officially Mareva, also known as the a petit corona in slang
- Royal Corona – measures 4⅞ × 50 inches (124 × 19.84 mm), officially and commonly the Robusto
Limited Edition Releases
- 2009 Petit Belicoso – measures 4⅞ × 52 inches (125 × 20.64 mm), officially the Petit Belicoso, known locally as a petit pyramid by cigar aficionados
Regional Edition Releases
- 2006 Colosal in Germany – measures 6⅛ × 50 inches (156 × 19.84 mm), officially the Doble, a robusto extra in slang
- 2006 and 2007 Libertador in France – measures 6½ × 54 inches (165 × 21.43 mm), officially the Sublime, a double robusto in slang
- 2007 and 2009 Simon in Canada – measures 5 × 48 inches (127 × 19.05 mm), officially the Hermoso No. 4, a corona extra in slang
- 2007 Double Corona in the Middle East – measures 7⅝ × 49 inches (194 × 19.45 mm), officially the Prominente, a double corona in slang
- 2008 Short Bolívar in Asia Pacific – measures 4⅜ × 52 inches (110 × 20.64 mm), officially the Petit Edmundo, in slang it is called a petit robusto
- 2008 Armonia in China – measures 7¼ × 57 inches (184 × 22.62 mm), officially the Salomónes I, it is known as a double perfecto in slang
- 2008 Petit Libertador in France – measures 4 × 50 inches (102 × 19.84 mm), officially called the Petit Robusto, and a petit robusto is slang as well
- 2008 Legendario in Switzerland – measures 6⅛ × 50 inches (156 × 19.84 mm), officially called the Doble, and is commonly called a robusto extra in slang
- 2009 Fabulosos in Benelux – measures 5⅜ × 52 inches (135 × 20.64 mm), the official name is Edmundo, and it is also called a robusto extra in slang
- 2009 5at Avenida in Germany – measures 7¼ × 50 inches (184 × 19.84 mm), the official name is 109, a double corona in slang
- 2009 Especiales No. 2 in Germany – measures 7½ × 38 inches (192 × 15.08 mm), officially Delicado, and a long panetela in slang
- 2009 Greco in Grecia y Chipre – measures 5.6 × 50 inches (141 × 50 mm), named officially as the Gorditos, and called robusto extra in slang
- 2010 B-2 in Canada – measures 6.1 × 52 inches (156 × 52 mm), officially known as the Pirámides, and pyramid in slang
- 2010 Emiratos in the Emiratos Arabes Unidos(UAE) – measures 6.5 × 54 inches (164 × 54 mm), officially called Sublimes, known locally as a double robusto
- 2010 Coronas Gordas in Spain – measures 5.6 × 46 inches (143 × 46 mm), named by the company as Coronas Gordas, locally called by the same name
- 2011 Sobresalientes in Bulgaria – measures 6.0 × 53 inches (153 × 53 mm), officially called the Sobresalientes, known commonly as robusto extra
- 2011 Distinguidos in China – measures 6.4 × 52 inches (162 × 52 mm), officially Romeo, a perfecto in slang
- 2011 Británicas in Great Britain – measures 5.4 × 48 inches (138 × 48 mm), officially the Británicas Extra, locally called a perfecto
- 2011 Oryx in Qatar – measures 5.3 × 52 inches (135 × 52 mm), officially Edmundo, known locally as a robusto
- 2011 Emperador in Russia – measures 6.2 × 48 inches (157 × 48 mm), officially Hermosos No.2, locally called a grand corona
- 2013 Redentores in Brazil – measures 4.5 x 52 inches (115 x 52), the official name is Magicos, but is locally known as a petit robusto
- 2013 Presidente in Switzerland – measures 5.9 x 54 inches (150 x 54), officially the Geniales, locally called the robusto extra
The company also released several other limited editions for various occasions.