Bolívar Coronas Junior - Cuban Cigar Review
Here's my review of the Bolivar Coronas Junior, the smallest Bolivar Cigar in current regular production.
Bolívar Coronas Junior - A Brief Introduction
Today I'm reviewing the Coronas Junior, currently the smallest Bolivar in regular production. Although I love the Bolívar brand, to my knowledge I've never had the privilege to have smoked the Coronas Junior before. As we are rapidly moving into Autumn, my focus has shifted into stocking up on a cache of smaller Cigars. Can the Bolivar Coronas Junior impress me enough to push itself into my rotation of small, thirty to forty minute smokes? Well, lets find out shall we...
The Coronas Junior that I will be smoking today has come from a March 2012 box. So you could say that the Cigar is not much older than six months. To be honest, I don't think I've smoked a Cigar with as much youth as this one. Will it turn out to be a mistake? I hope not!
The Bolívar Coronas Junior sports a oily, dark, attractive wrapper. On the nose, I can detect hay, straw and a faint touch of honey. I'm happy with the construction. At this price point, I'm not expecting perfection, just enough for me to nod
After cutting the Coronas Junior, I gave the Bolívar a pre-light draw. Houston, we have a problem! The draw is firm, to the point it's unsmokeable! Squeezing the body of the Cigar, it's easy to feel how much tobacco is in the top half of this Cigar. This Cigar has been overfilled. I've had one or two Cigars in the past that have had this kind of solid draw, mostly smokes from the 'bad period' of the early 2000's. I felt that I could give the Coronas Junior a good go - I don't like throwing a Cigar in the bin without at least trying.
Flavour Profile & Smoking Characteristics
After lighting the Bolívar Coronas Junior and drawing heavily on the Cigar, I managed to get a few puffs and a few flavours. Firstly, the Coronas Junior was giving off a lot of smoke, so that was a good sign. Even though the draw was very firm, I was confident enough that I'd be able to smoke it, and actually enjoy it.
On the palate, the first thing I noticed was plenty of 'Bolívar-esque' flavours. Sweet tobacco with a robust leather element introduced them very early during the first third. Towards the second third, I can detect some dark chocolate, that playfully appears and disappears underneath the leather flavour tones of the Cigar.
The leather element along with a smooth creaminess that began to come to the fore throughout the second and final third of the Cigar was delightful.
For such a young Cigar, the Bolívar Coronas Junior was so unbelievably mature. The flavours for such a short Cigar, were robust and forthcoming, and there were no signs of the dreaded sick period. The extremely firm draw however just overshadowed the whole smoking experience!
Conclusion & Scoring
The Bolívar Coronas Junior that I have smoked for this review was both blessed and cursed in equal measures. The flavour profile of the Cigar was out of this world. However, the draw problem that I had throughout smoking the whole Cigar just spoilt the whole experience for me. I would suspect most smokers would have just tossed the Cigar to the bin and fetched another.
Over the last seven years, I've come across only a handful of Cuban Cigars that have been plugged. Quality control has generally been good. But how did this Bolívar pass the draw test I do not know. Because of the horrendous draw issues that I experienced, this Bolivar Coronas Junior will receive a low score. However, I would stress the point that this was a bad stick, and I very much doubt that I will come across another plugged Coronas Junior soon. I'm looking forward to smoking a few more Bolívar Coronas Junior's from the same box over the next two months - it will be interesting to find out if any of the other Cigars have been overfilled like this one. I'll report back my findings before the year's out. A Cigar with a great flavour profile, just that this specimen let the side down with it's construction issues.
The shortest Cigar in the Bolivar portfolio, the Coronas Junior measures in at 110mm and 42 ring gauge.