March 1, 2017
Origin : Cuba
Format : Grand Corona (Hermosos No. 3)
Size : 140 mm (5.5 in) x 48
Ring : 48
Release : 2016
Price : 12 EUR each
At first it was for me strange to see a special release for both Habanos Specialist and La Casa del Habanos. But what’s the difference between the two. La Casa is the official franchise brand of Habanos S.A. Being under this branding should theoretically allow you to have more privilege; such as access to special releases and better sourcing however there is a fee to have the right to use the name which is highly regulated.
A Habanos Specialist is a cigar shop that has a humidor with a majority of Habanos but can sell non-Cuban brands as well. However they are not directly affiliated with Habanos S.A. and don’t have the advantage La Casa can have… So if we follow the logic this cigar can be retailed only in this two kinds of shops. For the very first time we see a double band holding the two logos.
Appearance : [rating:2.5/5]
“Good from far but far from good”. When looking closer at the wrapper I could see many green dots. Sign of poor quality wrappers. Sadly it becomes more and more common in Cuba. This many green dots are most of the time due to leaves that are undercured or fermented.
Construction : [rating:3/5]
I always like to “open my cigar”. I never chop the tobacco and do a very shallow cut allowing the cigar to be opened. I like a bit a resistance and this one showed a lot of it at the beginning and halfway was completely fine. It was quite of a tough draw at the beginning but luckily it opened up.
Flavor : [rating:3.5/5]
Now we are talking about the serious matter!
The Punch 48 was a bit of a UFO flavor-wise. I was extremely excited to smoke it as I am a big Punch Aficionado and when they are aged, they are phenomenal!
The first third was extremely disappointing, up to the point that I almost gave up my cigar. Luckily I always tell everybody to smoke their cigars until half of it at least to have an honest opinion. I followed my advice even though I was clearly bored of smoking a flat Habanos.
The 2nd third started to release the typical fresh woodiness of Punch with hints of mint and cinnamon. This four component together with a light to medium strength and well-balanced acidity started to bring back the body to the cigar. The more it went the rounder and smother the texture became to leave a delicate woodiness and vegetal feeling on the palate.
Finally the last third expressed a true Punch. Medium strength, beautiful texture and surprisingly well-balanced flavours and aromas. The beauty of Punch cigars is its strong “woodiness-freshness” feeling. The woody element of the Punch 48 together with an aromatic feeling makes this last third such a great Punch.
Value : [rating:4/5]
It seriously took me a lot of time to become enthusiastic about this cigar but the finish was so great that I could highly value the cigar. For 12 euros in Europe this can become one of these “investment cigars” especially with the first apparition of the two logos double band.
Overall Rating : [rating:3.5/5]
The Punch 48 has a very slow development and takes a long time to express itself. It requires some patience to fully appreciate it but once you have passed the first third and reached the last part of the cigar you will enjoy a true punch.
August 29, 2019
I am not sure where the lower reviews come from. I have been smoking Punch for 35 years. My first exposure was I smoked a double corona and a David Don P in the 1980’s.. best cigars I ever smoked, included the Behike’s. The Punch 48 is a winner. Why. It is stronger and lasts a long time for the size. It started off super strong, medium to full. Perfectly rolled and no burn issues. A little bit lacking in the transitions although the pepper and a little orange peel in 2nd half. The cigar only gets better as you smoker. At first I thought it had the same taste, but much better quality than the coronations tuboa.
This to me beats out almost all Nicaraguan and Dominican boutiques at same price point. It give this a 95 rating, just putting it in the exceptional range. Several box worthy straight out of the box.
I can see this in the top 25 list at the end of the year. Calming cigar, and I feel many sites devalue the Cubans from the last few years, that have really are making a come back.
Not the best punch I have enjoyed, but it is up there. I loved the extra power and smoke that it put out.
Bottom line: extra premium cigar at a good price. I am proud of Cuba putting this out and a huge fan. If you like Paratagas P series, give it a try. We will be looking back in a couple years as some special. Enjoy.
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