The Un­re­vea­led Se­cret of Pre­fe­ren­ce


Habanos - - Summary - BY / CA­MI­LO EIRANOVA

Much of what I ha­ve read about the Bo­lí­var vi­to­las ma­kes spe­cial emp­ha­sis on the strong cha­rac­ter of the tas­te of that brand foun­ded by Jo­se Fer­nan­dez Ro­cha in the early 20th cen­tury, bet­ween 1901 and 1902, re­gis­te­red in Ha­va­na in 1921 with pro­perty cre­di­ted to his com­pany, J.F. Ro­cha y Cia., and bought in 1954, when the de­mi­se of Ci­fuen­tes y Cia had al­ready oc­cu­rred, which trans­fe­rred its pro­duc­tion to the Par­ta­gás fac­tory.

It is said that strength was the main reason for the brand's suc­cess sin­ce its crea­tion, par­ti­cu­larly in Great Bri­tain, whe­re it was dis­tri­bu­ted by Bri­tish to­bac­co mer­chants Wal­ters & Co., and all across Eu­ro­pe at a ti­me when ci­gars with a strong tas­te and a lot of body we­re the fa­vo­ri­te of ex­pert smo­kers, gai­ning great po­pu­la­rity in the world mar­ket af­ter it was ac­qui­red by the Ci­fuen­tes fa­mily.

And it is not at all that this trait does not tell the brand apart, which, as it has been well poin­ted out, is pre­sent coin­ci­den­tally in the per­so­na­lity of Si­món Bo­lí­var, one of the most pro­mi­nent fi­gu­res in La­tin Ame­ri­can his­tory, from whom it was na­med af­ter; but the fact of the mat­ter is this the only thing that Ro­cha ap­pre­cia­ted in the Fat­her of the Ve­ne­zue­lan Ho­me­land to na­me his crea­tion.

In the ab­sen­ce of re­fe­ren­ces, the­re is no al­ter­na­ti­ve but to let the ima­gi­na­tion fly, wit­hout worrying too much about the ima­ge of Bo­li­var the ci­gar ma­ker could ha­ve in his mind, a man who had been born in Ga­li­cia and had emi­gra­ted to Cu­ba at the ten­der age of four­teen, at a mo­ment of re­ve­la­tion that led him to found a brand pre­fe­rred by tho­se who ha­ve put the lic­king for good things in life on their lists.

In short, whet­her or not it has been ap­pre­cia­ted by Ro­cha, who per­haps only wan­ted to pay tri­bu­te to Si­món Bo­lí­var wit­hout even thin­king about coin­ci­den­ces bet­ween the brand and the he­ro, the­re

is at least anot­her im­por­tant fea­tu­re of the Li­be­ra­tor's per­so­na­lity that is di­rectly lin­ked to the very na­tu­re of the brand: pas­sion.

No one can deny that Bo­lí­var was not only a vi­sio­nary, but abo­ve all a pas­sio­na­te man -what ot­her ex­pla­na­tion would ha­ve he had to de­vo­te his life to the rea­li­za­tion of a pro­ject that en­tai­led such enor­mous draw­backs and cha­llen­ges as the li­be­ra­tion of much of South Ame­ri­ca and the crea­tion of Gran Co­lom­bia.

And pas­sion is pre­ci­sely a cha­rac­te­ris­tic sha­red by many Bo­li­var smo­kers, who will at­tend for the first ti­me, in this 22nd edition of the Ha­bano Fes­ti­val, the launch of its Re­ser­ve: Bo­lí­var Be­li­co­sos Fi­nos Co­se­cha 2016.

I am not re­fe­rring to the amo­rous pas­sion that de­fi­nes the ar­dent pre­di­lec­tion for anot­her per­son, nor only to the pas­sion for qua­lity, for ex­ce­llen­ce, which leads them to wa­llo­wing in so­me of the brand's vi­to­las, whet­her In­men­sas, Co­ro­nas Go­gan­tes or Co­ro­nas Ex­tras, all hand-ro­lled with long fi­ller, with se­lec­ted lea­ves from the Vuel­ta Aba­jo to­bac­co plan­ta­tions in Pi­nar del Río, you know, the land that pro­du­ces the best to­bac­co in the world. It must ha­ve been this pas­sion for cult ci­gars that led French wri­ter, jour­na­list and li­te­rary cri­tic Eu­gè­ne Mar­san, aut­hor of Le Ci­ga­re

(1929) and La dé­cou­ver­te de l'Amé­ri­que et du Ci­ga­re (1931), to fer­vently re­com­mend from the Bo­li­var brand, ac­cor­ding to Aurelio Pas­tor in El mun­do de los Pu­ros, the Ba­rons and the Little Du­kes as "irre­pro­cha­ble" ci­gars.

When I use the term "pas­sion", I am thin­king abo­ve all of this vehe­ment ef­fort to achie­ve a pur­po­se, an ob­jec­ti­ve, which so­me­ti­mes ta­kes on so­meo­ne, even stea­ling their sleep and not gi­ving them just a sin­gle mi­nu­te of pea­ce un­til the job is do­ne.

And I ha­ve no doubt in my mind that a sea­so­ned smo­ker, a real con­nois­seur of the art of smo­king, will al­ways ma­ke up their minds for the brands and vi­to­las that match their per­so­na­lity, that even­tually un­ders­co­re it and express cohe­ren­ce in their beha­vior. What I want to un­der­li­ne he­re is that the­re must be so­me kind of cap­ti­va­tion in the fact that many ex­pert smo­kers hand­pick Bo­li­var.

What's mo­re, Mar­tín Fer­nán­dez Vi­vei­ro, in an ar­ti­cle pu­blis­hed in La Voz de Ga­li­cia in Ja­nuary 2017 —Los Fer­nán­dez Ro­cha, ta­ba­que­ros de Rei­nan­te en­tre los más ri­cos en Cu­ba— grants the foun­der of the brand an en­ter­pri­sing cha­rac­ter, a de­fi­ni­tion that al­so por­trays him as a pas­sio­na­te man, sin­ce it would be dif­fi­cult to un­der­ta­ke dif­fi­cult or ran­dom ac­tions with re­so­lu­tion if you don't feel pas­sion for what you're doing.

I am not sa­ying that ot­her Ha­bano brands do not ins­pi­re this un­con­tro­lla­ble for­ce or desire, nor can I as­su­re you that Bo­li­var smo­kers are far mo­re pas­sio­na­te than peo­ple who puff on ot­her brands. What I do say is that both the strength of cha­rac­ter and the pas­sion that cha­rac­te­ri­zed the per­son who ins­pi­red the crea­tion of this brand are part of the dee­pest ba­sics behind this brand.


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