Origin : Honduras
Format : Figurado
Size : 4 1/2 x 60
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Honduran, Nicaraguan, Dominican (Piloto Cubano)
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Punch Rare Corojo cigars...
First and foremost, a little background on these cigars with the “Rare Corojo” double band. These smokes are released each year in March and are only available until the annual supply is depleted, which is why they are given the secondary "Rare" band. I was able to pick mine up while in Chicago over the July 4th holiday weekend and the cigar shop I was in had ample supply. Also, the Punch Rare Corojo Champion may appear to be a maduro cigar but I assure you it is not. The company brands this cigar as a natural but it is one of the darker naturals I have come across.
The cigar’s wrapper looked oily and had a lovely sheen to it. Unfortunately, due to the poor construction issues as evidenced on the photos, it lost some of its appeal right away. Remember, I try to smoke as many different cigars as possible for these reviews so given that I have never reviewed a Punch for CigarInspector.com I decided to pick up a stick for this very purpose. Looks can be deceiving after all. I’ve had horrible looking sticks taste fabulous and vice-versa. This Punch had a very rustic rustic appearance with visible veins and very visible seams. Althouth the ring gauge is officially listed as 60, this refers to the fattest part of the cigar. Personally, the cigar is unattractive to look at.
The draw was good but didn’t really become excellent until I reached the widest part of the stogie.
I commend Punch on putting together a cigar with perhaps one of the most perfect burns I have encountered so far this smoking season. The Champion’s burn was razor sharp, straight as could be and consistent, never needed any flame again once the cigar was lit. The smoke output increased as I reached the wider ring gauge and did become quite thick. However, deductions were made for the sloppily applied cap, the visible seams and the overall selection of wrapper leaf which, as you can see in the photos, left a lot to be desired.
The cigar's brown/grey ash was firm and never flaked.
Unfortunately, appearance and construction aside, this cigar failed where it matters most; flavor.
I was excited because the cigar really had a pleasing pre-light aroma. It offered up some very nice woodsy, leathery and earthy notes with hints of cocoa. The pre-draw had hints of cocoa, leather, earth and dark chocolate.
The first couple of puffs prepared me for what I was going to experience the rest of the way ... a predominantly bitter smoke. I picked up very mild hints of pepper and the flavors were somewhat muted, mainly woodsy notes with spice on the front of the palate but none detected on the back end. The finish was short and bitter.
I was able to pick up bitter/dark chocolate notes with hints of roasted coffee that was on the bitter end, almost burnt. The predominant flavors were musty, earth-like. The smoke output improved but it was a dry smoke with no velvety or oily texture. The first third was uninspiring.
The second third offered up much of the same. All I got was puffs of very unpleasant bitterness, dry smoke lacking any texture and short bitter finish with mild spice. The cigar was primarily earthy, grassy and it resembled damp hay. These flavor notes dominated this cigar. Occasionally I picked up hints of dark bitter chocolate and unsweetened roasted coffee.
The flavor profile remained the same as I reached the final third. I did get some hints of toasted/burnt nuts and I got one or two puffs of semi sweet chocolate which were even more memorable given the bitterness I fought during most of the cigar. There was a slight increase in spice but overall the cigar was mild in this respect.
The cigar was of medium strength and should be paired with a sweeter beverage to help with the dryness of the smoke and the bitterness of the flavors. I paired mine with an iced tea having given up alcohol altogether.
Overall I would not have finished the Punch Rare Corojo had I not have been smoking it for the purpose of this review.
The MSRP on this cigar is $6.15 and they can be found for less online. I picked mine up in Chicago where the tobacco taxes are a bit hefty. I would not spend even half the price of this cigar on it again. There are so many better cigars out there for this price and for less. I feel that when assessing value we must also consider the overall flavor of the cigar. To me, something holds little value if I didn’t enjoy it.
Overall Rating : (2.20)
If the slightly average ratings for construction and appearance weren’t as high as they were then this cigar would have scored much lower. Keep in mind my flavor rating was 1 which is really all that counts in the cigar. I will from now on give the flavor rating double the weighting in my cigar reviews since the flavor of a cigar is what matters most to smokers. Watch for my coming article on how conduct my ratings.