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  1. Punch Mantua Review Cigar: Punch Mantua Release: RE Italia 2018 Vitola: Laguito No 2. 38 x 152mm Production: 2500 50 count boxes made. Box # unknown Box Code: UNKNOWN Date: Saturday, June 26, 2020 Start Time: 7:54PM End Time: 9:17PM Paired with: plain water. Reviewers Notes: My style of cigar reviewing is “open”. I try to jot down what I’m experiencing with every draw. When you see a “/” consider that a break in between puffs. What I leave out in fancy prose is made up with observation. Consider each segment a play by play. This style works for me. I hope you enjoy it. Visual: Nice firm roll. Slightly dark milk chocolate wrapper. Toothey to the touch Aroma at cold: Chocolate, cookie, very appealing. Perfect draw upon Punch Mantua First Third Rich toasty tobacco / bbq char / good draw / black pepper / burn askew / good draw but doesn't seem lit, though it is / corrected burn / espresso grounds / nice stringy cedary flavour / burnt almond / spicy on the tongue, like cayenne but smoother / water / chalky, salty draw / lots of smoke / toasted nuts, but not burnt, very nice / dry finish on every draw so far / cedar / nutty / water / tangy tobacco / chalky mouth feel / dry nuts / hints of nutmeg / nice sweetbread hints / nutty finish / medium bodied so far with a few strong draws / toasty tobacco with anise finish / water / ash falls as I lift it, not on me for once / cigar goes out!! / lighter misbehaves / upon relight I’m treated to a nice, sweet flavour, cookies / more sweetness, some cocoa, hint of pine on the finish / more sweetness / draw is good but I seem to need 2 puffs minimum to get anything out of it. Internal combustion issues? / chalky, minty note / fin Second Third Water / black beans / dry finish / minty again, tastes fresh / draw seems firm / milder bodied at this point / light mintiness persists / water / chalky , soapy mouthfeel / very light / tap off ash, going to a touch up with the lighter / 3 lighters with me, none of them barely working / relit / still minty and light bodied / smooth chocolate flavours now / anise, mint, very perplexing / smoke production up a bit / so far it’s behaving like a vintage smoke, very smooth. The opening seemed to hint that a medium-full cigar experience awaited me. So far it’s been transitioning back and forth in the medium realm, with some interesting flavour twists / trouble staying lit, it's not windy or humid, odd. / with lighter in hand i execute about 5-6 deep draws, the cherry glows red. Perhaps it's finally lit! / nice rewarding flavour at the end of this exercise, rich tobacco and anise / cedary-cinnamon hit / salty, bready like a cracker / touching up the burn / nice hit of leather and cocoa on the finish / cocoa, anise with a dry finish / really nice rich, earthy flavours as I crank up UFO’s “Lights Out” on my headphones / water / rich cedary notes with an anise finish / ash went from pitch black to white / rich white smoke now, performing a lot better / intense hint of anise, almost like dry Sambuca / tongue retains some of that anise as I break between draws / water / smooth, creamy coffee that ends in a mint finish? So weird, but I like it / i swear I can taste a bit of lemon zest as I sit here typing this on the finish too / bit of baking spice / having a hard time trying to pull out “Punch” trademark flavours (at least to me) such as peanut, coffee, dark chocolate / as i type, I’m still tasting some mint and anise on my palate / knock the ash off, inspect foot, doesn’t seem lit. a quick puff tells me it's not. End of this third. Time for a relight. Final Third My Iroda lighter comes back to life after a few smacks. I do a retro burn and a stream of gases light the way / its lit again and the first puff is a nice smooth cedar note / slight saltiness giving way to anise / water / very smooth pleasant mint flavour again / very dry on the finish. At the beginning, I sensed there’d be some oiliness but it hasn’t materialized. It stayed dry / nice black bean hit / the burn line approaches the RE band, time for some surgery / RE band off / mint that leads into strong cedar, like I bit into a cedar lining in a cabinet / out again! / tap off ash and relight / concave burn / toasty tobacco, mint finish / cedar notes / black bean, anise finish / at this point, I’m not convinced I’m smoking a Punch, buts its been good / UFO album done, switching over to some Scorpions Lovedrive / more cedar / water / chalky mouthfeel, cedar / very dry and cedary, good smoke production / OUT AGAIN! / I slide the Punch band up and relight / smooth cedar, at least its not charry as I find that's an issue towards the last third of many cigars when you relight this often / tasty, rich “meaty” draw, some roasted nuts / more roasted nuts, cigar is going medium-full now / some saltiness on the palate, like a Sancho Panza / hickory-BBQ, salty finish, so odd, but good / bbq lingers on tongue, the rest of my palate still senses mint / going to end up nubbing this / cocoa / more anise, slightly muted / dry, chalky toasty tobacco / quick burn correction / hot, very strong earthy draw / minty finish / slide off Punch band and grab nub tool / of course it goes out! / stale draw / good cedar hit / might have to finish this / last puff is decent, some cedar / FIN Conclusions & Thoughts The Punch Mantua was released to a lot of fanfare. When people heard about it they contacted their Italian cigar contacts/buddies/B&M’s etc to try and get a hold of them. I guess people were hoping for lightning to strike twice and thought this could be the La Escepcion Selectos Finos spiritual successor? Or they loved that they were coming in 50 Cabs? Or they just like Punch long and skinnies? Not sure. But there is/was hype for them. Even for me. I reached out and grabbed some myself. They are not in my hands yet, but this single found its’ way to me via a good friend. I’ve heard good things from others who smoked them so after dry boxing this for about 10 days I felt it was time to smoke it. Right off the bat. This is not the LESF by any stretch. Other than sporting a similar vitola, it did not deliver the initial, flavourful, complex “punch” to the balls. But it is a Punch. When I sit down for a review, I try to bypass the hype and do my best to be objective. Whether or not it’s a cheapie or a high end, costly RE or LE. I want to be able to honestly approach it for what it delivers,not for what market niche it sits in. On to the smoking conclusions. This cigar did not perform as I’d hope in terms of staying lit. I haven’t had to relight and touch up a cigar in months. This one needed several. With that said, it did deliver a unique smoking experience; which I like. Overall it went from full bodied, to medium to mild and back again. I did not taste any typical (for me) Punch tasting notes. I was hoping to, but it did not materialize. At least not in this one particular sample. When I get my cabs, I’ll revisit them and see if there is any discernible difference. The cigar did take me on a flavour journey. That is for sure. I don't like monotone cigars, especially in the RE/LE lines. There’s no bang for the buck when that happens. This cigar was definitely holding my attention. It was complex and took me in directions I did not expect. That “minty’ tasting note I kept experiencing is something I typically get out of vintage cigars. In particular, my Dip 7’s from 1988. It was so smooth. Even after multiple relights, which can tend to add a charry note to a stick. Final thought. It was an excellent stick. Not a Punch, but a noteworthy stick. My only concern is how these will age given that they were not very full bodied. The LESF was and it still has the legs almost 10 years later. With that said, this was only one cigar. I look forward to my next ones. Score: 92.
  2. I've been dryboxing this Punch Punch for last 10 days. Today was the perfect moment to light its up. I need to say, it's my third from the box. Today I was seeing with one of my friends, manager in local LCDH. Spontaneously this meeting has grown to local CA meeting (here in Poland we have forum, like FOH but smaller, it has 13 years; we were laugh that it's our small FOCSA, stand for Forumowe Ogólnopolskie Spotkanie Cigar Aficionado - Forums Cigar Aficionados' meeting. Punch Punch is defienietly what I'm looking for when we are talking about size. I prefer under 50 RG. It's started with typical tabacco/cigarette flavour. I was a little suprised but after five minutes it gave me what stands out Punch Punch from habanos portfolio to me. It was something like baked bread. In the second third it showed its strength. Rich woody, herbal and earthy profile with baked bread crust. I think I would always find that profile in blind tests. The last third was mostly dominated by earthy notes. I smoked this to the nub. I saw in the past that people finds vanilla. To be honest, I've never felt that in cigars. Anyway, it was very pleasant 90 minute smoke. In my personal reviews it's got 90 points! Very nice
  3. Unsure code on this, I won it in a bundle from a contest here. Great construction, good sheen, nice barnyard smell. Toasted and lit well, fairly even burn throughout. Tried to smoke it slow, didn't get exact timings, but 45mins-hr. Subtle tastes, I get a little cedar, some light cocoa/chocolate and little bit of spice/pepper. Mostly cocoa and cedar. But nothing overpowering and not too strong/harsh. Good cigar, not great, maybe mid 80's for me. I haven't had too many EL's, so unsure if this is a good indicator, I have had Punch Punch's several times and have always enjoyed those.
  4. Review: 1969 Punch Nectares No 2. Release:JJ Fox Exclusive Selections: Punch Vitola: Coronas Gordas/Grand Corona. 46RG * 143mm Production: JJ Fox Exclusive Selections Box Code: Uknown. JJ Fox records show the box is from 1969 Paired with: Plain water. Date: June 14, 2019 Start Time: 10:30AM EST End Time: 11:40AM EST Reviewers Notes: My style of cigar reviewing is “open”. I try to jot down what I’m experiencing with every draw. When you see a “/” consider that a break in between puffs. When you see a capital "W" that means I've taken a drink of water. What I leave out in fancy prose is made up with observation. Consider each segment a play by play. This style works for me. I hope you enjoy it. Visual: Nice looking wrapper. Seems firm. This particular example has a bit of flakey wrapper damage by the foot. Therefore, It will be sacrificed first. There are also some green spots on the wrapper. This cigar came from this box. I received it in this tube Pre Light Floral, some mustiness, pine aroma on the wrapper, wheat cracker on the foot. First Third First puff tastes like a cracker / smooth draw / tangy tobacco / oily mouth feel / hint of orange peel / tangy / lemon zest / citrus finish / earthy / lemon zest / pine on finish / woodsy / chalky mouth feel / citrus finish / W / earth & grass / chalky earth / strong mineral hit /great draw / slightly tart finish, like lime peel / can taste the "age" in this cigar. It is a musty, earthy hint that is pervasive throughout / good sign of any vintage cigars' provenance IMO / cedar hit / smooth baking spice on this draw / chalky finish / oily cedar, lemon / baking spice / lemon zest again: similar to my 1944 WM Penn Panatelas (Clear Havana) / tangy tobacco / good burn and ash / malty, liquor finish / W /malt then cedar / really ramping up in body / finish like a Whiskey burn / toasty tobacco / baking spice /lots of blue smoke from this cigar / bready notes. End of First Third Second Third Big hit of lemon zest / cedar finish / good ash, should tap it out before it falls on me / nice citrus hit / ash falls on me / minty / must / cedary, Whiskey burn / draw is still smooth (perfect) / coffee and cedar finish / very sharp citrus hit followed by cedar / W / a cinnamon, cedary, spicy burn (like those flavoured toothpicks I used to buy as a kid), this lingers on the back of the tongue / chalky cedar / lemon zest / huge hit of citrus on the palate (almost like grapefruit) / cedar and Whiskey / lots of life for a 50YO cigar! / baking spice / I put the cigar down to take note of the aroma in the air, it is like pine / cedar and anise / cedar / creamy coffee / baking spice / I do a retro burn to see if there is any ammonia present. And to my surprise there was some. An inch long flame burns off in about two seconds. It took some of that citric flavour away going forward End of Second Third Final Third Baking spice / creamy coffee / W / cedar / cigar is far smoother now after that purge. Less citrus notes, which I did not hate BTW / earthy hit / big hit of pine / minty finish / rich tobacco / oily finish / pine / cedar / W / rich cedar hit / W / hint of lemon zest / musty finish / baking spice / creamy coffee / hint of sweet coffee / toasty tobacco / anise / cedar and must / wrapper starts to fray a bit / smooth cedar / W / rich hit of.. Guiness? / Whiskey finish returns / the cigar is hot on the lips now / toasty tobacco / the finish is like toasted cedar / W /hot pine flavour / lots of baking spice / wrapper splits apart some more / the final puff is earthy FIN Final thoughts Dynamic flavour range and transitions. No "trademark" peanut Punch flavour. Overall a medium to full bodied cigar. Not bad for a cigar that was rolled in 1969. Lots of creamy smoke throughout. Lots of life in this cigar. Pricey but worth it. I sourced this back in 2015 through Rob Fox and saved it for my 50th birthday. My patience paid off. This was an exciting, exquisite smoke.
  5. Found this cigar in the abounded Widow & Orphan Cabinett. 5 little you will have a jolly good time cigars. They seems to be very old and this one is my last one. Wrapper - ugly and veiny. Cold draw - like a Christmas pudding with a lot of orange inside and hints of peppermint. Leather and yes tobacco. Ash is a bit flaky. So far a medium smoke with dark and bitter taste. A lot of smoke, very relaxing. The bitterness turns into a nice spearmint taste. Still on the lower medium side. Very enjoyable. Last year around Eastern I was smoking them with two friends. Was a lovely afternoon. The last third has its twist. From a smooth medium smoke it turns into a full body smoke. After all these year still wild at heart. Smoking time: 120 minutes ???
  6. So here's a Punch Punch (how many times can I get punch into this review?) 5 5/8 x 46 Good construction, somewhat rustic looking. No draw issues and a good burn. Dark grey ash that came off after the first few inches. Smoking time came in at just over an hour. 1/3 - Starts off smooth as butter. Beautiful aroma with a delicate, creamy flavour. 2/3 - Cream is still there but starts to be overtaken by wood. Still smooth. 3/3 - Things start to heat up in the final third. The cream is gone and pepper starts to come to the front. Definitely not an over powering pepper. Would rate this 3.5/5. Is the Punch a knockout? No, but it definitely throws a good jab. Would I buy it again? Probably, for the right price. The Punch Punch would make a good morning smoke but nothing to rave about.
  7. I like a "Punch" as I tend to get less "tobacco" in my mouth and I think its a shame to waste that triple cap! Curious what everyone else uses? Tried to do a "poll" but never could get it to work.
  8. A great SOTL gifted me the Ninfa. Unbranded, discontinued and loved by many. This little precious gem is my first one. Must confess on the first glance a bit ugly, big veins. Time to lit up Wonderful draw. First Third is surprisingly pepper and burned crime brûlée. Nice Did I mentioned that it's cold? Well I am freezing, have the dog on my lap. Overlooking the color of fall, day dreaming and thinking about the sentence: There is peace in a cigar. Don't know from whom the famous words came from. They are pretty true. i didn't expect taste wise anything of the Ninfa. I am surprise how nice and comfy she is. She is on the border from medium to strong, but very decent. Wished we had 20 degrees more and it the cigar of the year. How time flies when you are having fun. Smoking for 1,5 hours now. A great piece of art in my hands. Great entertainment. Now as I am finished - I will visit a hot tube. Thanks for reading.
  9. So... I have not done a video review in some time so I thought I would finally edit this one up and post it. Frankly, I find the review boring!!! Watch if you must but these cigars have not been that impressive. I wanted a new version of the RS12. I did not find it here, but in fairness they may be hiding in some boxes of these somewhere. Enjoy! Cheers! -Piggy
  10. Hey guys, johnny and I have vastly differing opinions/experiences on this one. Our thoughts. cheers nate
  11. I was a big fan of the Punch brand, no secret about that, and I smoked a great many of them. The brand once had four different corona gordas; Black Prince, Punch Punch, Super Selection No. 2, and this Royal Selection No. 11. Back in the day when all four where in regular production, I favored the SS2 and the RS11 most. Although some claim all four are the same, just different packaging, I found the SS2 and RS11 more flavorful and satisfying than the others. Fast forward nearly 20 years and all but one have been discontinued, including this RS11. The cigar I pulled for this review has a lovely reddish colorado wrapper that feels slightly delicate, and is very nicely applied with a perfect triple seam cap. I carefully cut around the cap, peeling the top layer without removing any filler, to be delightfully introduced to a near perfect draw. For this review I decided to pair the cigar with a cup of expresso made from the distinctly Cuban Bustelo brand. No sugar, and just a dribble of half & half. I normally prefer Scotch with my Punch corona gordas, but I have some writing to do later so I don't want to dull my senses for my writing. It's very breezy outside as I smoke this cigar while watching the Falcons dominate the Packers in the NFC championship. Despite the wind, this RS11 is giving off a wonderful aroma of sweet cedar, with that distinctive down on the farm Cuban twang that I find irresistible. Right from lighting, this cigar finds the sweet spot of my taste buds and I am immediately fixated on savoring every aspect of this smoke. The first third burns evenly, and despite the wind shaking the trees, I am absorbing as much of the aroma as I possibly can. The flavor is loaded with elements of sweet cedar, basil and nuts toasting on an open fire. Although mild-medium in body, to my senses this is a truly fulfilling and satisfying cigar, so much so that I find myself chewing on the end of it refusing to put it down. As the first third burns away, the wind has caused the cigar to burn a little unevenly, requiring a lick from the torch to straighten it out again. The flavor has turned creamy and is now giving me a touch of semi-sweet vanilla, and that everpresent cedary tone is in full bloom. What a terrific sensation. This cigar has me so absorbed I barely noticed the Falcons have taken a 31-0 lead. Back to the cigar... Somehow, despite the strong wind whipping around, the cigar has managed to burn perfectly straight since the last minor touch up. The flavor has remained mild-medium, and superbly balanced. At the onset of the last third the flavor has started to impart some essences of Thai tea and sweet spices, a very pleasing and delightful twist in this complex cigar. Body has become a solid medium, and the aroma continues to throw loads of sweet cedar and Cuban twang. As the end approaches, I have started to reflect on the many years of satisfaction I have received from smoking Punch cigars. For a solid decade I smoked more Punch than any other brand, and at one point before I went on a self-imposed buying boycott, about 80% of my humidor was stuffed with Punch brand cigars. I only had a couple of cabs of RS11, as I preferred the SS2, which came in cabs of 50, over the RS11. But in terms of flavor they are more similar than not. At the moment, this 14 year old RS11 has reached the pinnacle in distinctly Punch flavor. In the closing puffs of this delicious vitola, I find myself painfully trying to hang on as the nub singes my finger tips and my lips. Although it is down to an inch, it has remained medium bodied and packed with flavor. The essence of Thai tea is still present, as are the vanilla, sweet spices and cedar. At last I had to lay the nub down as I savored the last bit of aftertaste and aroma. Again, I am mystified with HSA's decision to decimate this brand and terminate this great cigar in 2010. I find myself regretting not stocking up on this great corona gorda before it vanished from the lineup. On my personal scale I rate this a 9.5 out of 10, a truly fulfilling cigar experience. Thank you FOH for the opportunity to share this experience.
  12. This was the first from a box of 25, gifted to me by my BIL this past summer. Weather's too cold to smoke outside, and this is a good indoor winter smoke, a petite corona 117 x 40. Pairing: hot tea with sugar. Appearance: rustic looking, with a colorado wrapper, looks ok. I notice that aged Habanos have that wrinkled look to the wrapper. Cold draw: gave it a punch cut, but the draw was tight, so straight cut it and it opened up, giving a cream and tobacco cold draw 1st half: initial draws - creamy twang and a sweet spice, with a dry finish. Wood and some sweetness appearing as the 1st half progressed. This is medium bodied with a perfect burn line and ample smoke output. Nice twang, wood, some sweetness. There is some earth in here too. Mild spice coming in. Leather makes an appearance. Seems like each puff produces different flavors, which keeps me interested and looking forward to the next puff. 2nd half: flavors intensify, with wood, twang and mild spice with a dry finish, earth and some subtle sweetness in the background. Leather is present too. Strength was just under medium, body was medium. Overall this was a pleasant smoke, taking me about 60 minutes. My rating for it is 87. It has just over 4 years of age, and I wonder what more time will do to it. Happy new year.
  13. ... these videos don't appear to be getting any shorter!!! -LOL I used to think, 'what am I gonna' talk about for 10 minutes...!' Enjoy. -PIggy
  14. Hello to FOH's; I have spent the last few hours jumping from site to site trying to figure out who has the best humidor for me. I recently joined FOH and rather than dip a toe in to test the water and try my new hobby out, I seem to have dove right in by purchasing 2 box's of cigars from 24:24 and the basic's; torch and cutter. So now that I have these 2 box's heading my way, and on the words of El Presidente, these 2 box's need to sit for about a year.So I am hoping some one here has a good web dealer for supplies. I started with the recommended tupper-dor method by get the small seal-able plastic container and the boveda but I don't think I can get 50 sticks in to the container. Thanks for the help!
  15. Review Punch Petit Corona FKC NOV 04 Another drom the discontinued list of cigars. Suprisingly full flavored for such an old cigar. Color - Rosado Fortaleza - 3/5 Tastecomponents Floral 2/5 Toasted Tobacco 3/5 Earth - 2/5 Black Coffee - 1/5 White Pepper - 2/5 Still a wonderful smoke??. 8.5/10
  16. Vitola: Petit corona del punch Box date: 2002 (code unknown) Smoke date: 11/18/2016 Not the prettiest in the humidor, or the best specimen from this cab. Wrapper is a bit rough, the seams are a little loose, and there are multiple prominent veins through the length of the cigar. I trimmed it shallow and neat. Cold draw is slightly tight, but good. Pre-burn draw reveals very little. Once lit the cigar produced moderate smoke. The flavor is earthy and rich, with toasted tobacco front and center and sweet wood in the backdrop. The aroma is distinctly Cuban twang and somewhat reminiscent of barn hay. Flavor through the first third seems a bit muted. I get toasted tobacco and some cedar, but little else. However the aftertaste is sumptuous with elements of tea and sourdough. I've smoked about 40 of this cigar's sisters from this cab, but this one is a little different. As the first third gave way to the second, the flavor intensified, and a sweetness emerged. The cigar now turned creamy and medium bodied, with a good dose of cocoa, some cumin, and a cedar aroma. I was still sensing tea in the aftertaste, with toast. The last third seems to be the best. The aroma has become more earthy and has more twang. The taste of tea, toast, cocoa and spices has evolved and turned more creamy and chewy. There is a slight hint of pepper on the finish. Burn has been perfect and straight, with a solid ash that seems to hang on forever. This is an impressive cigar, one that will be sorely missed. The flavor evolved throughout, getting richer, creamier, and more complex. Not a hint of harshness. I rate this cigar a 9 on my personal scale, for a slightly slow start, but an outstanding experience. Wholly satisfying.
  17. Date: August 5, 2016, 7:20pm Cigar: Punch Monarca, Habana, Cuba Format: Julieta No. 2 (Churchill) Code: PUL NOV01 Pairing: Martini & Rossi Rosso (Torino, Italy) Preserved in aluminium tubes, the Punch Monarca is a churchill sized cigar at 7 x 47. The inscription on the tube states "This cigar has been packed in a sealed container to assure the natural Havana aroma and freshness of the cigar when smoked." The wrapper looks like leather, milk chocolate colored, with visible seams and an evenly applied cap. There are a few small veins, and one medium vein that snakes from the middle up under the label all the way to the cap. I cut very shallow, and found the cold draw near perfect with an aroma that embellishes a bit of the cedar lined tube it was wrapped in. Torching this 15-year old specimen was easy, forming a nice even cherry. First draw is mild with a distinctly sweet cedar overtone and hints of vanilla. Smoke volume is somewhat light. After the first inch or so the cigar flavor and body picked up, and a toasted tobacco core became central, while the cedar faded into a trace. A rich aroma of bread baking in an oven emerged. The ash is a bit flaky, but holds for about 2 inches before a light tap snapped it off. Near the tail of the first third the burn wavered a bit, and early into the second third the cigar extinguished. I relit and purged. After a couple of draws, the flavor resumed a solid earthy and toasted tobacco core. The cedar is gone, and now I sense some cumin and other spices I can't quite put my finger on, maybe paprika I guess. Body has again intensified slightly, but creamy and not a hint of harshness or bitterness. Smoke volume remains a tad light but the aroma is rich and pleasantly earthy. I'm starting to sense a little buzz. At one hour I'm not even at the half mark and the flavor and body have become very smooth, almost chewy, creamy and balanced. I am loving this stage. Inhaling a little of the smoke trail as I draw I am again getting some cedar and a rich barnyard note. Wow, what a pleasant flavor and aroma this has developed into. There is a slightly sweet aftertaste that lingers for a couple of seconds with a hint of vanilla and some chocolate, mmmmm.... Entering the last third the flavor has developed into a complex blend of earth, wood, mild spices, and that sweetness... delicious! Body has evened out, and the flavor is so perfectly balanced, smooth, creamy and surprisingly cool. The second half of this cigar is pure bliss. Smoke volume has increased some and the aroma is heavenly, it's like cookie dough and toast. I have to slow down a little because I'm smoking in earnest to absorb every bit of flavor and aroma from this beautiful cigar. With every drag I'm letting the smoke rise up out of my mouth and wash over my face. I can't get enough of this intoxicating aroma and taste. The burn is slightly uneven again requiring a little touchup. At the last couple of inches it is starting to get a little hot and a tad spicy. I finally laid the last inch and a half down, not willing to risk tainting the flavor I'm still savoring. Exquisite, sublime.... these words just can't describe this experience especially the second half of this cigar. I rarely smoke churchills anymore, I seldom have over 2 1/2 hours to quietly enjoy a cigar, but right now I just can't stop thinking about a repeat performance. I am so blessed to have half a box of these left to smoke. The only disappointment is HSA has discontinued this outstanding cigar. What a shame. I only bought one box of these, and now I wish I had a humidor filled with them. Despite some burn issues, this may well be the best cigar I have smoked in a decade, maybe ever.
  18. I've been in a quandary of late, I'm seeking a PC to fill a certain and specific void. I hesitate to ask for recommendations because a lot of times people recommend what they like or what may be popular, but for me smoking is an acquired taste and although I only smoke 2-3 cigars a week it is a passion that I enjoy in solitude like few other luxuries. As with scotch, I like certain flavors and have acquired a certain taste over many years. For example, I love Aberlour a'bundah and generally prefer the Speyside single malts in wine finish over just about any other whisky. I will drink others, of course, but when I want one tumbler that really finds that spot, I reach for my favorite dram. In cigars I've been a Punch whore for over two decades. Thankfully, I put hundreds of Punch cigars down years ago in my winefridgador and a couple of 300-count humis, which have lasted and carried me through some lean years. Now my supply is mostly exhausted, but thankfully I'm in a position to restock. My two favorite cigars of all time were the Punch SS#2 and SS#1, in no specific order though I am a sucker for the lonsdale format. Of course, it won't come as a surprise that the Punch Petit Corona del Punch was also my favorite PC, and I smoked a lot of them. The last 50 cab I had was from 2002, I bought two of them when they already had a couple of years of aging. I put one down for a long nap while I smoked through the other cab. I recently finished the second cab, after nursing them for several years since they went extinct. Now I am really aching for some more PCs. My other favorites (besides the rest of the Punch line - churchills, monarcas, RS11, RS12, coronas) are the MC Esp.#2, #2, #3, #4, #5, BBF, Inmensas and Party Lucys. Oh sure, I've smoked others, but my taste buds are happiest on a steady diet of these cigars. It's a longshot and I may be dreaming of a long-lost romantic period, but I would love to find another PC that has a similar rich almost rancid barnyard aroma profile. I know it sounds somewhat disgusting, but I find it intoxicating. I'll keep trying, but if you understand what sort of profile I am talking about I welcome your recommendations.
  19. I'm a self-confessed Punch w-h-o-r-e, and throughout the late nineties and early 2000s I bought and stashed as many of my favorite Punch vitolas as I could with every spare penny I had. I have been smoking through those cigars throughout the past 10 years, and enjoying the beautifully developed flavors of aged Punch habanos. Today I spotted the lone remaining Punch RS12 in my winefridgador, it was dated 2004. The label on this cigar has turned yellowish with age, aided I'm sure by the oils from the cigar. For libation I opened a bottle of 2012 Clemente VII Chianti Classico. This wine is a tribute to Guilio de Medici, who became Pope in 1523. It is said to be produced on the very grounds where Pope Clemente VII lived before assuming the Papacy. I cut the cap very shallow, and cold draw was just perfect, not tight and not too loose. Nuts, cedar and barnyard aromas are evident. I torched the foot into a nice even cherry and took the first draw, producing ample thick, rich chewy smoke. Roasted chestnuts, cedar, leather and a hint of cinnamon are present. The flavor is medium bodied, very rich with a wonderful earthy and woody aroma from the smoke trail. The first third of the cigar burned perfectly, never needing a touchup. The silvery gray ash finally fell as the first third burned away. The flavor warmed up a bit more in the next third and I could taste a slightly sweet caramel on the finish. The flavor and aroma shifted a little and it reminded me slightly of meat roasting on a wood charcoal smoker, though I suspect I was picking up hints of smoked meat from a neighbor's BBQ, but it was quite pleasing combined with the woody, barnyard aroma from the cigar. The cigar and the wine where a fabulous pairing, complementing each other well. The fruity rich currant and cherry tones of the wine where deliciously blending with the creamy rich and toasty flavor of the cigar. As I smoked past the halfway mark I was amazed at how creamy, smooth and superbly balanced this cigar is. Nuanced hints of sweet spices, with woody characteristics and the rich plumes of smoke were so perfectly blended, it was like being in a dream. The flavors continued to emerge and improve throughout the last third, but body remained consistent and smooth. As I was approaching the nub I was again tasting chestnuts and now some hints of vanilla. Caramel came a went a couple of times, while oak and cedar wafted throughout the cigar. My wife came out to the patio at one point and commented on the pleasing sweet cedary aroma. At the nub I was quite heartbroken; I realized I had just smoked my last specimen of this spectacular cigar and probably the last of its kind since it hasn't been produced in several years. At the same time I was feeling blessed that I had experienced this wonderful and mind blowing cigar. I resisted putting the nub down as long as I could, with merely half an inch left I could not hold on any longer and finally laid it to rest among its ashes. To the last draw this cigar was superb in every aspect; perfect burn, voluminous smoke, and an exemplary complex medium bodied expertly balanced flavor profile that is rare and difficult to describe in words. Not a hint of harshness throughout the cigar. A moving experience to be memorialized. Again, I am distressed and disappointed that Habanos S.A. has decimated the Punch marquee. Superb cigars like these have a special and distinct character. They will be sorely missed. My quest to find an adequate replacement continues, but my expectations are tempered because I doubt there will be another as memorable as this cigar was. Enjoy your smokes my friends.
  20. Today had some nice warm weather with a slight breeze. Probably one of the last summer days where a DC seems just fit especially after work. I pulled out a stick that had been sitting in my herfador over night; one i meant to smoke yesterday but didnt because there wasn't ample time. The wrapper on the cigar looked on colorado claro side, silky smooth, with one slightly visible vein. The construction was perfect IMO. I used a Punch and it revealed a good draw, suprisingly open for a small cut which i prefer as usually I find with tight rolled cigars a punch is too resistant. Smell on the wrapper - light sweet tobacco Cold draw - dusty old cedar, with a faint hint of sweetness Upon lighting - a non agressive wood burn aroma that is soft on the nasal inhale First lighting notes gave way to flavours similar to the cold draw, woody, smoke is creamy, with a mild med body and light on the palate. About an inch in - Startin to get some tangy light citrus notes and nice sweet bready notes on the finish End of first third - Body is starting to build and the sweetness starts to get a bit darker with grassiness on the finish. 2nd third had to re light; i'm really getting a strong nuttieness, not unlike a fresh cracked walnut Its starts to settleinto a nice sweet faint caramel nuttiness with grassy notes again on the finish The last third, the nuttiness gets toasty with the sweet notes becoming a bit more prominent and darker. In the final parts of the burn i got a bit of that youthful bitter tannin that a good purge fixed. As i nubbed it, i got mainly sweet bitter nuttiness that was enjoyable to the last puff. Smoking time was 2hrs and 20mins. Thanks for taking the time to read. its my second review and i hope my review resonates with what others have experienced.

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