- Price: $16.50 USD (Box of 25, $330 USD)
- Made By: Habanos S.A.
- Factory Location: Cuba
- Dimensions: 5 1/2” by 52 ring gauge
- Shape: Campana
- Filler: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Cold Draw: Toasted Tobacco, Earth, Coffee, Cocoa, Creamy, Nutty
- First Third: Toasted Tobacco, Earth, Wood, Savory Spice, Subtle Sweetness
- Second Third: Toasted Tobacco, Earth, Wood, Savory Spice, Coffee Beans, Leather, Cocoa
- Final Third: Toasted Tobacco, Cedar, Leather, Cocoa, Subtle Fruit
The Bolivar Belicosos Finos are beautiful cigars. They come in a wooden slide-lid cabinet or a paper-lined dress box. The first thing you’ll notice when you open the box is a rich, musty, cocoa aroma with hints of sweetness wafting up to meet your nose. The Bolivar Belicosos Finos look rustic and smooth. The wrapper is a deep, chocolate brown, and has a satiny, almost oily sheen to it. Each cigar is individually wrapped in Bolivar’s gold bordered band, with the distinctive portrait of Simón Bolívar inside.
The Bolivar Belicosos Finos feel firm to the touch, well-constructed and dense, but still have a slight give to them when you gently squeeze. This is ideal. Something interesting about this cigar is its shape and size. Though it appears to be a Pyramid shape, it’s actually a Campana. This means that, like a Pyramid (think the Montecristo No. 2 or Upmann No. 2), it starts out tapered at the cap and gradually grows wider towards the foot. Where a Campana differs from a Pyramid, though, is that the actual stick is shorter in length.
Taste and Draw
The Bolivar Belicoso Fino is a quintessentially Cuban cigar. It’s bold and nuanced. It’s earthy, almost minerally, and holds some surprises as it mixes in hints of sweeter notes. You might be a little surprised because when you open the box, you get mostly musty cocoa and sweet notes, but the initial draw gives a more earthy, toasted tobacco flavor. The tobacco flavor holds throughout the smoke, but it mingles beautifully with spices, both savory and sweet, earth, wood, coffee beans, leather, cocoa, and even fruit.
The Bolivar Belicosos Finos are hand-rolled. Each stick is carefully constructed, and as a result, the tobacco is tightly and evenly packed. The draw is firm, but not unsmokable, and I think the firmness actually lends itself to drawing perfection from start to finish.
Toasted Tobacco, Earth, Coffee, Spices, Cocoa, Creamy, Nutty
The cold draw is always exciting. It’s when you get to know the cigar you’re about to start smoking. Sometimes the flavors in the cold draw lead you right into that first inhale of smoke. Other times they try to keep you guessing at what’s to come. The cold draw also gives you an idea of any potential draw or burn issues the cigar might have.
The Bolivar Belicoso Fino starts out with notes of toasted tobacco and earth, right away transporting you to Cuba. Pretty quickly, the tobacco and earth are joined by hints of coffee, spices, and cocoa, and then a creaminess that turns almost nutty. Though these flavors on their own could be quite powerful, the Bolivar Belicoso Fino manages to blend them seamlessly and they hang together in a nuanced, companionable way.
Toasted Tobacco, Earth, Wood, Savory Spices, Subtle Sweetness
The first puff from the Bolivar Belicoso Fino is like a trip back in time. The cold draw hinted at this, and it wasn’t lying. The first notes to meet your mouth and nose are of toasted tobacco and earth. Before too long, a woodsy note comes into play and you feel like you’re sitting among the tobacco plants, surrounded by nature and all the earthy, rich smells. Hints of savory spices and a subtle sweetness add to the Belicoso Fino’s rich complexity.
The draw on the first third of this cigar is perfection. The burn line is straight and the ash hangs on for a good, long time. The smoke billowing out is heavy and tastes almost creamy on your palate, coating your mouth nicely. The retrohale is pleasantly spicy and a little sweet. This cigar is definitely in the solid medium-bodied camp.
Toasted Tobacco, Earth, Wood, Savory Spices, Coffee Beans, Leather, Cocoa
The second third of the Bolivar Belicoso Fino is really similar to the first. The main flavors you get are the toasted tobacco, earth, and wood. This cigar has a reputation for being nuanced, and I think the second third is when that really starts to come out. Notes of savory spices quickly turn into coffee beans and leather and cocoa. It all feels so quintessentially Cuban and masculine.
Sometimes a cigar will start out drawing and burning perfectly, only to fall apart a bit during the second third. The Bolivar Belicoso Fino doesn’t have this problem. The draw is still perfect, as is the burn line. It ended the first third as a medium-bodied cigar, but its strength is building and now it’s definitely a full-bodied smoke. There’s a ton of ash, and the smoke still billows out and coats your mouth in that creamy feel from the first third, as well as having a bit of a mineral taste coming into play.
Toasted Tobacco, Cedar, Leather, Cocoa, Subtle Fruit
By the final third of the Bolivar Belicoso Fino, you’re definitely feeling a bit of a buzz. This cigar just keeps building in strength and body and flavor. Although it’s quite strong by this point, it never completely knocks you on your ass. The complexity and skillful blend of flavors probably helps to keep it a little more approachable.
The toasted tobacco from the first two thirds of the cigar is still the predominant flavor. The wood note has become decidedly cedar. The leather from the second third really steps in now and adds to the minerally, masculine feel. Notes of cocoa and a subtle fruit that’s hard to identify have also joined the party.
The smoke is still billowing and there’s a large amount of ash hanging off the end of the cigar. The mouthfeel is still creamy and thick, so it’s a bit of a surprise that the retrohale on the final third of the Belicoso Fino is spicy and strong enough to really linger in your nostrils and sting a bit. The draw’s perfection hasn’t changed, and neither has that dead-straight burn line. This is definitely one of those cigars that makes you really sad to finish.
The Bolivar Belicoso Fino is a true Cuban masterpiece. It’s the only figurado in the entire Bolivar line. Basically, a figurado is the name given to a cigar based on its particular shape, that being one that’s pointed at the cap, as opposed to rounded. Because of this shape, the Belicoso Fino is the strongest cigar of the brand. The tapered head of this cigar is what really concentrates and strengthens all the flavors in the smoke.
This is a very full-bodied, strong cigar, but one that’s also beautifully nuanced and balanced. Toasted tobacco mingles with earthy, minerally notes, allowing cedar and spices and coffee beans and cocoa and leather to join in. If you want a cigar that will take you back in time and allow you to escape from the drudgery of reality, here it is.
When pairing drinks with cigars, the goal is to complement and offset the flavors, not to dominate them. But as with any pairing list, it’s really up to you, as the smoker, and your own personal preferences. However, these are a few of the drinks that seem to go well with the Bolivar Belicosos Finos.
- Glenfiddich 15 (or any good Scotch whiskey)
- Espresso (or any strong, dark coffee)
Bolivar Belicosos Finos History
The Bolivar brand of cigars was first introduced in 1902. It was named after Simon Bolivar, an infamous Venezuelan who helped to liberate Venezuela, Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia from Spain.
The Jose Rocha Company first developed and manufactured Bolivar cigars at the El Crepusculo factory. It was later taken over by the Menendez, Garcia, y Cia company, and is presently being manufactured and sold by the Cuban-government-owned factory, Habanos S.A.
The Bolivar cigars are well-known to be the most rich flavored and full-bodied cigars among the Cuban cigars. The Bolivar Belicosos Finos are no exception. They’re made from tobacco grown in Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo region, which is world-renowned for its incredibly lush, fertile soil, perfect for growing tobacco. Something that makes the Bolivar Belicosos Finos stand out even more is that they use ligero leaves. These are the leaves highest up on the tobacco plants, which means it takes them longer to mature, making them more rare. It also means the tobacco is more potent and spicier than many of the other tobaccos out there.