Punch Ninfas

Punch Ninfas

Origin : CubaPunch
Format : Ninfas (Slim Panatela)
Size : 33 x 178 mm (7”)
Box Date : EAR – April ’02 (Controlado Feb ’05)
Discontinued in 2002
Price : roughly $7/cigar in 2002

Appearance : Rating: ★★★☆☆
Natural (Colorado Claro), flat sheen, few veins. Box pressed beyond any cigar I’ve ever seen with hard corners. The appearance is elegant by its nature. Generally white, grainy ash; flakey & not as dense as the tight draw would lead one to expect.

Punch Ninfas
Punch Ninfas (band)

Construction : Rating: ★★★½☆
Tight but smokeable. Three quarters of this box were too tight to be smoked; this was the most pliable of the six or seven I pulled out of the box. In my opinion, boxes which have been stamped “Controlado” (meaning they have been re-inspected because of construction concerns) are quite often unsmokeable. Unfortunately, most vendors do not disclose the Controlado or Revisado status of a box ordered by mail. Heavy volume of gray-white smoke. Burn was pretty even, but required relighting if left unattended for more than a minute or two. Lasted about an hour.

Flavor : Rating: ★★★☆☆
Opened a little bitter/acrid and was dominated by black pepper, leather and earth. These have been terrific in the past so I wondered if it was my taste buds today; I cleansed my palate with a tiny sip of scotch. Better after that, same leather and earth flavors, but pleasant with a strong woody undercurrent. More experimentation, with a small piece of milk chocolate, but nothing new emerged. Flavors stayed fairly constant although cedar developed and I could discern a hint of cream. The black pepper gave way to unidentifiable spices about halfway through (“unidentifiable” because I’m not that good in the kitchen). This Ninfas had a classic Punch flavor profile. There was a bit of must reflecting the cigar’s age. The finish was shorter than I expected. Towards the last inch, the flavor became a little bitter again.

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★☆☆
I am generally not a big fan of the Punch line, but I’ve always thought of the Ninfas as exceptional (aside from draw issues). This particular cigar was more average. In a blind test, I would absolutely have determined it to be a Punch by flavor and, therefore, a Ninfas by the size. The flavor most closely resembled an aged RS (Royal Selection) 11. Other Ninfas have been a 4 of 5 to me, this one was not as good and only rated a 3 of 5.

As these are discontinued, I would recommend inspecting the cigar or box prior to purchase to ensure it is not too tight. I paid approximately $200 for a dress box in 2006; although hard to find, I would expect these to still be in the $10 – 15 range per single.