Ever heard of a dude called George Washington? Of course you have. If you went to school anywhere in the United States, you heard about George Washington many times. And why wouldn't we since the guy was the first president. I didn't realize that Simón Bolívar was the George Washington of many areas of South America.
He joined the Venezuelan militia in 1810 to help gain independence from Spain, but after getting whooped in New Grenada in 1815 he was exiled to Jamaica. That wasn't about to stop him though. He met his homie Alexandre Pétion in Haiti and after promising to abolish slavery in Spanish America they teamed up and headed back to Venezuela. Bolívar then creates the third republic in 1817, crosses the Andes, and begins to blow doors down. He liberates New Grenada in 1819, then Venezuela and Panama in 1821. Not stopping there, he liberates Ecuador in 1822, Peru 1824, and Bolivia in 1825. The man was booting Spain right off the continent! Venezuela, New Grenada, Ecuador, and Panama were merged into the Republic of Colombia (Gran Columbia) with Bolívar as president there, along with the countries of Peru and Bolivia.
The Bolívar Gran Republic from STG is a nod to that merger. There are a few vitolas available for this new production line, but we're going to check out the toro today. Let's cut it up and see what liberation tastes like!
Cigar: Bolívar Gran Republica Toro
Origin: Danlí, Honduras
Factory: Honduras American Tobaccos SA (HATSA)
Size: 6 X 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Brazilian Arapiraca
Filler: Brazil, Columbia, Nicaragua
There is a nobility sort of vibe going here. The portrait branding is fitting, but band doesn't fit. They were so crazy loose that I just slid them off immediately after taking pictures. The cap was a wee bit shaggy, like that of Bolívar's hairdo. That is the end of complaints though as the rest of the cigar was solid. A very cylindrical profile is draped in a thick wrapper with tight seams and a mist of oil. Veins were minimal, density felt correct, and overall was a sharp looking cigar.
A straight cut provides a very good/firm draw that was pretty close to what I would consider perfect. About halfway I did poke gently down the center for the hell of it without removing any tobacco and it ran fine. Minimal effort.
Performance was admirable. Burn line strayed a couple times but quickly recovered on its own. The ash was cone shaped for much of the session, although it didn't seem to get in the way of anything. No wrapper issues like cracking or bloating and the cherry temp seemed to run at a comfortably cool temperature.
1/3 - I really enjoy how this cigar begins. I pick up more notes than usual off the foot with fresh bread, mild spice, perfectly seasoned leather, and clean driftwood. Retro is very soft with white pepper and sugar cookie. Molasses arrives, which is a note I enjoy. Decent body with various notes while on the overall mild side.
2/3 - Spicy sweet moves forward with the spiciness like that of wasabi pea. The leather is now fresher and juicier. The retro decided to go punk rocker with the white pepper and shovel it out. Fresh bread has transitioned to pita pocket. No more sugar cookie on the finish, but the spiciness now lingers on the lips and I'm not mad about it. It has easily moved into medium territory.
3/3 - A pleasant orange zest arrives, along with a gentle smokiness. The complexity has evaporated and I'm left with white pepper and wasabi pea ruling with an iron fist. Body is now certainly on the full side. A tin-like mineral note lingers in the background.
This is a Bolívar that is worth trying out. The flavor complexity surprised me and the transitions between the thirds was very noticeable. By the final third it had lost much of the luster, but I still found the smoke session an enjoyable one and it's a cigar that I would gladly light up again.
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1