There are cigars, and then there are cigars.
The Montecristo No. 2.
The Cohiba Robusto. (And, more recently, the Behike).
The Partagas Serie D. No. 4.
The Romeo Y Julieta Churchill.
These are some of the iconic cigars whose reach extends around the world; these are the brands that are equally famous to both smokers and non-smokers alike.
But then there are those Cuban cigars off the beaten path — habanos for those in the know.
And sure, on a trip to Cuba you’ll experience the full range, from those geared toward the Spanish market like Sancho Panza; the elegant Trinidad; the historic H. Uppmann.
But if you want a really knockout cigar, look no further than one of Cuba’s under-the-radar brands: Bolivar.
One of the island’s older marques, Bolivar was first created in 1902 and has a reputation as one of Cuba’s stronger cigars, with filler tobacco from the Vuleta Abajo zone.
And when it comes to Bolivar, one is best: the Bolivar Royal Corona.
And the 124mm, 50-ring-gauge cigar is indeed strong — but don’t be scared off if you’re used to milder cigars.
This is an elegant, controlled powerhouse, one whose strength gradually increases, but always gracefully.
The robusto-size cigar is a rich, complex puro with lovely notes of coffee, dark chocolate, leather… with a remarkably smooth draw. The aroma is a delight.
This is as good as cigars get in Cuba — and could be the best cigar you’ve never hard of.