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The Bolivar Brand – A Brief History 

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Bolivar is the home name of two premium cigar brands; Habanos SA, which is produced on the island of Cuba, and the other in the Dominican Republic, created for General Cigar Company.

The name “Bolivar” was given after the South American Simon Bolivar led the revolution that freed the Latin Americans in the region to freedom in the 19th century.

Bolivar Brand

bolivar cigar box

But how did the Bolivar Brand begin?

In 1902, a small company was founded by Jose F. Rocha. At this time, the Bolivar was producing what was known as the “world smallest cigars” called the Delgado.

The Bolivar brand began its initial production in Great Britain but was moved to Cuba after two decades, where it was officially registered as a cigar brand.

After the death of Rocha in 1954, the company and all rights regarding the brand and its name were purchased by Cifuentes y Cia. The new company was headed by the patriarch of the Cifuentes family, Ramon Cifuentes Toriello, who was also running the family’s company, Partagas.

One interesting thing to know is that when the Cifuentes purchased the Bolivar brand, marijuana was introduced to the blend. Although it is not done anymore, at that time, it gave the cigars a strong kick that made them very famous around the world. Following the Castro revolution, Bolivar was no longer a private-owned enterprise.

Altadis, a Spanish multinational manufacturer of gas, cigarettes, and tobacco in 2002, bought significant shares in Habanos SA, a cigar distributing company owned by the government. Following the change in ownership, a lot of changes were instituted.

The production of small cigarettes was discontinued, and so was the Cervantes, a cigar type that had the top half and the middle band encased in gold foil which the company stopped producing in 2011. Although Altadis stopped making many Bolivar Cigar types, unique productions were created from time to time.

In 2009, 600 Cervantes were ordered by Fifth Avenue Products Trading- a German distributor of Cuban Cigars. In 2011, a limited edition to commemorate diplomatic relations between China and Cuba was produced exclusively for China.

Where are they made now?

The Bolivar brand is based in Havana, where it is still being produced in the Partagas factory. As of today, Bolivar is a household name of two premium cigar brands. One is produced on the island of Cuba for Habanos SA, and the other is made in the Dominican Republic for a subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group- General Cigar Company.

Bolivar most popular cigars produced from the founding date till now. At the early stages of Bolivar Brand, when Rocha y Cia still owned it, a famous brand called the Delgado.

The Delgado was known to many as the world’s smallest cigar, and it earned so much fame that a small box of cigars was featured in the royal nursery’s dollhouse at the Windsor Castle in Berkshire, the United Kingdom.

Among the cigar aficionados, the Cuban Bolivar was one of the most robust cigars. A few of the famous full-bodied cigars the Bolivar produced are; Petit Coronas, Belicosos Finos, and Royal Corona.

How To Spot a Fake Bolivar - Infographic CigarCigar Info

How to spot a fake Bolivar

Although the logo has been changed several times from when it was first created, the modern Bolivar logo is gold and white with a prominent image of its namesake, Simon Bolivar, set against a yellow background. Two overlapping coins appear on both sides of the emblem, similar to those on other Cuban cigar labels such as Romeo y Julieta, Punch, and Partagas.

Raised coin:

bolivar cigar 2018

When you run your fingers over, you will notice that many people might look over the details on the coins raised. If you do not see this, then the band in your hand is not a real Bolivar.

There is a lot of detail:

On each side of the Bolivar logo, there should be two gold coins that are sharp and detailed. Pay careful attention to both coins; if any of the images presented are stained, smudged, or seeping into the background and the border patterns vary, then you might have a fake on your hands.

Habana/ Cuba:

The easiest way to spot a fake Bolivar is through this method. Previous versions of the brand had the word “Habana” etched on the band, but the design was changed, and “Cuba” has been added beneath it.

Higher borders: Like the raised details on the coin, the beaded borders of the Bolivar has a distinct rise on the edges of the circle that surrounds the logo and the band.

Bolivar Cigar reviews

There is nothing less to be expected from a brand that has served many over the years than excellent reviews. With a rich, strong aroma and various flavors, Bolivar cigars have all it takes to be a perfect cigar brand down to pat.

Cigar cutter Prestige Royal
Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson

I have been smoking cigars for 30 years and counting, I started at 18 years old with mild Cubans and worked my way up to medium and now bold. I own 4 humidors, that I try to keep stocked at all times.

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