I'm an avid fan of Cuban cigars and my favorite brand is Bolivar. Most Cubans are mild to a fault such that my mainstay cigars are usually Dominican or Nicaraguan with an exception of a few Mexican and Honduran sticks. Why? Because like any organism that must survive in an isolated ecosystem I have evolved via the forces of natural selection imposed by the Cuban embargo.
The embargo has altered my palate by limiting my selection of cigars to the spicy intensity of non-Cuban cigars. While our fellow brothers of the leaf across the pond indulged in various Cuban brands we were smoking Padrons, Crowned Heads, Espinozas, Roma Crafts, Tataujes, Illusiones, and the like. These brands battled for dominance in the biggest cigar market on the planet. Victors emerged all the while forever changing what an elite cigar meant to an American aficionado.
But what about Cubans? They remained the same without even catching on to the big ring gauge trend or the dreaded flavor cigar delusion. In that isolation Cuban cigars maintained their mild character but one brand stood alone, my favorite, Bolivar.
Bolivar in my not so humble opinion is the most intense Cuban on the market but its not just a spice rocket. Its elegant, flavorful, and complex. Changes to the Cuban embargo are emblematic of species that were separated by environmental barriers for millennia and once the barriers cease to exist the once isolated species begin to engage in reproduction and evolve again.
Obama removed the limitations of his relaxed $100 rule which will result in more Cubans between the fingers of US aficionados but will this change the American palate or change the Cuban cigar profile. May be both will change but my favorite Cuban is already perfect for a full bodied cigar lover with a penchant for Cuban cigars.