Bolivar Belicoso Fino
The Cuban Bolivar brand has long been the choice for fans of stronger cigars. And as more Americans get the chance to sample Cuban cigars (due to the relaxed restrictions on their purchase), Bolivar is often a preferred choice on account of its fuller body. While it isn't one of Cuba's largest brands, it certainly has a very long history and a loyal, international following.
Sadly, there aren't many sizes in the Bolivar portfolio left to choose from, and only two of them are large cigars. There's the Royal Corona, which has previously won Cigar of the Year, and then the Belicoso Fino, a beautifully tapered smoke crafted with a signature earthy core and plenty of sweet, savory notes ranging from salt and nuts to chocolate and graham cracker.
The cigar is indeed strong and earthy, but do not mistake that for crude or rustic—each element of flavor is conveyed to the palate in measured, balanced layers. And, unlike most Cuban cigars, the Bolivar Belicoso Fino comes in both dress boxes and wooden cabinets, which are a bit more difficult to find. For this tasting, we sampled cigars from the slide-lid cedar cabinets, and yes, there was the welcome hint of cedar as well.