once again, great pictures and a great review. I am quite dissapointed by the review though, I've always loved the el conde 109 size, something about it, the cone shape and the length makes it a perfect relaxing cigar for me. I wish that the REs would all be at least medium bodied, I understand that some agents want milder smokes for their clients, but I highly doubt people who are serious into buying cigars, i.e. people who are most interested in REs smoke many mild cigars.
Review: Bolívar 109 5th Avenida (ER Germany) (Prerelease)
(Editor’s Note: This cigar was reviewed blind (in other words, I had no idea what cigar it was while I was smoking it) for a Blind Smoking thread on the Brothers of the Leaf forum…In case you don’t know, every once in a while, a member of various forums puts together a thread where they buy a certain number of cigars for a certain number of people to all do a review on the same sticks at (almost) the same time, without knowing which cigar it is they are smoking…I love doing these, since I do believe that it is better to do review without any preconceptions at all on which cigar/brand it is you are smoking…Alas, I have to photograph most cigars with bands. Needless to say, I was VERY surprised to find out which cigar this was after smoking it. ~.ed)
The Bolívar 109 “5th Avenida” is yet another Regional Edition (this time for Germany) released this year. The specific size (184mm long and 50 RG) revives a format that has not been manufactured for over 35 years and represents the original format of the Partagás Lusitanias and the Ramon Allones Gigantes. According to Min Ron Nee, in his book Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars, cigars of the 109 shape were the predecessors of today’s Double Coronas.
What is special about these cigars (other than the obvious Regional Edition thing) is their Parejos shape… basically, it is cylindrical, (i.e. the same ring gauge from head to foot), but its head is shaped conically, which makes it extremely difficult to roll.
The name “5th Avenida”, (which means literally “Fifth Avenue”) has a duel meaning: it is the Spanish name of the German Habanos importer “5th Avenue”, (which incidentally celebrates its 20th anniversary this year) and it commemorates the famous street in the Miramar area of Havana.
The Bolívar “5th Avenida” will be sold in boxes of 20 and there will be a total of 3,000 boxes available. Each box will be individually numbered with a plaque affixed to the box and will have a second band “Exclusively for Germany”.
But enough chitchat, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Bolívar 109 5th Avenida (Edición Regional Alemania 2009)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Fernando Perez German
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 7.25 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: 109
- Est. Price: $26
- Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 20 (60,000 total cigars)
- Date Released (estimated): October 1, 2009
The wrapper on the cigar is a very nice light golden brown, albeit with very noticeable veins running up and down the length of it. The wrapper is flawless construction wise and smells faintly of Cinnamon and tobacco. The cigar is VERY spongy when squeezed (almost to the point of distraction) yet still seems very dry.
After lighting, I was expecting a bit of a kick (as most cigars these days give), but in the first few puffs all I got was a little spice and a very woody taste. As the stick progressed a bit, the spice increased Just a little bit . It seemed to me to have a very typical Cuban flavor … and a very mild beginning.
The Second Third started out the same as the first. It was woodsy with a touch of spice and perhaps a bit of floral as well, but nothing to write home about (or at least, nothing MORE to write about then I already did). I got a bit of cedar as well, but again, almost nothing all that interesting.
**Sigh** The Final Third did not change AT ALL, all the way down to the frakin’ nub. More woody, more cedar and more (MILD) spice. I am a bit surprised that a cigar’s profile could remain almost exactly the same during nearly 7.5 inches of smoking, but apparently it is possible. Having said that, it did not get bitter, even at the nub (although it did burn a bit hot in the last .5 inch).
Some Final Notes:
- This was a VERY mild cigar, almost like smoking air. I bet you would get more enjoyment out of huffing wood primer (if there is such a thing) …
- The Draw was perfect all the way through and the burn SUCKED for about 2 inches, but then evened out to perfection for the rest of the stick …
- It was a fairly fast burning stick (for it’s size) and only took 1 hour and 21 minutes to finish …
The Bottom Line: After finding out which stick this was, I was EXTREMELY surprised … almost stunned. If you looked up consistently boring”, “mild” and “extreme suckage” in the dictionary, there would be a photo of this cigar. Almost no change at all for the entire stick … just wood, wood, wood, wood and wood (you might say it failed to gave me a WOODY!…sigh). While it was not a absolutely horrible cigar by any means (it was smokable to the nub after all, unlike say, the Gurkha HMR), there are about 80 trillion better sticks out there that I would pick up before this one, especially for the price. Honestly, I expected quite a bit more out of this one.
Final Score: 65