This Cuban Bolivar Belicosos Finos barely escaped being snipped and torched at the SuperBowl. It was to be my "overtime" smoke, but Vinatieri didn't want to cooperate with my evil plans, so I was forced to put it back into my humidor. I've been wanting to give this cigar a go for a while, because I like a fuller-bodied cigar, and I'm told these babies would be right up my alley.
The wrapper is a nice golden brown, but unfortunately it has started coming apart in places. I don't think this is a reflection on the construction of the cigar, but just rather that it's been through quite a bit of hand-changing. I lit it up, and was immediately greeted with nice spicy flavor that reminded me of an Opus X, but finished significantly different: it has more of a leathery/molasses finish that's quite nice.
Despite the wrapper issues, the cigar burned quite well, with the ash coming off only after I knocked it into the ashtray. The taste after a few draws in a row is quite nice, it has a "fuller" flavor than the Opus X, sort of like eating a meal with a jalapeno on it, rather than just eating a jalapeno by itself.
This is a really good cigar, but alas, I think it may be a little "young". It's from August 2003 so it's 6 months old or so, but in addition to all of the flavors I'm tasting, there is unfortunately some bitterness that is characteristic of cigars that aren't quite "ripe" for the smoking.
Overall, I think this could be a great, complex cigar, but it just isn't there yet -- it definitely needs some more aging time. It has some nice spiciness, a leathery snarl, and a bit of sweetness like caramelized sugar... and then the bitterness comes along and ruins it all, like someone peeing on your cornflakes.
In a few years, perhaps it will be a great smoke. Am I patient enough to go through the effort to obtain a box of these cigars, and then age them for a few years before I can smoke them? While the taste seems like it could be compelling, I'd have to say "no". Call me lazy, but I'd rather buy some easier to obtain, already aged and ready to smoke domestic cigars.
I do have a second one of this same cigar, however, and I will leave it buried in my humidor for a year or two, and revisit the cigar (and re-review it) then.