When I received word of a new Bolivar being released, I grew a little antsy. Wrapped in an oily ligero wrapper and touted as a full-bodied, full-flavored blend that’s bold and aggressive, I figured it had to be good. Of course, I instantly hoped the new blend would resemble its older brother from The Island – an assertive, robust, heady smoke that pops with flavorful goodness – wouldn’t that be nice?
My first sample was at the RTDA in New Orleans. After stopping by the Cusano booth for breakfast (in the form of a c10 Crown Corona), I felt I was ready to tackle the new Bolivar 2005. And so, we met with Marky-Mark, our favorite rep from General Cigar to have a sit down while burning through a sample or two. By looks alone, this new cigar could make a newbie run and hide. Dark, thick-ring, straight-barrel parejos adorn with the legendary Bolivar name. You instantly think you’re about to take a puff off the action end of a loaded shotgun. But fear not, this dog’s bite is not nearly as loud as its bark. While the flavor is nice, woody and sweet on the aftertaste, the smoke itself is a lot tamer than expected. A medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. No explosive introductions. No gradual buildup in intensity. No grand finale. I left my first sample in the ashtray feeling cheated and unfulfilled.
Fortunately, now that I know what to expect out of this cigar, I’ve come to enjoy it more. The construction is nice, delivering a solid performance with every burn, and the Nicaraguan and Dominican blend of long-fillers present a well-balanced, pleasant flavor that just about anybody can appreciate. It’s medium in strength and a super-slow-burner, making for a long-lasting experience. Unfortunately, it’s not the Bolivar I had hoped for. Maybe I just expect too much.