At this point, if an Edición Regional release comes out the following year, there’s not really much surprise from the general cigar smoking public. This was of course the case when Habanos S.A. finally released the Bolívar Bosphorus in April of 2015, which was the Edición Regional for Turkey in 2014.
For a little bit of the history of the Edición Regional program, we’ll look back at what Patrick Lagreid wrote about it:
The Edición Regional program sees Habanos S.A., the marketing and distribution company behind Cuban cigars, create unique, limited vitolas for its distributors around the world. Sizes must be those that are in the Habanos S.A. portfolio, but not amongst the regular production offerings for the brand, although some discontinued regular sizes can be created. New vitolas created for a certain brand are also not eligible to be used. In addition, the “global” brands—i.e. Cohiba, H. Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, José L. Piedra, Montecristo, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta—are not eligible to be made into an Edición Regional.
Since 2012, distributors have been limited to a single release per year, a change from prior years when some distributors would receive multiple releases per year. Distributors are the ones to initiate the idea of a new release, and the cost for any new Edición Regional must be underwritten by the distributor. There is no guarantee that any particular region will get a new release in a given year.
- Cigar Reviewed: Bolívar Bosphorus Edición Regional Turquia (2014)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 4 3/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Petit Robusto
- Est. Price: $12 (Boxes of 25, $300)
- Release Date: April 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 25 (50,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Bolívar Bosphorus is a shorter, almost stubby feeling cigar, which seems to be my usual reaction towards petit robustos. The medium brown wrapper is slightly rough and just a touch oily. There is just a little give when the cigar is squeezed, just enough to give me the impression of a well kept cigar and not a dried out rock. Cinnamon, cedar and hay mix together to produce a pleasant aroma coming off the wrapper, while vanilla custard, a light grassiness and some minor floral notes create the cold draw.
The first third starts out with a smooth, flavorful profile of cinnamon, vanilla, sweet spices. The retrohale is surprisingly smooth, with a light mushroom mustiness, along with a light touch of pepper. The draw is snug, but still well within the acceptable range, only causing me to need to draw slightly harder to get good smoke production going. The burn line is phenomenal: quite even and just short of what I would call razor sharp. Smoking this nice and slow, the cigar is smooth enough that I can retrohale the entire draw. The cinnamon is still strong on the nose, with creamy vanilla, sweet spices, a touch of earth and some very light hazelnut coming up in the background.
As I move into the second third of the Bolívar, I’m not seeing much change in the profile. The retrohale continues to be smooth, with the slightly musty mushroom note alongside cinnamon, vanilla, sweet spices, vanilla and a touch of hazelnut. It’s quite a full, flavorful profile, while maintaining a medium strength to it. The burn continues to impress and the ash holds on well to just about the inch mark. The draw has opened up just the slightest bit, but is still just a touch tighter than I would prefer.
In the final third I eventually see a slight change in the profile, with a dominant vanilla custard note appearing, along with spice, cocoa and a strong cinnamon on the nose. The burn continues its slow and even pace, staying consistent through the entire Bosphorus. As I get towards the final inch, the smoke does get a little hot, and it’s starting to become difficult to find a perch for my fingers without burning myself. Strangely enough though, the profile doesn’t get harsh or bitter, ending smoothly despite the heat building up at the end.
- The Bolívar Bosphorus has a very delicate wrapper. Two of the three samples had a large chunk of wrapper come off with the band. Luckily didn’t seem to affect the burn line too much.
- There was only one Bolívar Edición Regional release in 2014. Not only that, but this is the only release for Turkey in the ER program so far.
- Four remaining 2014 ER releases straggled out after this one, with the final release not seeing the light of day until October.
- There were 15 total regional releases in 2014. This is certainly a lot, but nowhere near 2011, which has been the highest number since the program started, with 25 releases.
- Phoenicia Trading A.A. is the distributor for Turkey, as well as Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Ukraine.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged right around an hour and 15 minutes.
Right away, I can tell you the one major complaint I had about this cigar: it isn’t longer. If you could take this exact same profile and translate it into just another inch or two, I would have felt a little more fulfilled. The profile was great—certainly one that was more refined and smooth than it’s age would suggest—and in the final third it shifted into something even more delectable. Unfortunately, since the cigar is only a bit over four inches long, the time flies by, and combined with only being able to smoke it down to just under the inch mark due to it getting fairly hot, that means that the wonderful final third kind of gets cut short. I certainly want to get my hands on more of these, though since these are already a year and a half past their initial release, I’m guessing they’ll be difficult to track down. If you run across them though - grab what you can, as I doubt you’ll regret it.