Bolivar Royal Corona Cigar Review

by Bryan Glynn, January 18, 2011
  • Cigar And Pipes Smokin' Deals

Bolivar Royal Corona Cigar Review

This 4 7/8×50 Cuban cigar features a dark tan wrapper with a slight red hue, minimal veins, almost invisible seams, a buttery leather feel and a rich aged tobacco aroma. First light reveals an almost unsmokeably tight draw putting out soft buttery aged tobacco smoke. The draw is so tight it’s like trying to suck an ice cube through a straw and in undoubtedly effecting the smoke and flavor. The first third continues to be a very hard draw, giving medium bodied flavors of a smooth buttery slightly sweet earthy leather with a short finish of a bit of earth and pepper. Near the end of the first third the draw suddenly opened up, but smoke output was minimal. After another 15 minutes it returned to normal with full flavors of deep earth and a slight leather with a heavy earthy and pepper finish with great smoke output and a perfect draw. 1 hour in to the band point, the smoke output has continued to improve while flavors mellowed out just a bit losing most of the deep earth and pepper, going a bit more smooth and buttery. Still predominantly a leathery earth flavor profile, the finish is smooth and short holding a slight earthiness as well. Ending at 1:25 where it got too hot for my taste, the end was very good and I only wish the first half was the same way. Thank you very much to viewer ‘John’ who generously sent this in for review, I do greatly appreciate the submission!

  • BC

    Cigar of the Year…and all that stuff:

    So right…cubans not entirely “all that” anymore, apparently. One CoY that does prove quite interesting is the Casa Magna Colorado. Now, be aware that some substantial variances have been reported, stick-to-stick w/in even a box, but, the (1) I had was morphing almost at every inch and proved one of the most enjoyable, complex and memorable smokes I’ve ever had. I doubled back for an oscuro, and it too was quite spectacularly delicious, but not a “morpher”, and the smoke coming off of the foot was a veritable tobacco potpourri.

    I would greatly enjoy your review of the Casa Magna Colorado. Get the churhchill, so as to provide more “morphing” opportunities.

    As always, Mr. Osvaldo sends his kindest regards!

  • austin_smoker

    Great review Bryan. I’ve had the same exact issues with several Cubans that I’ve enjoyed, or attempted to rather. I’m like you, a tight draw completely ruins the experience for me and I would rather just put it out than spend 30min attempting to get it to open up. I discussed some of these issues with some guys on a forum and I was instructed that I would “dry box” my sticks for 24hrs prior to enjoying them it could help to alleviate some of the Cuban draw issues. I’m not sure if that’s accurate or not, as I have not attempted to have one lately.

    Keep the great reviews coming!

  • Steve

    I have smoked one cuban and the draw was so tight I decided to put it down after smoking about a quarter of it.If I have to work that hard to get smoke out of it’s just not worth it.

  • Non Smoker Critic

    Its interesting listening to the diffrent types of issues that come with Smoking Cigars… Well done Bryan

  • John

    I submitted this cigar from a box of 25 and only 1 other cigar in the box had a tough draw in the first third, so for the majority of the cigars they were very good as far as construction. Cubans have been draw tested using a machine since 2005, but seems as though not every stick might get tested. Although I love smoking cigars from all producing countries, it is interesting that when you go on some cigar forums people from Canada, Europe and other places in the world tout non Cuban cigars as being junk. I suppose that is attributed to the fact that Cubans are illegal only here in the U.S. and non-Cuban cigars are produced and marketed mainly for the U.S. Only once in a while will you hear someone from another country say they prefer a Nicaraguan,Honduran or Dominican over a Cuban.

    • Fabbio

      As a Canadian resident and having spent time in all provinces up here I can honestly say if it ain’t Cuban the marketing, knowledge and shelf space isn’t there. All other smokes take a back seat. You may get the odd shop that pimps Davidoff or some of the top Cigars of the year for a bit but the shops and most consumers go like cattle to the Cubans. I have 3 good friends whose fathers all get MonteCristo #2 by the box on a monthly basis. When I ask why they only buy those I am told because “it’s the worlds most famous cigar for a reason”. When I mention it may be due to shape rather than the quality of the stick I am scoffed at. Personally I work in aviation so getting Cubans are even easier but I find myself drawn to the more diverse flavour pallets of the non-Cuban market. A good smoke can be found anywhere. (in addition new Cuban regime has hiked the costs up again this year with another being planned for next so there’s the dollar amount as well)

  • Chris

    “That’s what she said”!!! I say that all the time!!! Keep up the jokes!!!

  • Jeremie (Canada)

    This cigar is one of my favorite Cuban cigars along with the Partagas D series N.4. I have smoked many of them and enjoy them a lot. I have experienced some of those problems with some cubans. I do have to admit that I tend to keep my Cuban cigars in a different humidor at a different humidity level 60-62% since they tend to get very wet and mold easier, why…it remains a mystery. Is it the blessed soil???????lol. I came to conclusion that Cuba exports or sells there cigars to quickly after rolling them, compared to non-cuban cigars ex: Padrons, Arturo Fuente, Don pepin… So the tobacco needs more care since it is still very young. There aging process before rolling and after seems to be shorter then the majority of non-cubans. It’s like they rush things. So obviously that probably plays a factor on there quality control and inspections. From my perspective anyways. Here in Canada we do have access to a lot more Cubans then non-cubans. We’re so used to all these things, that us smokers here in CA wouldnt buy a cuban cigar unless it’s atleast 1.5-2+ years old and only buy from reputable places. We have websites that indicates stores with Cuban cigars that have ploom on them etc…it’s insane. While still buying a lot more non-cubans because of the price range and the differences in flavor profil, I find Cubans are a totally different ball game… more babysitting, maintenance and aging to get them to there full potential which can be a drag but I will tell you… when you get a well aged and maintained cuban, the taste and the experience will be something you will crave from time to time. They have changed since back in the days…….Thanks Again Bryan for your honest reviews. Jeremie

  • Basilisk

    I love cubans, but Bryan is right. Cubans sometimes tend to have two major issues: first is the tight draw which i have with about 20% or so. But i found that i can avoid this by using a punch or bullet cutter on them which reduced the tight draw percentage, but that may be of course a personal experience. The second issue i have with cubans is an uneven burn. Almost every cuban i smoke has an uneven burn. Most times it corrects itself, but sometimes it leads to the feared tunnel effect. Finally i agree that cubans are not the standard anymore. Honduras, Nicaragua, brasil, etc… they all produce cigars of great quality and i enjoy each one of them. But as i said in the beginning: personally i prefer cubans.

  • Stefan Nychka

    I agree with the last 2 posts.

    Part. Ser. D#4 used to be my favourite cigar. Starting last year, crap. Note I’ve only been smoking for 3 years, so it was good 3 years ago.

    I did have a Bol. Roy. Cor. once that was spectacular, about 3 years ago as well, but it was very strong, and had a deep cocoa flavour. Sounds like a very completely different cigar than the one you reviewed.

    They’re too inconsistent (Cubans, I mean) straight from the tobacconist’s, but I’ve also heard from many that if you age them it makes a big difference.

    Case in point, I just tried two Monte. Edmundos, and they were very good. Straight from a B&M, but you could tell they’d been aging a while, as they had some nice plume. One was a bit tight (not like the cigar reviewed here), but other than that, both were great.

    P.S. I’ve noticed the same thing with Ashton VSGs … used to be great, now not so much.

  • Rich

    Very interesting posts regarding Cuban cigars. Cubans overall (to my tastes) are decent, but I would not go out of my way to pay a premium for them. These days, a lot of my favorites are coming from Nicaragua. They have some flavorful tobacco there and the prices I pay for my sticks are decent. Plus, I do not have to worry too much about purchasing fakes.

  • HappyTaro

    Having a Bolivar Gold Medal now. It’s been a long time since I had a Bolivar (the ‘good stuff’). Pretty tight draw like everyone noted. Starts out w/ a nice spice & tapers down (coming back in last 3rd now). Gives me a dry feel on the tongue tho. A nice medium, but I was expecting more depth. Not quite the Bolivar I remember way back when, but this does give off a bit of that unique cuban smell from the smoke.

    Decent… Don’t know if I’d get it again tho. But that’s me. I know some people that loves the stuff.

  • Basilisk

    Yes, tight draw is an issue with cubans. But still: My favourites right now:
    1.: Bolivar Petit Corona or Royal Corona
    2.: Letting them age a bit (4 – 6 Months should suffice for a first try)
    3.: Using a bullet cutter and smoke (maybe the aging helps with the draw also, but i dont know)
    4.: Enjoy!

    I really wonder what they taste like after a longer time of aging, but after 6 months they are already so good – i dont have the patience…

  • PCcigar

    I have had many Cubans but never a tight draw any any of them. Right now I currently have 4 Cohiba Behike 54 that have been in my humi for about 3 months and a Mentecristo #2 and a Trinidad that have been there for 6 months. hopefully there won’t be any draw issues with those bad boys!!!

  • Johnnycatt

    thats what she said!

  • wcfennell

    Great video, quick on the that’s what she said’s. It’s nice to hear someone give cubans an unbiased review.

  • Gigalo de Vitolas

    This whole cuban vs non cuban thing is silly and its just like the wine world in the 70’s. Imagine how stupid the people must feel now who made remarks that great wine could only be made in France.

  • socks

    I have smoked the bolivar petite unicos and I thought it was ok. I did not find a strength increase like you did. I do agree that the last third was the best, putting off a great deal of smoke and a bit of spice. For the most part, I found it to be earthy, leathery, with a bit of spice.

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