The Bolívar brand is certainly one of the world’s most iconic brands. It is most famous for being a Cuban cigar brand, but there is a non-Cuban version that General Cigar Company has marketed. It’s the brand named after Simón Bolívar, the South American military and political leader who helped lead Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia to independence from the Spanish Empire. With its portfolio, Bolívar has also been quite important to Habanos SA’s Edición Regional program. This is a series of limited production cigars made exclusively for a regional market, and are available for a one or two year period. Today we take a look at one of those regional editions, the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolivar. This is a regional cigar that was made for Andorra – a tiny country that sits on the border of Spain and France.
The regional releases under the Bolivar line are included below. Some of the sizes have been re-used, and some countries have received multiple regional releases over the years.
- 2006: Bolívar Edición Regional Alemania (Germany) Colosales: 50 x 155mm
- 2006: Bolívar Edición Regional Francia (France) Libertador: 54 x 164mm
- 2007: Bolívar Edición Regional Canada Simones: 48 x 127mm
- 2007: Bolivar Edición Regional Medio Oriente (Middle East) Double Coronas: 49 x 194mm
- 2008: Bolívar Edición Regional Asia Pacifico (Asia Pacific) Short Bolivar: 52 x 110mm
- 2008: Bolívar Edición Regional China Armonías: 57 x 184mm (Salomon)
- 2008: Bolívar Edición Regional Francia (France) Petit Libertador: 50 x 102mm
- 2008: Bolívar Edición Regional Suiza (Switzerland) Legendarios: 50 x 155mm
- 2009: Bolívar Edición Regional Alemania (Germany) 5ta Avenida: 50 x 184mm
- 2009: Bolívar Edición Regional Alemania (Germany) Especiales No.2: 38 x 192mm
- 2009: Bolívar Edición Regional Benelux Fabulosos: 52 x 135mm
- 2009: Bolívar Edición Regional Grecia y Chipre (Greece and Cyprus) Greco: 50 x 144mm
- 2010: Bolívar Edición Regional Canada B-2: 52 x 156mm
- 2010: Bolívar Edición Regional Emiratos Arabes (United Arab Emirates) Emiratos: 54 x 164mm
- 2010: Bolívar Edición Regional España (Spain) 108: 46 x 143mm
- 2011: Bolívar Edición Regional Bulgaria 681: 53 x 153mm
- 2011: Bolívar Edición Regional China Distinguidos: 52 x 162mm (Perfecto)
- 2011: Bolívar Edición Regional Gran Bretaña (Great Britain) Británicas: 48 x 137mm (Perfecto)
- 2011: Bolívar Edición Regional Qatar Oryx: 52 x 135mm
- 2011: Bolívar Edición Regional Rusia (Russia) Emperador: 48 x 157mm
- 2013: Bolívar Edición Regional Benelux Poderosos: 54 x 180mm (Pyramide)
- 2013: Bolívar Edición Regional Brasil (Brazil) Redentores: 52 x 115mm
- 2013: Bolívar Edición Regional Suiza (Switzerland) Presidente: 54 x 150mm
- 2014: Bolívar Edición Regional Turquía (Turkey) Bosphorus: 52 x 110mm
- 2015: Bolívar Edición Regional Emiratos Arabes (United Arab Emirates) Emarati: 52 x 1354mm
- 2015: Bolívar Edición Regional Gran Bretaña (Great Britain) Belgravia: 55 x 130mm
- 2015: Bolívar Edición Regional 5ta Avenida (Germany) Tesoro: 57 x 184mm (Salomon)
- 2016: Bolívar Edición Regional Libano (Lebanon) Byblos: 52 x 115mm
- 2017: Bolívar Edición Regional Francia (France) Tiempo: 54 x 150mm
- 2017: Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolivar: 50 x 102mm
- 2017: Bolívar Edición Regional Portugal Lusiadas: 48 x 137mm
- 2017: Bolívar Edición Regional Hong Kong Silver Jubilee: 50 x 141mm
Without further ado, let’s break down the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Country of Origin: Cuba
The Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar measures 50 x 102mm – which roughly comes out to a 50 x 4 Short Robusto format. The cigars are presented in 20-count boxes with a total production of 3,000 boxes made for this release.
It’s not the first time the 50 x 102mm format was used on a Bolívar. In 2008, the Bolívar Edición Regional Francia (France) Petit Libertador used the same size.
The wrapper of the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar was medium brown with a light Colorado tint to it. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the surface. The wrapper itself had a slightly bumpy surface. There were thin veins on the surface and very few visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar. The primary band is one that is common to the Bolívar line. The center of the band features a sketch-portrait of Simón Bolívar on a yellow background. There is a red and white pinstripe pattern to the left and right with two gold medallions on each side of the portrait. The band itself is finished with a gold trim.
The secondary band is one that is similar to the Edición Regional series. It is red with white and silver trim with the text “EXCLUSIVO ANDORA” in white font.
Prior to lighting up the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of earth, cedar, and straw. This pre-light draw experience didn’t exactly have me doing handstands, but since the pre-light draw is not scored, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to light up the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start of the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar produced a mix of natural tobacco, cedar, and black pepper. As the smoking experience of the Short Bolívar progressed through the first third, chocolate and straw notes emerged. These notes joined the natural tobacco in the forefront with the cedar and black pepper settling in the background. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
The second third saw the natural tobacco notes diminished into the background, joining the cedar and black pepper. Some earth notes emerged in the forefront, joining the chocolate and straw notes.
The final third still saw the earth, chocolate, and straw notes in the forefront. During this time there was an increase in the black pepper on both the tongue and retro-hale. Further in the background were notes of natural tobacco and cedar. This is the way the Short Bolívar came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
While the Short Bolívar maintained a straight burn path, this cigar did have a jagged burn line. This resulted in frequent touch-ups. The amount of touch-ups required on this short cigar was more than I would expect. The resulting ash was silver-gray. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, nor was it a loose nor flaky ash either. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal, but considering this was a short cigar, it was only about a 40-minute smoke.
The draw to the Short Bolívar is one that I would describe as “open”, but not loose. Normally I would prefer a little more resistance on it. In the end, this was still a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Short Bolívar is a solid medium from start to finish. There wasn’t much in the way of variance in the intensity levels of both attributes. Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Most of the Edición Regional releases by Habanos SA have been hit or miss. It really comes down to whether the size is going to work with the blend or not. I didn’t have a chance to smoke the 50 x 102mm Bolívar format when it was released to France in 2008. While normally a Petit Robusto doesn’t excite me, I found the Bolívar Edición Regional Andorra Short Bolívar worked really well. It delivers nice flavors and the flavors seemed balanced throughout. This is a cigar I’d recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again. If you can find it, it’s worth picking up a few.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, Natural Tobacco, Earth, Classic Straw, Cedar, Black Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: Buy Multiples
Price: ~€11.25 ($12.50 USD)
Brand Reference: Habanos SA
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop