Origin : Cuba
Format : Petit Robusto
Size : 102 x 20 mm (4 x 50)
Ring : 50
Release : 2009
Price : ~$12 each
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As a complete marketing victim, I just can't refrain myself from buying a Cuban cigar with a second band, regardless of its color. This time it was a red one. Whereas some of the regional editions I tried were rather disappointing because of the lack of personality, others turned out to be outstanding. Bottom line - I don't mind trying my luck with REs. This is why I bought a couple of Punch Small Club when I was in Paris in April.
At 4 x 50, this is a small robusto. For obvious reasons, I immediately thought about the Bolivar Petit Libertador that I sampled last year. I was secretly hoping that the stout cigar I was turning in my hands would have a different flavor profile, because I wasn't in the mood for a pepper bomb. After all, this is a Punch, so it shouldn't punch you in the face, right? I found the cigar attractive and surprisingly elegant for this size. The wrapper had no evident defects and the bands looked concordant.
Punch Small Club is as good as it can get in the construction department. No complaints whatsoever about the draw and, even more surprising for a Cuban cigar, the burn was razor sharp. I've been watching it closely and it never wandered out of its way. The ash was firm and held for 2 inches before I tapped it off.
The cigar starts out with a moderate pepper blast, which quickly gives way to cedary flavors. Punch Small Club appears as a solid medium-bodied smoke. Very soon, I have a deja vu feeling and I recall the Punch Punch - the first third shares the same flavors with this corona gorda. However, things change rapidly and I detect some original flavors such as butter or gingerbread. Furthermore, the smoke is definitely more complex than an average Punch. The second third is amazing, full-flavored, with a long finish. There is a noticeable increase in power near the end as I am prompted to slow down. Reluctantly I let the cigar die when it starts burning my fingers. Lovely smoke.
If these cigars are consistent, I'm going for a box. At $12 a pop, these are not a budget smoke, but in this case the quality commands a premium.
Overall Rating :
I'll try to get a fiver soon. If they will turn out to be as good as the first two were, then I'll definitely get a box of those since their flavor profile is exactly what I'm looking for in a good cigar. I also like the size, especially in my current situation where I can't afford spending 2 hours with a churchill. If there are some people from France reading this blog, can you tell me how you found this cigar if you tried it? I sure hope I didn't just get lucky.