Origin : Cuba
Format : Torpedo
Size : 156 x 21 mm (6.1 x 52)
Ring : 52
Release : 2008
Price : $20+ each
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I would like to thank Sautter Cigars for providing me with a sampler of these Regional Editions. This shop is a great source of rare, vintage and limited Cuban cigars.
Punch Serie d'Oro No. 1 is the second regional edition for the UK market that I have had the chance to try. Punch is another regular producer of Regional Releases, there have been 11 (!) different offerings, including those for year 2009 (6 of them!). For me, it is an average marca that rolls nice and reliable cigars, but nothing to be very excited about. The medium-bodied Punch Punch is probably the most representative vitola.
The wrapper is brown with some obvious oil and a lot of darker spots, making it look almost like a leopard. There were also a couple of greenish areas that made the overall look of this cigar quite mediocre. The pre-draw, comfortable, brings a considerable amount of spice and is rather dusty.
In the construction department, on the other hand, I have hardly anything to complain about. During the initial inspection, no soft spots were found. The cigar lit well and kept burning properly until the very end and, although the burn line was not perfectly straight, it was a painless experience. The ash, firm, held for almost 3 inches!
After the initial spice kick, the first inch or so is very spicy, the black pepper is omnipresent. It is medium to full in strength. However, in the beginning of the second third, to my surprise, the flavors become almost sugary, but not sickly sweet - something close to sugarcane. I have also distinguished notes of dried fruits. I really did not expect this as it's not something I am used to find in Punch cigars, which are usually based around woody flavors. Anyway, the second third was quite pleasant, with its medium body. In the last third, although there is less sweetness, it is still present - and I am finally getting those woody undertones. The finish is calm, with a gradually increasing power.
As usual, the value is a real turn off when it comes to UK-limited cigars. The price is excessive.
Overall Rating :
I enjoyed this Punch a lot - probably because it surprised me so much. I was expecting the typical flavor profile and I was wrong. This being said, another surprise was the fact that the cigar did not seem green (a friend of mine told me they needed a couple of years to be smokeable). Unfortunately, this review is based on only one specimen, so I cannot assert that they are all ready right now.
After having smoked both UK regional releases for 2008, I would like to say that they are both very good cigars, different from regular offerings. Punch Serie d'Oro No. 1 and La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos would both have gotten 4.5 stars if they were priced around $10.
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