Wrapper Type: Ecuador Sumatran
The Bolivar Fuerte (Cofradia) was a surprise when I reviewed it. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, these smokes were the weekly special at my local JR Cigars. Before I start my review let me add this disclaimer. These are from the JR Cigars Library Edition. Maybe sticks from the non-library edition are better.
Okay, they were on special last week for $3 a stick. Normal price is $4.75. Not only was this cigar not worth the $4.75, but it was no where even worth the $3 I paid. I’m not often disappointed in a smoke but this one was a definite let down.
I knew something was up when I was going through the container that JR uses to display their cigar of the week. It took me awhile to find a handful that were relatively soft and vein free. Appearance wise, the Bolivar looked like your average cigar. Medium brown in color, dry looking wrapper…nothing special catches your attention.
These sticks spent two days resting in my humidor. I decided it was time for Mr. Bolivar to meet Mr. Flame and see what I got. I overlooked the average look of these cigars and upon cutting the cigar, my hope was restored. Easy cut! Amazingly easy cut and I’m sure my Xikar needs some attention but it was like a hot knife cutting butter. Super smooth! One of the best cuts I’ve ever had.
After the cut, I came quickly crashing back to reality. The first draw was okay. Didn’t really taste anything, draw was good, a little on the tough side but figured as the cigar burned it would loosen up. Unfortunately, it never did. It only got tougher and tougher to draw. I was actually surprised that I didn’t have to relight.
We’ve all had slow starting cigars, cigars that take awhile for the flavor and characteristics to get moving. I was waiting and waiting for this to happen. But for the first 50% of the cigar I got nothing but a bland, harsh smoke taste and it was downhill from there. I did get the occasional semi-sweet hint but nothing to keep my interest.
Since it?s very rare for me not to enjoy a cigar, I gave the Bolivar another chance. I smoked two more but with the same result. Since I pillaged through the JR Cigar?s weekly cigar display I knew that the chances that all my sticks originated from the same box was unlikely.
For a stick to carry the Bolivar band, I was severely disappointed with this smoke. I hope when I try a stick not from the Library Edition that I can write a review that lives up to the Bolivar name.
My Rating = 69/100
Cigar Aficionado = 88/100
13 thoughts on “Bolivar Fuerte (Cofradia)”
Thats a big surprise. I would have expected much better from the bolivar line.
Since you got the cigar from the library edition, what did you think of the box? I saw the lineup in the catalog, and to tell you the truth i would pick up a box just for the cosmetic appeal on the bookshelf. They look awsome in the picture, but you know how that usually works.
You think maybe the cigars were a bit dry do to a poorly constructed display type box? Maybe the two days you had them stored werent enough?
I like the look of the library editions. My only concern is if they are made for long term storage like a humidor. I didn’t see any kind of a built-in humidification device. Maybe its meant to be used as a short term storage? Like the smoker who keeps it on their desk but finds an actual humidor not to go with the look of their study?
I bought five of these guys and so I have a pair still sitting in my humidor. I will have to remember to give this Bolivar another try in a couple months.
Thats funny, I think it may have something to do with the box… the Bolivar Confradia coronas I picked up from my local tabacconist was almost the opposite of your descrption.
I have always prefered lighter montecristo type flavors but the Bolivar changed my miond to that. I found it to be fairly sweet and not at all smokey. I do agree witht eh draw being a little tougher than average though.
Jia Li – thanks for stopping by the Stogie Review. I think its time to revisit this cigar. I’ve heard many of the same comments like your’s. I think I may have a few sticks buried in the humidor and maybe the 6 months of age will change my opinion.
I bought a box of Library Edition Flor de A. Allones — “The Old Man and the Sea” — and have been similarly unimpressed. (I was nearly as unimpressed with the Habanos catalog that accompanied it.) There is a size issue with the Library editions that seems really fishy to me, making me wonder if these “special edition” cigars are really cast offs of some kind. As my wife likes to say “You can put a pig in a dress, but at the end of the day it’s still a pig in a dress.” Or a dressy box. In any case, they aren’t standard issue Villazons. And since I haven’t tried the standard Flor de Allones, I have to reserve judgement… I’m still suspicious though.
Well these Fuerte Confradias are NOT what used to be referred to as just Bolivar Fuerte. The last box of Bolivar Fuertes I bought was back in 2004. They were some of the most outstanding smokes I have ever tasted.
So a few months back I see that the Bolivar Fuerte is no longer available from JR. Now they have something called Bolivar Fuerte Confradia. These are not even CLOSE to comparison to the older Fuertes.
That is so sad. It was a fine smoke and now it’s gone!
You need to go get yourself a Bolivar cofradia no. 754 cabinet. (this is the big one, 7×54). No need to buy a box. Just buy a single and then you will see what bolivar cofradia is about. This is my all time favorite cigar. period.
I used to smoke the Bolivar Fuerte (cuban corona size) cigars from JR in 2002-2003, and they were FANTASTIC. Has the quality gone down? Is the cofradia a different blend? I’m surprised to hear such bad reviews…
I think Jerry needs to revisit this review cause I know he’s had a few of these since and has had a good experience.
To my knowledge, there was no blend change just a name change from Fuerte to Cofradia. But why change the name at all? You change the name people will assume the blend is changed as well.
So how about it Jerry, time to revisit?
I think they’re a little rough straight from the store but, a good six months to a year and it’s one of my favorites at any price. 5,6,754’s in the oscuro all good just, depends on the time involved. 754’s are my favorite sitting next to Merc 9.9
Yeah I have a growing list of cigars that I didn’t enjoy the first go around that I need to give a second try.
These Boliva’s have definitely grown on me. I’ve been enjoying the Cuban Corona size lately.
I think that you are all missing the point here. There is FAR more variation in the the taste characteristics of specific cigar brands from batch to batch than any cigar maker or distributor will ever admit to.
At least as great as wines from vintage to vintage. Case in point, last Sept. I purchased a box of Indian Tabac Superfuerte maduros in the toro size. They were some of the most delicious cigars that I have ever smoked bar none. The new box that I purchased from the same distributor, while still a good cigar was not in the same league. It has improved with 6 weeks in my humidoe but I seriously doubt they will ever be as good as the batch purchased last Sept.
Absolute consistency is virtually impossible with quality hand rolled cigars.
I think the “cheap or reasonable price” at JR cigars are all FAKED cigars because I bought the same type of cigar at local store, it taste great and off course with HIGHER PRICE. Frankly, you get what you paid for.