May 13, 2010

REVIEW: Punch Uppercut

Today's review is for a cigar that was generously sent to me by Victoria McKee Jaworski, Director of Public Relations, for General Cigar Company. The Punch Uppercut is the newest cigar in the Punch line, which features an unusual binder leaf from the island of Ometepe, just off the coast of Nicaragua. The sales sheet for this cigar claims this island produces some of the best tobacco in the world. I'm not sure if I've ever smoked a cigar with tobacco from this island, and if I have I didn't know it, so this should be interesting.

Side note: Something else Punch and General are doing right now is a campaign for summers based around cigars and BBQ. I do a lot of barbecuing during the summer months, so this is something that caught my eye. For more info visit Punch Grilling

Now, on with the review.

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5.2
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Ometepe Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $5.20 in full boxes of 20
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

The Punch Uppercut has two very nice looking bands. The band that really stands out, though it's the large foot band that depicts a tobacco field in Ometepe. This is a nice departure from the standard Punch cigar appearance, which is classic, but looking a little tired. The wrapper of my Punch Uppercut is a medium brown color and very oily -- so oily that between the large veins, the leaf feels slick to the touch. The pre-lit aroma is of faintly sweet smelling tobacco, with the cold draw tasting similar. My cigar is evenly packed and has a nice give when squeezed.
First Third
My Punch Uppercut opened up with very thick and heavy smoke. The first few puffs really coated my palate with a mixture of leather and espresso flavors. On the finish, there is a sweet note that I would describe as dark molasses. The burn line was perfect and the ash was a very bright white color. The cigar was drawing easily and, as I burned through the first third the cigar, it really mellowed out. The flavors were not as strong now and the molasses turned more into a black cherry flavor towards the end of the first third. The body was mild to a mild medium.

Second Third 

The second third of my Punch Uppercut followed exactly in the same footsteps that the first third left off. The flavors were medium in strength and consisted of leather and espresso in the front and some black cherry on the finish. The smoke was now a lot more mellowed out and didn't sit nearly as heavy as it had forty minutes earlier. The burn line was perfectly straight and the ash was very solid. Out of all the punch cigars I have smoked, this stick has one of the best, if not the best, construction I have seen within the line. The body picked up some and was more a solid medium.
Final Third and Final Thoughts
The final third of my Punch uppercut had nothing new to report from the first two. The flavors stayed the same (leather, espresso, black cherry) and the burn was perfect. I never had to do any touch ups to this cigar all the way to the nub. The body leveled out at a easy medium, and didn't give off any real nicotine hit.

My final thoughts on the Punch Uppercut? If I had one word to describe this cigar it would be consistent. Aside from the first few puffs, the flavors of this cigar stayed the same in taste and in strength. This is not a ground-breaking cigar, but it is a good cigar. I can see smoking one of these with some friends while hanging out and cooking some BBQ. A novice smoker would enjoy this stick because it is not overpowering in strength or body, and you can pretty much light it, puff on it, and it will burn all the way down without any maintenance.

Would I buy it again? I would buy a few more of these for social occasions with friends who are not hard-core cigar guys, but still like to have a smoke here and there.

Would I buy a box? I think I'd pass on a box and opt for a different, more complex cigar.



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