The Habana Cuba Cigar Company, which would eventually rebrand as Boutique Blends, was formed in the 1990s as the non-Cuban manufacturer of the popular Oliveros brand. They chose to make the American Oliveros flavored, which set a course for what today we know as Boutique Blends.
Shortly after Rafael Nodal, his wife Alina, and Hank Bischoff took over the company, they realized they couldn’t compete in the flavored cigar market, which was dominated by large tobacco companies and cheap machine-made products. So the trio changed their name to Boutique Blends and doubled down on their focus to create small-batch premium hand-rolled cigars.
Boutique Blends La Bohéme cigars are dressed in a robust Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Beneath this leaf, you’ll find a Dominican binder and aged Dominican long-fillers.
The La Bohéme blend was named Cigar Aficionado’s (CA) 2015 No. 12 cigar of the year. The blend also received an impressive 94 rating from CA.
CA stated, “The combination of Ecuadoran Habano wrapper and Cuban-seed tobaccos has all the dynamic range of an operatic performance, hitting baritone notes like earth and ripe fruit, all the way to bright soprano tones of spice, ending with a midrange nutty finish. For added romance, brand owner Rafael Nodal took the art from a discontinued vintage Cuban brand and repurposed it for La Bohème.”
We get one of our Boutique Blends La Bohéme cigars burning and pick up on natural tobacco, pepper, earth, and sugar notes. During the second third, we detect spice, cinnamon, and cedar. The smoke is creamier now, and the earlier flavors are still in the mix. During the final third, the pepper pushes everyone to the side and steals the show.
It was a dramatic ending to a cigar named after Rafael Nodal’s favorite opera of the same name, released in 1895.
Give this bohemian a nice place to stay in your humidor until it feels its masterwork is ready for you to smoke.
Please enjoy Boutique Blends La Bohéme cigars at your leisure.