Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Strength: Full body
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Piloto Cubano Origin: Honduras
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
The Punch Classic line of cigars is a bountiful line of cigars. It boasts more than fourteen choices and offers a variety of three wrappers, depending on the size you choose. Your wrapper choices are Maduro, Double Maduro and EMS. The tobacco is fermented and allowed to age for years before it is made into a cigar. Each Punch Classic is hand rolled in the factories in Honduras. Any one of these sticks would be a good choice for daily cigar smoking. All would agree that even though this tobacco has already been allowed to age for a few years before being rolled, some time in your humidor will only enhance the flavor experience.
The Punch Cigar brand is now produced by General Cigar in Honduras. This brand has been around for well over one hundred years. The name it carries, however, has been around much longer than that. Manuel Lopez, a Cuban native, started the Punch Cigar brand in the 1840's. The British cigar market was booming and he wanted to tap into that market. At that same time, there was a very popular puppeteer show called the Punch and Judy show over in Britain. He decided to call his cigars Punch Cigars after Mr. Punch. The Punch and Judy show can trace its history back to the 1600's with the first published script being produced in 1828. An interesting side note, our first President, George Washington apparently saw this show while he was on a trip in Paris. Manuel's decision paid off as this cigar became extremely popular in Great Britain. Manuel decided to retire in 1924, and gave Esperanza Valle Comas ownership of the brand. It was later purchased by a Honduran cigar manufacturer named Villazon and Company. General Cigar, now General Cigar/ Swedish Match, purchased Villazon in 1997. This brand of cigars, including the Punch Classic line is still hand-rolled in Honduras for the American cigar market. In honor of this legacy, Manuel Lopez's name still graces the band on the cigars. The boxes are lithographed with a comedic drawing of Mr. Punch savoring a cigar.
The Rothschild, size 4 ½ x 50, would be a perfect size for someone who wanted a stick for daily cigar smoking. This Punch Classic vitola has a very dark wrapper with thick veins. It has a smooth oiliness to it. The draw is easy and the burn is even all the way through. It also produces a lot of thick smoke. In the first part of the cigar the flavors are of hay with notes of chocolate. Well into the first third, the flavor of dark chocolate is more apparent, with notes of coffee. Into the second third, these flavors just increase, and into the final portion, it is a full flavored smoke with intensity. All around, even with the intense flavors, it is a smooth smoke. Allowing this stick to hang out in your humidor for some time will help mellow it some, but not enough to lose the flavor you have come to expect from a Punch Classic.
The Magnum, size 5 ¼ x 54, has a dark chocolate brown wrapper that has minimal veins. The draw is good, and the burn is straight to the end. Upon the initial light up, there is a bit of saltiness that comes through. It then starts to smooth out to a creaminess, with hints of pepper. In the finish, there is definitely more pepper, but it is a nice contrast with the saltiness first noted, and the creaminess throughout.