Origin : Cuba
Format : Pyramid
Size : 140 x 20 mm (5.5 x 52)
Ring : 52
Release : 2013
Price : 14 EUR each
The Punch Serie d’Oro 2013 Edicion Limitada was a highly anticipated release from Habanos S.A. As usual, the wrappers for this limited edition come from tapado (shade-grown) leaves, which is the reason why they have such a dark and oily appearance. The tobacco used in these cigars was aged for two years. Again, no surprises here. What’s quite surprising on the other hand is that this is the first ever Edicion Limitada from Punch (the Serie d’Oro No. 1 was a regional edition for the UK that we reviewed… five years ago! this makes me feel old) — and as with any Edicion Limitada, my expectations are high.
Appearance : Rating:
The Tapado wrapper leaf is a medium brown with a dark brown mottled appearance, quite unique to look at. There are some prominent veins running through it, and the gold Edicion Limitada band is right under the Punch band. There is a very nice triple seam torpedo cap, and the oily sheen is very prominent, especially up near the cap. The pre-light aroma is sweet.
Construction : Rating: (3.75)
I’m surprised that construction is not as flawless as I would expect from an Edicion Limitada. The softness is evident when I squeeze the cigar, which does turn out to affect the draw—it is a bit looser than I would like. The burn seems relatively even despite all this, but the problems with the draw are troubling, especially given the price of the cigar.
Flavor : Rating:
The flavors deliver on the sweet promise of the pre-light aroma. They are nutty, slightly earthy, and have a hint of hay. There is something sugary here, but it is not overwhelming. During the middle third, the flavors move even deeper into earthy terrain, with the hay becoming more prominent—maybe the hay really is the main source of the sweetness. There is also a little spice, but it is very faint. In the final third, most of these flavors fall back, and I get a bakery flavor that reminds me of cake or maybe a cinnamon roll. While these flavors are all great, there is a kind of sharp or bitter aftertaste that is noticeable during the first two thirds and which kind of disrupts my enjoyment of the smoke. The last third, on the other hand, is perfectly complex. I guess this cigar needs some more humidor time, I guess I’ll revisit it in 6 months.
Overall Rating : Rating:
If the Punch Serie d’Oro No. 2 were lower in cost—maybe about two thirds of what I paid, my rating would probably be closer to a 4.5/5, but I can’t justify it with price being what it is. At this time it simply does not live up to my expectations for Edicion Limitada and I’d pick a H. Upmann No. 2 over this Punch. As usual, your mileage may vary – and we shouldn’t forget that ageing does wonders to these limited editions.