Posts Tagged With: Punch

Uppercut by Punch Robusto

In 2008 or 2009 Punch had a competition between test blends they released and the winner would be officially released. And this Uppercut by Punch was the winner. As far as I know the cigar is made in Honduras with Nicaraguan filler, including some Ometepe, a Nicaraguan binder and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Since I don’t see them being sold anywhere and the special website is offline I’m guessing it was either a limited edition or not the success that General Cigars hoped for.


I love the name, for two reasons. First a punch is a hit and so is an uppercut plus that it’s won a competition between test blends, another ‘fight’ reference. Knock Out by Punch could have been a great name too, or a follow up. I don’t know where I got or bought this cigar, I don’t know when but I know it must have been a few years ago since the cellophane is starting to discolor and become yellow. I’m smoking the 5 1/2×50 robusto sized cigar. There were two other vitolas too.


As I said, the cellophane is starting to turn yellow from the oils in the dark and rustic Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, which is quite bumpy. The construction feels evenly packed with a nice flat head and beautifully placed triple cap. The cigar has two rings, the foot ring has a panoramic picture of the Ometepe volcano in Nicaragua with a black band underneath saying Ometepe with golden letters and golden linings on both sides of the black band and above the volcano. The top ring is dark blue with thick golden outlines, then a golden crown and the word Uppercut above a small red circle with golden letters Punch. The cigar has a mild dusty chocolate aroma.


I cut the cigar with my xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is great and I taste raw tobacco and dried grapes. After lighting the cigar with my torch (single jet) I taste coffee with sugar and some lemon. After a quarter of an inch I taste some peanuts. After an inch all I taste is salt, peanuts and some chocolate. The flavors slowly change to salty peanuts with lemon and pepper, quite a lot of chili peper. The final third starts with cedar and nuts with quite some pepper. I get dark chocolate with pepper some puffs later.


The draw is amazing and the smoke is thick and full. The ash is white, dense and firm. The burn is straight as can be. This is a medium full bodied and full flavored cigar with a smoke time of an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? This was a decent cigar and I read it was cheap so I would get a few.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Honduran cigars, Honduras American Tobacco SA, Punch | Tags: , , ,

Cigar of the month July

July was a month of 21 published reviews, here’s the list from best to worst, with a surprising winner

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Gurkha Havana Blend Toro with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Gurkha Havana Blend Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Maduro Corona Gorda (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco OR Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) El Centurion Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Bucanero Z Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
9) Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson Lancero (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon (Costa Rica) 91 points
11) Bucanero Z Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) El Criolito Half Corona (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Don Pepin Garcia Blue Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
14) La Antiguedad Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Punch LE 2013 (Cuba) 90 points
16) Alec Bradley Tempus Naturel Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
17) Don Payo El Baron Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
18) E.P. Carrillo Encore Robusto (Dominican Republic) 89 points
19) Royal Danish Havana Blend Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
20) Vegas de Santiago Gran Reserva Gordo (Costa Rica) 84 points
21) Navarre Petit Robusto (France) 82 points

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Punch LE 2013

I have a lot of people on facebook and one of them, Victor King, I had never met before but when he came to Amsterdam I met up with him and Nasier, from tabaccoshop Van Lookeren to hit a few lounges in the city. When Victor walked in he handed me a Punch Limited Edition from 2013 and he said it was a great cigar. Me, not a big fan of Cubans, decided to accept it and save it for a review. Here’s my review.


The 2013 Edicion Limitada was called Serie D’Oro #2 and it’s a 5 1/2 x 52 Pyramid. It was the first limited edition for the Punch brand, in 2017 a new limited edition was supposed to be released but by the time I was writing the intro to this review (mid january 2018) those cigars weren’t released yet according to the Cuban Cigar Website, so for now I can say the Serie D’Oro #2 is the only Limited Edition of the brand that has been released so far.


The wrapper is quite dark, leathery and veiny. The cigar feels well constructed, I don’t feel soft spots or plugs. And the rings are nice, the regular red & golden Punch ring and the regular golden & black ‘Edicion limitada” secondary ring. The mild aroma is classic Cuban, barnyard and cow dung.


I cut the cigar. The cold draw is great, quite spicy for a Cuban cigar. After lighting I taste a citrus coffee flavor. After half an inch I taste soil, coffee, a little spice and some citrus. Halfway I taste cedar with a little spice and pepper, a little nutmeg too. I also taste a little nutty flavor. The final third is peppery, woody with a floral sweetness.


The draw is flawless. The ash is almost white with a few darker smears. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness, the color is white. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Depending on the price I might want a fiver.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: , , , ,

Cigar of the month December

The final month of 2017 so the final ‘cigar of the month’, tomorrow I’ll be posting my top 25 but for now I focus on what December 2017 brought me.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V Figurado (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Viking Nordic Warrior Churchill (Dominican Republic) 93 points
3) C.A.O. Amazon Basin Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Cornelius & Anthony Señor Esugars (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Bespoke Tradicional Cottontail (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Punch Platino Double Corona (Cuba) 90 points
7) Xiphos Habano Lonsdale (Costa Rica) 90 points
8) Colon Lancero (Panama) 89 points
9) C.A.O. Angry Santa Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Manowar Virtue Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
11) C.A.O. Evil Snowman (Nicaragua) 87 points

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Punch Platino Exclusivo India 2009

If you are a regular visitor of my blog, or if you know me personally and talked to me about cigars, you may have noticed that Cuban cigars aren’t my favorites. Now we are not talking vintage stuff, vintage Cubans are a world of difference with post-2001 production as its completely different tobacco and Cubatobacco has screwed up since, screwed up big time, under pressure of the Cuban government that needs money flowing in. For example, they lack quality control causing quality issues, there is a fertilizer problem so the soil isn’t replenished enough and there is a big monoculture problem where the soil doesn’t get any rest. Were Cubans the best before 2000, no doubt there, do they have the potential to be the best again? Yeah, but they need to change a few things and that will cause a temporary decline in turnover, but Cuba will benefit from it in the end.


Now enough with the criticism, I have to take my hat off for the Habanos marketing program. First of all, they don’t sell just a cigar, they sell the complete country, the vibe, the music, the rum instead of brand x or brand y, and they do an amazing job. Secondly, they came up with the yearly limited edition, which was a huge success and is now widely copied by cigar manufacturers in Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and anywhere else they make cigars. The third best marketing idea was that whole Behike scam, I mean, after 2000 years of cultivating tobacco a new, very special leaf is discovered? And its used to make a new Cohiba. Everybody buys it, nobody thinks “hey but that leaf was used in the regular Cohiba before, they have taken it out now so my regular Cohiba is less”, I mean, brilliant marketing right? But their best idea was the Exclusivo series, a concept that has been tried by a few copycats, I know General Cigars tried it and Tatuaje, but not to much of a success. And the idea is so brilliantly simple, distributers can choose a brand, pick a vitola that is not made for that brand, have an x amount of boxes made, add a second ring saying “exclusivo” and the name of the country and boom: it’s a collectible cigar that people hunt for. It’s not even a new blend, its just a different vitola. Chapeau Habanos marketing department, you guys are genius, and if marketing was the deciding factor for my reviews this would be a 100 point cigar.


Now the marketing is so genius that I fell for it too and I hunted this Punch Platino Exclusivo India down. I wanted this 7.6×49 Double Corona and found an online vendor that could get me a box. I wasn’t sure if the vendor could be trusted, I had never done business with him in the past so to reduce the risk I turned it into a box split. The vendor was thrustworthy but Dutch customs was paying attention and refused the parcel, we were just lucky that they returned to sender and didn’t confiscate and destroy it. The vendor shipped it again and this time it got through. The ring of the cigar is somewhat different, the top three quarters of the cigars are wrapped in a silver colored foil with a five pointed star embossed in it, the classic Punch ring, golden outline with white surrounding a red circle with white letters saying Punch Habana Cuba. The classic burgundy ring with silver lining and white dots saying Exclusivo India is attached to the foil too, so you can only see a small part of the cigar. Somehow it all fits together though. Once unwrapped I see that the wrapper is quite dark for a Cuban but its beautiful, it feels silky and has a mild oily surface but on the backside it has a more rustic look, and close to the head of the cigar you can feel and see bumps, must be a vein in the binder. The aroma is pretty mild, milder than I expected, and its barnyard, no ammonia though but then again, the cigar is about 8 years old.


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is good, the flavor is medium strong and I taste raisin and some pepper. I used a soft flame to light the cigar and I taste a nice mix of chocolate and coffee. After a centimeter I also taste some citrus. The coffee disappears and I taste a mild chocolate with a little bit of leather. After a third I taste some wood with some spices but all very mellow, I can even taste some pepper on the back of my tongue. Halfway i taste a nutty flavor with a little pepper. The nuttiness gets more refined and it tastes like mildly salted peanuts now. I taste some chocolate too and the pepper slowly gets stronger. Near the two thirds mark the peanuts get stronger.


The draw is great, I’m always concerned about the draw when I smoke a Cuban cigar but this one is great. The ash is gray with black stripes between the layers and it’s reasonable firm. The smoke is medium thick at most and medium in volume. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is medium bodied and mild to medium flavored. The cigar has a very good finish. The smoke time is two hours and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not falling for the whole marketing trick again, plus this specific cigar can only be bought from collectors for extremely high prices. But if this was a regular production cigar it would be a Cuban i would smoke more often.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Cuban cigars, La Corona, Punch | Tags: , , , , , ,

Punch Superfinos Regional Edition Italy

Browsing through my humidor I found this tiny 4.3×42 minutos from Punch that was the 2005 regional edition for Italy. Now I don’t know if this cigar is from the original 2005 release or from the re-release in 2006. All I know is that the Punch Superfinos is a cigar that had been discontinued but made a comeback as this limited released Italian regional edition.
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The cigar is small and thin and has a reasonably dark, mild oily wrapper with lots of veins. The construction feels good and I smell a strong barnyard smell. The predraw is fine and tastes mild sweet.
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I taste coffee, mild sweet but that sweetness disappears almost immediately. I still taste coffee but now with leather and earth. The sweetness makes a comeback though and after half an inch I taste wood with nuts, with a tiny bit of leather and sweetness.
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Halfway I still taste the nut and wood mix, both mild sweet and the wood flavor is the main flavor. Near the end the sweetness disappears.
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Even though this is a small cigar, it lasted me forty-five minutes. I got a decent amount of reasonably thick gray smoke. The ash is dark. The draw is great but I had to correct the burn a few times. This cigar is full flavored yet medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? If I can find them, I should give them another chance.

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, La Corona, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: , , ,

Punch Ninfas

On the boards that I visit, the Punch Ninfas, a 7×33 slim panatela, is one of the most praised and sought after discontinued Cuban cigars. I never thought I would get my hands on one, as they have been discontinued since 2002, years before I started my journey into the world of hand rolled cigars. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember how I got this specific cigar, it was probably one of the many gifts and bombs I got since joining Club Stogie (R.I.P.) and Cigar Asylum. So thank you, whoever gave me this cigar.
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The wrapper is quite dark for a Cuban, dull and full of thin veins. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell. The construction feels good but the predraw is a bit hard.
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I taste leather with some pepper and after three quarters of an inch the flavors get less strong, but I still taste leather with pepper in the aftertaste. The pepper fades away and now I taste leather and a bit of an earthy flavor.
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After a third I also get some nuts with the leather and halfway the flavors are smooth leather only, quite dry though. After two thirds the nuts make a comeback and the cigar gets a mild spicy, peppery aftertaste.
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This long thin stick lasts me about eighty minutes. The smoke is thin, and there isn’t much of it at all. The draw is good, but close to too hard. The ash is dark, coarse and not firm. The cigars is medium flavored and mild to medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? That’s close to impossible

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, La Corona, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: ,

Punch Royal Selection 11

This cigar was gifted to me by a Dutch friend on a herf at my place, so I don’t know the exact box code, all I know is that the cigar is a few years old and that Habanos is discontinuing them, so if you like these my advice is to stock up.
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The silky wrapper is nice and smooth but pale brown. I notice a few water spots and veins on the wrapper. The cigar has the classic Cuban barnyard smell. The construction feels good although the predraw is on the hard side. I taste dry tobacco.
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I taste that recognizable Cuban leather flavor with some sweetness. The sugar like sweetness slowly gains some strength. Halfway I also taste an Earth flavor and the sweetness gets a little weaker. This cigar is typical Cuban.
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The sweetness disappears all together and the classic Cuban mixture of earth and leather flavors grows in strength. I also taste some toast, which slowly becomes stronger. Near the end I also taste something fresh, a herbal freshness and some mild spice.
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This 5½x46 cigar lasted me for an hour and twenty minutes and I got plenty of smoke, even though it was thin. The draw is good and I can’t complain about the burn either. The ash is medium dark gray and not very firm. I would say that this cigar is medium to full flavored and medium bodied. When I purged it, I only got a small flame.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Depends, if I see a good deal, I might get a box. If I don’t see a good deal, well, then I won’t get a box.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, La Corona, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: , ,

Punch Rare Corojo magnum

The Punch Rare Corojo is only released once a year and it is the best selling (non Cuban) punch on the market. The cigar is made from Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco with a Colorado shade wrapper.
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The cigar is wrapped in cellophane and once released from the wrapper I see a silky wrapper which is quite dark. The box pressed cigar feels quite hard but the predraw is fine and leaves a mild pepper on my lips.
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I taste burned coffeebeans, not very pleasant. I get a bunch of toasty tones, but they all taste burned and even a bit ashy. The ash flavor gets stronger while the toast gets milder.
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Halfway I can taste a sweetness through the ash but that’s only for a few puffs. After that it is ash that I taste until the finale, where some leather and wood try to beat the ash. But they fail.
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The amount of smoke from this Punch is medium, just like the thickness. The ash is light colored and firm. The draw was good but the burn was crooked.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, hell no.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 5 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Honduran cigars, Honduras American Tobacco SA, Punch | Tags: , , ,

Punch Royal Regional Edition Benelux

This year the Benelux (Belgium Netherlands Luxemburg) got 2 Regional Editions, the Bolivar Fabuloso and the Punch Royal, a 5.5 x 50 cigar with a light wrapper with some minor veins. The predraw is just fine and gives me a flavor of raisin and pepper. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice hay & barnyard aroma.
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I taste full dry wood flavor combined with full dry leather, a bit harsh even. After a centimeter I taste a grassy flavor, a sign that this cigar is too young to smoke. I can also taste a mild chocolate. The strength and power of the flavors have gone from their initial full flavor to mild.
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After a third I can just taste the mild chocolate with dry grass and something harsh & bitter. Halfway the cigar is getting ashy and the bitter harshness stays noticeable.
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The last third gives me a nut flavor and ash. The nut is very nice but gets ruined by the disgusting flavor of the ash.
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I get a lot of smoke from this cigar, lots and thick. The burn is just fine and the frayed light colored ash is quite firm.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, a few singles and then let them age for a few years. They definitely need some more rest

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, La Corona, Punch (Habanos) | Tags: , , ,

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