If you could go back in time for a cigar, what would it be? And I don’t mean to go back in time to buy some highly wanted Cubans to flip in current days, but cigars you could buy back then and that are hard to find now, just for yourself to enjoy? So, imagine this, you find an oil lamp, you brush it and a genie appears. That genie gives you the opportunity to go back to whatever year you want, just once, and you can bring back 10 boxes of cigars on the condition that those cigars are for personal use. What would your pick be? I would love to see your responses in the comments below and your stories on why that year and that cigar.
For me, I know exactly what era and what I would buy. I would go back to the early 2000s and I would stock up on a cigar that has been discontinued since 2002. Well, officially been discontinued since 2002 but as more often with Habanos, it was still produced for a while after. The latest production dates seen where from 2006. The 2017 Cohiba Talisman Edicion Limitada was still being produced in 2020, and maybe even after that although that is hard to confirm due to the lack of tourism because of the pandemic. But that aside, the cigar that I am talking about is the Punch Black Prince.
The Punch Black Prince was a pre-revolution cigar, a coronas grande measuring 5 5/8 x46. And I was lucky enough to smoke a few boxes of those back in the day. The funny thing about this cigar is that it is not a unique size, not even for Punch as at a certain time Punch make 7 cigars in this size at the same time but all with different names. All are discontinued now with the exception of the Punch Punch. So why don’t I just buy and smoke the Punch Punch, which is also a great cigar? Even though it’s a Punch in the exact same size, it is just not the same. The difference in blend is not that big, but big enough not to be interchangeable.
Now here’s why that cigar is my choice. I started smoking in the early 2000s and with my limited knowledge back then I started out smoking only Cuban cigars. Those days are long gone, nowadays I smoke more New World cigars than Cubans. But the Punch Black Prince is still the cigar that I dream about. I bought singles at the time, trying to define my preferences. I ended up buying a box of H. Upmann Corona Major as my first box purchase, which became my regular smoke. But then I was approached by an acquaintance who knew I smoked cigars. A friend of him had a tobacco shop and he was retiring. I could get all his leftover cigars for a steal, so I decided to pull the trigger. Included in that lot of 20 boxes were a few boxes of Punch Black Prince and it was love at first smoke. The corona grande size, the flavors, the smell, for me it was the pinnacle of cigars. Heaven in a box. Through a large online retailer in Switzerland, I managed to get a few more boxes, until the sources all ran dry. But even up to this day, when people ask me what the best cigar is that I ever smoked, the answer is Punch Black Prince. That’s why I would go back 20 years in time, pick up as many boxes as possible and puff away.