Bolívar Británicas - Cuban Cigar Review

The 2011 Regional Edition for Great Britain, the Bolívar Británicas is a fine looking Cigar, named after it's unique shape. Will this be a great Regional Edition, or will it just be another run of the mill Habanos Regional release?

Well, they're here. After over nine months of waiting, the Great Britain Regional Edition, Bolívar Británicas are on general sale. The first UK Regional Edition representing the Bolívar brand, UK retailers, including Ajay Patel from the La Casa de Habanos in Teddington, and Mitchell Orchant, Managing Director of C.Gars LTD note that this is a full bodied smoke, suited for the seasoned aficionado. Are they right? Well, there's only one way to find out, and that's to light one of these very special Cigars up and see for myself if it was worth the wait...

The three Británicas that I purchased are from a box code of RUE DIC11 (December 2011), meaning that they're younger than six months old. I'm not sure whether all Bolívar Británicas were produced in December, or earlier, however I would hazard a guess between October and the end of December.

Name Brand Vitola
Bolívar Británicas Bolívar Británicas
Three Bolívar Británicas resting on top of my desktop humidor.
Three Bolívar Británicas resting on top of my desktop humidor.

Key Notes regarding the Bolívar Británicas

Below is an at a glance list of the main points regarding the Bolívar Británicas:

  • Intended to be released sometime in 2011, the Bolívar Británicas were finally released in mid-April of 2012.
  • The Bolívar Británicas come in wooden boxes of ten, with three thousand boxes made in all.
  • Price Point: At time of launch, the Bolívar Británicas retail for around £15.00 per Cigar, with a box of ten retailing for around £150.00.
  • Originally meant to be a forty six ring gauge Cigar, the Bolívar Británicas was upgraded to forty eight. In my opinion, this is a big enhancement and gives the Cigar an undeniable presence.
  • The Bolívar Británicas is the first Regional Edition to sport the new Gran Bretana as opposed to the previous Reino Unido band.
  • The first tasting of the Bolívar Británicas for United Kingdom based Cigar merchants occurred in Havana in February during the annual Habanos Festival.
  • One of the most interesting aspects of this release is not the Británicas itself, but the box that the Cigars come packaged in. The box is sealed with a Papeleta, a sticker that covers the right hand side of the box.
  • The Bolívar Británicas have been made in the Santa Clara region of central Cuba under the supervision of the Partagas factory, which has the responsibility for the Bolívar brand wherever the cigars are produced.
  • Like many other Regional Editions, this Cigar comes in a shape that is usually not seen within the shape that is from the brand. In this case, this shape is called Británicas. Why did Habanos SA decide to call this vitola this name, who knows, but at some point, a Cigar this shape was probably made for the British market.

The first thing to note is the construction, and I must say, they look fabulous. Holding the Bolívar Britanicas in my hand, I must say they feel nicely weighted. It's difficult to explain, but the Cigar feels 'just right' when holding it. It feels light and robust. The Bolívar Britanicas no doubt in my mind are 'well proportioned', almost like a beautiful woman. When these Cigars were first announced, the ring gauge was going to be a slimmer forty six, however for reasons unknown, the Británicas was upgraded to a more fuller forty eight ring gauge. A moment of inspiration I must say. That extra ring gauge gives the Cigar a little more presence. It would be interesting to find out if there were any prototypes of these made during the initial stages of the creation of this Regional Edition, and what was the reason in making the ring gauge a little thicker.

Looking at the wrappers, they are nice and brown. They have a nice sheen to them, but they're not really oily. One of the three Británicas I have purchased has a bump towards the foot of the Cigar. So I can't say that the construction is flawless. I know from my past experience with Regional Editions from a wide range of countries that the wrappers are never first class all the time. They seem to be rolled well but the odd imperfection always manages to come out.

On the nose, there's a nice barnyard bouquet, with some hay and an aroma that reminds me a little of warm cocoa. The feet of all three Cigars are cut slightly differently. Hey, you can't get perfection every time. Well enough time looking and smelling, time to smoke.

After cutting, I take a quick pre-light draw. Perfect, the draw is spot on. Sometimes you get a little bit of resistance on a lot of Cuban Cigars, but this one has been rolled to perfection. After lighting the Cigar, I try and work out what the flavour profile is.

Starting to smoke the Bolívar Británicas
Starting to smoke the Bolívar Británicas

Around an inch into the Bolívar Británicas, the body of the Cigar is around the medium mark. Initials flavours are little muted, with some leather and light spice.

Towards the second third, the Cigar picks up the pace. Now moving towards a more fuller bodied, robust smoke, I can detect toasted tobacco, espresso and on the finish sweetness.

Burn problems towards the second third of the Bolívar Británicas.
Burn problems towards the second third of the Bolívar Británicas.

I found smoking the Cigar, that the body would move from medium-full to medium, and back again. The espresso would die down a little, and then appear again in force. I found myself with a few burn problems throughout while smoking the Cigar. At one point a vein was causing the burn to go squiff, while towards the band during the final third, the wrapper started to split slightly. Obviously, the Cigar I had chosen had not have enough time to rest. Give the Cigar time to rest and develop in the humidor, and I cannot see these issues re-occuring.

Coming towards the end of smoking the Bolívar Británicas.
Coming towards the end of smoking the Bolívar Británicas.

Towards the final third, the body remained medium to full, keeping the espresso at the front of the flavour spectrum. After an hour or so, I laid the Bolívar Británicas to rest. Wow, what a Cigar!

Final Thoughts

  • The Bolívar Británicas is ready to smoke right now. I found that there very little ammonia present.
  • The flavours I picked up included leather, toasted tobacco, light spice, dark espresso and a sweetness on the finish.
  • There are definitely Bolívar-esque flavours here. If you like the Bolívar brand, then I have no doubt you will also like the Británicas.
  • This was one of the better United Kingdom Regional Editions that I have smoked. The Bolívar Británicas did not disappoint.
  • I had some burn problems during smoking. However, with adequate resting and a little more age I don't expect any other Bolívar Británicas that I smoke to have such problems.
  • Three thousand boxes... not enough made methinks! I would suggest that if you want to try these, go grab yourself a few singles or even a box now!
Final Score:
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Británicas - United Kingdom flag United Kingdom Regional Edition

Released in May 2012, the Bolívar Británicas is one of two 2011 Regional Editions for the United Kingdom. The first Regional Edition to have the Gran Bretana adorning the second band in place of Reino Unido.

Bolívar Británicas - 2011 Great Britain Regional Edition

Intended to be a forty six ring gauge as opposed to forty eight, the Británicas is named after the size and shape of this perfecto shaped Cigar.

Opinions of the Bolívar Británicas have been favourable to date (June 2012). Some people have had burn issues, however the three I have smoked so far have burned just fine.

Cigar Name: Británicas
Size: Perfecto
Factory Vitola: Británicas Extra
Ring Gauge: 48
Length (mm): 137mm
Year Released: 2012
Status: Currently Available.
Packaging Type: Wood Box of 10
Launch Year: 2012
Number Produced: 3000
Information last updated on Monday, 20th October 2014.
Bolívar Británicas - Closeup of five Two boxes of the Bolívar Británicas An open box of Bolívar Británicas A closed box of Bolívar Británicas
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