Punch is one of the oldest brands comprising Habanos S.A., founded clear back in 1840 in Havana by Don Manuel Lopez. The brand was created with the European market of cigar buyers in mind, and named for the puppet Mr. Punch from Punch and Judy. This particular cigar, the Punch Churchill, was discontinued in 2010, so the only stogies you can find today have been aged several years. My particular box is from 2005 (4 cigars were smoked for this review). Despite the fact that this cigar has been discontinued, you can still find it for a reasonable price online.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure de Luxe is a Cuban puro released by Habanos S.A. in October of 2012. The cigar was released as a retail exclusive for La Casa del Habano stores, and comes packaged in wooden slide boxes. Each box contains ten stogies. After giving the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure de Luxe a try, I was very glad I’d picked up a box; just like the H. Upmann Royal Robusto, this LCDH release is a success.
Introduced in 2013, the Montecristo Petit No. 2 is a shorter version of the Montecristo No. 2, a beloved Cuban puro from Habanos S.A. This version features the signature torpedo / piramide shape and the same thick ring gauge as the original, but is an inch and a half shorter. For those pressed for time who want to enjoy the same quality as the Montecristo No. 2, it is a great option—that is, if you can find it, and if you can afford it. Although cheaper than its bigger brother, the Petit No. 2 will still set you back at least $10.
The Bolivar Fabulosos 2009 Regional Edition Benelux was a special limited edition which was created by Habanos for the Benelux region, which refers to Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Only 2600 boxes were made, each with 25 stogies. So these cigars can be pretty tough to get a hold of. This Bolivar is a full-bodied smoke with plenty of flavor. Unfortunately, it also seems to suffer from some serious construction problems.
Origin : Cuba Format : Ninfas (Slim Panatela) Size : 33 x 178 mm (7”) Box Date : EAR – April ’02 (Controlado Feb ’05) Discontinued in 2002 Hand-Made Price : roughly $7/cigar in 2002 More info about purchasing Punch cigars...
Appearance : 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.
Origin : Cuba Format : Petit Robusto Size : 119 (4.7'') x 20.64 mm Ring : 52 Smoking time : 1h 15min Pairing : Cuba Libre Bought in June 2013 Boxcode : BTO OCT 12 Price : 27 EUR each More info about purchasing Cohiba cigars...
Today we've got a guest review from our reader Juha Murto. Enjoy!
Well, this is my first review ever on the internet. So I decided to smoke something special. I managed to get my hands on these beautiful Behikes and I’d been planning to smoke one per year so that I can see how they age over time. Let's see if this little robusto is worth the hype.
The H. Upmann Half Corona was released in 2011 and quickly became quite a popular cigar and a regular smoke for many cigar aficionados around the world. Why? It isn’t just the flavors, the construction and the price of this stogie that make it popular, but the size, which is a distinguishing characteristic. This Half Corona measures just 3.5” with a 44 ring gauge, making it a short cigar. You can smoke one of these at a leisurely pace and still finish up in less than 40 minutes, so it is perfect if you are pressed for time and still want to enjoy a nice stogie.
Origin : Cuba Format : Laguito No. 1 (Long Panatela, also known as Lancero); 38 x 192 (7-½") Box date : December 1985 (NIUL) Hand-Made Price : To the extent they can be found, a Davidoff No. 1 will run around $100 per cigar. Note: Be cautious, there are numerous counterfeit Davidoff No. 1s claimed to be on the market. I’ve heard to be weary of the Davidoff band being “too white” to have had 30+ years of age.
The Davidoff No.1 was part of the original line of Davidoff cigars introduced in 1969. Beginning in the mid 1980s, quality control became a concern to Davidoff. In 1987, Zino Davidoff condemned Cuban craftsmanship on French television. The rift between Zino and Cubatabaco escalated to the point where, in 1989, Zino publicly burned 130,000 of the Cuban-made Davidoff cigars that he had deemed of low quality and unfit to sell. Officially, the Cuban Davidoff line was discontinued in 1991.
This box was acquired new by my father, an infrequent cigar smoker, in the late 1980s. He died about ten years later and, in remembrance, I have taken to smoking one of these (or one of a small handful of other cigars that were his) on the anniversary of his passing. I think it has been three years since I last smoked one of these. This year I was out of town on that date, so I am smoking this a bit late. Obviously, this cigar has great significance for me, but I have no problem disassociating an objective review from a subjective occasion.