What's Smoking March 2012 - Bolívar Royal Corona

A look at the Bolivar Royal Corona, a Cuban Cigar that is smoking remarkably well at the moment.

The Bolivar range is not only a favourite of mine, but many other aficionados who enjoy it's bold flavour profile. There are many vitolas in the Bolivar portfolio that seems to enjoy almost cult status, including the Belicosos Finos, the Petit Corona and the Gold Medal. All three Bolivar's deserve a What's smoking article on their own, however today we are going to talk about one Cigar that has had a resurrection over the last six or seven years - the Royal Corona.

The Bolivar Royal Corona.
Name Brand Vitola
Royal Corona Bolivar Robusto 50 x 4.9"

Formerly known as the Prince Charles, the name was changed circa 1973 to the Royal Corona. The Cigar comes in dress boxes of twenty five, meaning you will come across these with a satisfying box pressed look. Over the last few years the Royal Corona has also been available in red aluminium tubes, that are well worth sourcing.

I remember back in 2007 when I bought my first box of these Cigars I wasn't convinced that they were living up to the hype they were receiving at the time. Cigar message boards were taking interest in the Royal Corona as it had recently been awarded 2006's Cigar Aficionado Magazine Cigar of the Year. Opinions were divided. Some people wondered if they were smoking dud's. They were no where near worth the quality they would expect from a Cigar of the year. Some smokers were even questioning the Cigar Aficionado reviewer's palate - maybe they were smoking too many non-Cubans.

You can watch James Suckling and Gordon Mott discussing the Bolivar Royal Corona.

I can recall the box I had purchased was from 2006. The flavours were a little underwhelming and muted. I wasn't sure what was wrong. However, every year, I've noticed that the quality of the Bolivar Royal Corona have gotten better in terms of flavour profile. Why this is, I'm not sure, maybe my palate has changed, the Royal Coronas I have smoked have been sufficiently aged, or I was just unlucky with that first box.

The Royal Corona is definitely a Cigar that needs a some time in the humidor to develop. I have read some opinions that the Cigar can be smoked reletivily young. However, I disagree. Boxes from 2006 to 2009 need between a year or two to become smokable in terms of flavour.

Bolivar Royal Corona Flavour Profile

I find that the Royal Corona has a lighter blend than many other's from the Bolivar range. Because of this, smoker's who don't usually go for Bolivar's are introduced to the brand either via the Royal Corona, the Coronas Junior or Bonitas.

The flavours you'd expect from the Bolivar Royal Corona is earth, chocolate, leather with some pepper. The smoke is smooth, almost buttery. I never find the Royal Corona a blockbuster smoke, however the flavours are very agreeable and have been consistent.

Points wise they hang around the 89 to 91 mark.

Other Robusto's smoking well now

Like many vitolas, they drift in and out of favour with aficionado's, the prime reason being that the flavour profile and quality of the Cigar is not what is used to be. One prime example is the Partagas Serie D No. 4 . Possibly the best Robusto back in 2006 to 2009. However, overproduction has meant that quality has dipped.

However, overproduction with one Cigar sometimes means better quality production in others. If you're looking for Robusto's that seem to have been given positive words are the Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 and the H. Upmann Connosseuir No. 1

If there are any Robusto's that you have consistently smoked, or any other Cigar that you feel that is smoking extremely well, let me know and I will write about it on my next What's Smoking article.

A box of twenty five Bolivar Royal Coronas.
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