Today, we review the Bolivar Gran Republica Robusto. This is a cigar under Bolivar that was introduced in 2023. Bolivar is a well-known brand in Cuba, but the trademark is owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG). While Bolivar is one of the most famous brands out of Cuba, when it comes the the non-Cuban version, it has been a different story. It’s a brand that has been sold and done well in the catalogs, but not so well when it comes to brick and mortar sales. Some folks may remember in 2015 when STG attempted to resurrect Bolivar with all new branding under the Foundry brand. That branding did not work out an Bolivar went dormant in a lot of brick and mortars. Fast forward to 2020, and STG split General Cigar into General and Forged. Bolivar would find a new home under Forged Cigar Company. For the most part, it would go also go back to the classic look. Most importantly, it got new life and the release of Bolivar Gran Republica is a testament to that.
Bolivar is named for Simón Bolivar, the man who led the independence of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia from the Spanish Empire. He has been referred to as the “George Washington of South America.” As we will see, the blend for the Bolivar Gran Republica includes tobaccos from Colombia and Ecuador, two countries for which Bolivar led the independence movement.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Bolivar Gran Republica Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Bolivar Gran Republica Robusto Cigar Review
Blend and Origin
The Bolivar Gran Republica features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over a Brazilian Arapirica binder and fillers consisting of tobaccos from Colombia, Brazil, and Nicaragua. With the exception of the Nicaraguan filler, all of the tobaccos come from South America. Production comes from STG’s HATSA factory in Honduras.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Brazilian Arapirica
Filler: Colombia, Brazilian, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Honduran American Tobacco S.A. (HATSA)
The Bolivar Gran Republica cigar comes in three sizes – each presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 4 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 x 54
Gigante: 6 x 60
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Gran Republica Robusto is on the darker side. The wrapper had a near milk chocolate color to it and a slightly bumpy surface. There was not much in the way of oil on the wrapper. The surface had some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Gran Republica Robusto. Once the cap was removed, it was time to progress to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of wood, cocoa, and earth. To me, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience.
The Gran Republica Robusto opened up with notes of cocoa, earth, wood, and cedar. Early on, the cocoa notes moved into the forefront. The earth, wood, and cedar notes settled in the background. In the middle of the first third, a red pepper note emerged on the tongue. Toward the end of the first third, the wood notes joined the cocoa in the front. Meanwhile there was an additional layer of pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Gran Republica Robusto, some natural tobacco notes emerged in the forefront and joined the cocoa notes. The wood notes diminished and joined the earth, wood, and cedar in the background. The red pepper on the retro-hale became a little more intense.
There wasn’t much change in the final third. The cocoa and natural tobacco notes remained in the forefront. Meanwhile, the earth, wood, cedar, and pepper remained in the background. The is the way the Gran Republica Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Gran Republica Robusto required several touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and a straight burn line. While the touch-ups did their job, there were still more touch-ups required than I prefer. The resulting ash was firm. The ash itself was a darker ash with medium to dark gray colors to it. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels throughout the smoking experience.
The draw of the Bolivar Gran Republica Robusto performed quite well. This cigar had a touch of resistance – which is something that I prefer. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Gran Republica Robusto delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. There was a slight increase in intensity of both attributes, but in the end the strength and body remained in the medium range of their respective spectrums.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
I love the new look of Bolivar. Most importantly, this is how a classic band should look. The best part is Simón Bolivar’s face is on the band. The unfinished boxed worked quite well here.
This has no impact on the final review, but I really have an affinity for this brand. When I was at the 2023 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, one of my highlights was seeing the Bolivar product on display. With Forged and Altadis back at the PCA Trade Show, it brought back many classic brands to the PCA Trade Show. And Bolivar was a major focus at the Trade Show.
As for the cigar, is it the best cigar offered by STG? No. Is it a bad offering from STG? Absolutely not. This cigar comes in at a solid 88 points. It should appeal to long time classic cigar enthusiasts, and contemporary ones. One thing that I really liked was the cocoa notes this cigar delivered. I wasn’t expecting that from a blend that was heavy on South American tobaccos. In the end, this is a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. While it’s $7.99 it’s still a cigar priced fairly. As for myself, this is a cigar I would buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Wood, Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Forged Cigar Company to Release Bolivar Gran Republica
Source: Forged Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Bolivar
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop