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Cigar Review: Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
General Cigar announced the debut of Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua, a four-cigar collection that features a rich and savory Nicaraguan-forward blend. Punch Gran Puro has been a true staple in humidors for over a decade and the brand’s recently-received high ratings have cemented its legacy in the handmade cigar category.
 
“For the extension of the Gran Puro line, our artisans built a blend that balances Nicaraguan tobaccos with a Maduro wrapper to deliver a layered, dimensional flavor not traditionally found in Nicaraguan-based cigars. We are confident that Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua will be a fast favorite among tenured smokers.” Ed McKenna, director of marketing strategy for General Cigar.
 
 
 

The Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua packaging is similar to the original Punch Gran Puro with minor changes to the box’s color scheme. And while the band’s design pattern is essentially the same, the colors have changed from black and gold to blue and green. The same heraldic Punch coat-of-arms remains as its central motif.

Like many of General Cigar’s heritage lines, Punch is a non-Cuban version of a Cuban cigar brand. After Fidel Castro took control of Cuba and nationalized the cigar industry, Punch brand-owner Fernando Palacios fled Cuba and sold the Punch trademark to Villazon & Co, which produced a U.S. friendly version of Punch without Cuban tobacco. Handcrafted at General Cigar’s HATSA factory in Danli, Honduras, Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua represents the ultimate in body and flavor. The cigar gets its full-bodied taste from high priming Nicaraguan binder and filler.

 

 

The powerful Nicaraguan leaves are complemented by a hearty Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that brings forth notes of leather to the smoking experience. Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua will debut in February and will be accessibly priced, with suggested retail prices under $7.00 per cigar. The collection is packaged in 20 count boxes with a unique blue and green color scheme featuring Mr. Punch, the brand’s iconic mascot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVALABLE SIZES

  • 4 7/8 x 48
  • 5 1/2 x 54
  • 6 x 54
  • 7 1/2 x 54

 

 

 

  • APPEARANCE

The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is extra dark, oily and silky smooth with minimal vein and seam. Rolled in the standard parejo shape it has a rounded cap and a wide open foot. One primary label sits on the vitola, brightly colored in lime green, turquoise and red. The front of the label is red with the words “PUNCH” and “IMPORTED” in white font surrounded in green.

The bottom reads “GRAN PURO” in dark green with “NICARAGUA” in smaller white font with the Punch cigar gnome mascot in a chair on both sides of Gran Puro. The whole motif has a tropical carnival type look to it and stands out against the darker wrapper. Pre light aroma had notes of barnyard, cocoa, cedar and coffee. The cold draw produced flavors of sweet tea and natural tobacco.

  • FIRST LIGHT

Upon first light bitter orange peel, espresso and burnt cedar. Sweet flavors of heavy dark chocolate and baked brownies with a nuance of roasted walnuts. Oily black pepper is surprisingly tame at a medium level. The retro is producing a long burn of clean white pepper evolving into flavors of black cherries.

  • CRUISE CONTROL BURN

Entering cruise control dominant flavors of dark chocolate both bitter and semi sweet. The espresso has diminished into a straight black coffee flavor. Just when you let your guard down the black pepper has increased to full strength, blending in perfect with black coffee and dark chocolate. In between draws a low level burn of spice is notable all across the palate. The retro is producing clean white pepper through the nose with a slight nuance of caramel evolving into flavors of black cherries and raisins.

  • FINAL THIRD

In the final duration the Punch Gran Puro continues its ascent into the FULL bodied powerhouse I expected it to be. Oily black pepper, black coffee and bitter dark chocolate have been the core flavors from first light and continue to take point. Background flavors of sweet cedar char, roasted walnuts, creamy leather and raw cocoa bean are most notable in between draws as the core flavors are quite dominant. The retro continues with full clean white pepper with a nuance of caramel evolving into flavors of dried fruit, black cherries and raisins.

  • CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH

The construction of the PGPN was solid! The footer area of the cigar had very little give and seemed to have an excessive amount of vegetable glue keeping the wrapper on, this didn’t pose any construction issues but produced a long tight ash that was light grey in color and held on two inches plus that tapped off with ease. The draw had slightly more resistance on the straight cut than I like but still produced tons of thick white smoke.

The cigar was tightly packed with tobacco and had no palpable soft spots. No re lights were required throughout the smoking duration. The strength of the Punch Gran Puro Nicaraguan was in the HIGH MEDIUM to FULL bodied wheelhouse that produced a wide range of balanced and tasty flavors. WARNING: smoke this cigar after a full meal, that being said it will pair perfectly morning, noon or night with anything you throw at it.

 

NOTABLE FLAVORS

  • Bitter Orange peel
  • Espresso
  • Burnt Cedar
  • Dark Chocolate/Baked Brownies
  • Black Coffee
  • Roasted Walnuts
  • Oily Black Pepper/Medium to Full
  • Creamy Leather
  • Raw Cocoa
  • Cedar Char
  • Clean White Pepper on the retro evolving into flavors Caramel/Dried Fruit/Black Cherries/Raisins

 


Cigars for review: Purchased

Cigars smoked for review: 1

Cigar Smoke Rate: 89

Size: 6 x 54

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Country of Origin: Honduras, Honduras American Tabaco SA

News Source: General Cigar

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