The brand was created circa 1900 by Jose Fernandez Rocha. The exact year cannot be found.
Named after Simon Bolivar, the legendary figure who liberated most of South America from Spanish Colonial rule in the early 19th Century.
It was officially registered by ”J.F. Rocha y Cia” in 1921. In the Registry of Exporting Manufactures in 1940 it appeared under the ownership of ”J.F. Rocha y Cia, S. en C.”, located at 364 San Miguel Street, Havana. It was not particularly well known as an export brand at the time. After the death of Jose F. Rocha, the Bolivar brand and the La Gloria Cubana brand of ”J.F Rocha, S.A.” was sold by the Rocha family to the Cifuentes family in 1954.
Production was moved to the Partagas Factory.
In the late 1950s, the brand established a firm reputation in the export market. At the time of the Revolution, it was already a very famous brand and a favourite among British smokers.
Post-Revolution history is best summarised as ”uneventful”.
Characteristics of Bolivar cigars:
All models, strong or relatively ”mild”, feature an unmistakable unique ”Bolivar” taste. This taste is indescribable but not too difficult to recognise.
Heavy ”earthiness” is the hallmark of this brand. ”Tangy” flavours, fruity sweetness and strong toasted tobacco taste are also present in abundance.
Bolivar cigars, because of their rich taste, are not for beginners.
Circa 1995, a change of flavours to a milder blend in some models was noticed. Nonetheless, it is still one of the strongest of all current brands. Typically they age extremely well.
One good thing about Bolivar cigars is that they are not particularly tannic. The cigars can become a smooth smoke in 3 to 5 years. They nonetheless age incredibly well.