Today we take a look at an inexpensive cigar called Punch Uppercut. I decided to take it easy on you financially. This is a very good cigar. In fact, it was on the Top 10 list of an A List reviewer’s 2009 list. I had no idea the cigar had been around this long. I guess it just looked too gimmicky for me. Who knows?
I’ve only had them a few weeks and they have blossomed beautifully. Which is amazing at the sheer size and girth of this stick. It only comes in this one size.
The cigar is made in Honduras.
Even though this is a big honker, it will prove to have the flavor intensity of a much smaller cigar. My only fear is that I found it to be very strong in the last third. Empty stomach. Just an Atkins Shake.
Construction is a bit rustic while at the same time being very attractive. The Sumatran wrapper has a reddish tinge to a coffee bean color with lots of tooth. It has a beautiful mottled pattern. Seams are tight but vary from cigar to cigar. The single cap is a bit sloppy on all of them. $4 cigar. There is a massive amount of very large veins and very small veins.
Punch veered away from its drab cigar bands and produced a main band which is simple and classy. And a foot band with the volcano on Ometepe Island in a long panoramic view…with the word: OMETEPE written across it.
I clip the cap and find aromas of rich earthiness, black tea, spice, sweet cedar, leather, and a large dose of cocoa at the foot.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are definitively earthy and sweet. The draw is perfect on this redwood tree. The cigar is jam packed with tobacco. Not rock hard or any soft spots. One of my sticks did have a hard spot below the cigar band and a soft spot near the foot so I skipped using that one for the review and went with the perfect one.
It takes some lungs to draw from the foot to the cap on this long, thick cigar. Especially due to how full of tobacco has been wedged into the filler.
I remember from last night’s smoke, that it took an inch or two before the wonderful flavors kicked in. And this was my 7th cigar of the day and it still shone through. It surprised the shit out of me. After the 5th cigar, they tend to taste like tobacco and spice only.
I predict this will be a 2-1/2 hour smoke. For $4, I can’t complain. I have no idea how Punch produced a fine, fine cigar and could have charged much more; but didn’t. Kudos.
What’s that other Punch blend that tweren’t so hot? Bareknuckle. I haven’t tried that one…or I think I did but didn’t think much of it so didn’t review it.
Clearly, the Punch Uppercut is not an old school type of blend. It only took a few weeks to get it to the blender’s intent. About time some of the old school blenders took note of what is happening on the street.
Regular Punch blends take months and months of humidor time.
Spice lands on my palate. Strong and red. Like me.
It rained last night and the thunder woke me up and I couldn’t help think of the movie, “Ted.” Had me sitting straight up in bed from that thunderclap. The dog was trying to bury itself under our covers.
The ash is tough and almost snow white. Reminds me…back as a 20 year something, I worked at Knott’s Berry Farm as the steam boat captain. And I worked my way through all the girls at the park. Most of my friends worked at Disneyland in Anaheim and I got to go to a lot of Disney parties. I nailed Snow White in the bathroom. She wasn’t so snow white when I got done with her. My bad.
I would love to let the ash go as long as possible but I just know if I did it is going to collapse in my lap and burn my naughty bits as I sit and type in my boxer shorts and T shirt.
Here are the flavors: Spice, sweet earthiness, cedar, cocoa, nuts, toast, and leather.
The strength is classic medium body.
Sweetness is very sugary. The earthiness is very rich. And now the flavors start rolling in…creaminess, blackberry, chocolate mousse, nougat, and buttery smooth.
The blackberry tastes more like boysenberry. A berry that Walter Knott invented many eons ago while starting up his chicken dinner diner before the behemoth Knott’s Berry Farm began. The only way, I believe, you can taste boysenberry jam is by purchasing Knott’ preserves on line. The boysenberry is a mix of European Raspberry, Common Blackberry, an American Dewberry, and a Loganberry. Pretty cool, huh? Delicious. You can get the preserves on Amazon. Or directly from the Knott’s web site.
Oh God, Peter Frampton is on the TV music channel and he is playing the infamous “Do You Feel Like We Do?” If I hear that fucking horrible song once more, I am going to have a contest to see who gets to kill me.
Oh no! Now it’s the Eagles. Gawwwwd!
I’ve invested 30 minutes in the 2” I’ve smoked.
The second third is upon me. This is a great example of a good medium bodied smoke. I know it will become stronger in the not too distant future but I enjoy medium bodied along as it is mucho flavorful.
We are very close to flavor bomb status.
The Punch Uppercut is so smooth you can cut it with a warm butter knife.
The char line has been dead nuts perfect this entire time. No issues with the wrapper or cap. I still can’t get over the price point.. I remember now. I got three of them on Cbid for $4 each. Couldn’t get them cheaper than the price CI already charges but I just wanted a couple singles.
The spice makes resurgence. My nasal passages clear and my eyes are watering.
I do believe the Punch Uppercut is making its move.
I am always amazed when a manufacturer finds that just one size will convey the blender’s intent. It’s solid. Resolute. A guarantee that you get what the blender wanted you to taste. I like that.
What a thoroughly enjoyable cigar. I must have more. To be honest, one look at the size in person and forehead wrinkled from the notion that this cigar will take months to be ready to smoke.
Here are the current flavors: Caramel, spice, creaminess, cocoa, boysenberry, sweet cedar, nuts, toast, chocolate mousse, nougat, and leather.
A new flavor shows itself: Tangerine. Slightly sweet and slightly tart.
I am just about dead center of the cigar. And no flavor bomb status yet. I suspect it is due to insufficient humidor time. Big sticks just take forever.
Lots of online stores carry them…so look around for the best pricing. I check around and while some stores are charging $7.50 for a single, the box price of $98 is the cheapest and at CI. A 5 pack goes for $23.50 or $4.70 per stick. Much better than every other store online.
The cigar hits its complexity mode. Nicely balanced with a long finish.
With 3-1/4” burned, flavor bomb status kicks in. And so does the strength. It is now medium/full. And the nicotine brandishes its ugly head.
Every single itemized flavor goes nuts. A nice graham cracker element shows itself for the first time making nice with the creaminess and boysenberry.
The ash hangs tough in 1” increments.
The final third begins. And I am swimming in exuberant flavors.
The nicotine is kicking my ass. It feels like the 8th hour of an acid trip.
Punch really did us smokers a solid. This stick could easily be an $8 cigar.
My only criticism is that there isn’t strict conformity between the sticks. Some are rock hard with no soft spots. And others are hard with various soft spots. But it doesn’t impede my desire to have more.
Tomorrow, I plan to review the brand new Viaje Cache just released this month. Fresh from its debut at last month’s 2014 IPCPR trade show. Andrew, from Small Batch Cigar, sent me some samples. He only had it in box form but I persuaded him to make up some 5 packs.
After that, I will review the Quesada Selección España. Another brand new cigar you can get from SBC.
The Punch Uppercut needs its first minor touch up to the foot.
The exciting flavor profile belies its inexpensive price point.
With less than 2” to go, the flavor explosion happens one more time. I am being bombarded with delectable flavors, nuance, and character.
I check my blog and I have not reviewed a single Punch cigar. This will be the first. I have reviewed some Punch blends on other sites but that’s it.
The cigar has taken 2-1/4 hours to finish.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS