Don Julio Punta Espada | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican Corojo Mejorado
Binder: Dominican Corojo Unico
Filler: Dominican Habano 20/20 Ligero , Dominican Ligero, Dominican HVA Ligero, Dominican Piloto Mejorado Ligero
Size: 6.75 x 54 Belicoso
Strength: Medium
Price: $13.99 ($1.50 less if you look around)

Today we take a look at the Don Julio Punta Espada.
Charles is a cruel man. The cigar comes in 5 sizes and he sends me Clydesdale horse schmekel for review. Found only a single review; but it got a stellar rating…so I’m going in positive…

From the De Los Reyes Cigars web site:
“The Reyes Family after a long and careful preparation, proudly introduces the Don Julio, a tribute to Don Julio Samuel Reyes Fermín.

“Don Julio was a legendary tobacco grower who took the reins of the third generation of the Reyes Family.

“Throughout the entire process of elaborating this cigar, from the blend to the presentation, we held in our hearts and minds the wish to honor his trajectory.

“Every tobacco leaf used for this unique blend, was grown in our Family’s Fields in the Cibao Valley. Making each Don Julio the true Dominican Puro masterpiece.
“It is truly a unique blend, that carries a very delicate yet unusually rich balance of noble power, immersed in the most precious sweet and mellow notes.

“All the passion and knowledge of the six generations of the Reyes family where necessary to achieve this exclusive combination where strength is just the showcase of an array of mellow subtleties, the grail of the cigar makers!

“The tobaccos were exclusively grown and selected in the Reyes family fields located within the best soils of the Cibao Valley, then they were carefully blended by experts cigar makers , yet family passion was the real key to this exquisite work of art.”

Robusto: 5 x 50 $11.99
Belicoso: 6.75 x 54 $13.99
Paca: 5 x 58 $14.99
Gordo: 5 x 58 $15.99
Gigante 7 x 60 $17.99

This is a nice-looking stick due to its solid construction. Seams are tight. A lot of big veinage but it doesn’t detract. The wrapper, in room light, is a burnt umber hue…with touches of toothiness here and there. In sunlight, the wrapper has a definite orangish hue. The cigar lies heavy in the hand. I expect not to spend more than 7 hours reviewing this behemoth. The triple capped Belicoso is nicely done. And lastly, a giant billboard of a cigar band with a footer ribbon…but no skulls!

An equal blast of milk chocolate and floral notes open the first act. Followed by some strong black pepper…sweet notes of molasses, candied nuts, ginger spice, caramel, and dried prune. Savory notes include rye bread, espresso, and earthy aged tobacco.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, creaminess, vanilla, floral, cinnamon, caramel, milk chocolate, black coffee, and cedar.

My PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool comes in very handy right now. The stick is plugged at the cigar band level. A couple swipes and the baby is wide open.

Good flavors upfront…black and red peppers are landing on the beach, hot cinnamon toothpicks take me back to being 10 years old, creamy caramel is nice, some tart lemon zest, dark chocolate, cedar, malt, and a gorgeous aged tobacco taste finishes up my first impressions.
There may be hope.

But as these cigars are running in the price points of mid-teens, I expect an immediate punch to the kisser. And complexity dives in immediately. Transitions start moving their lazy asses toot suite with spiciness leading the pack followed by devil dogs of creaminess, cinnamon, cream, nuts, and chocolate.

The finish reacts instantaneously with a succulent sweetness complimented by the multi-flavors coming from all those tobaccos used in the blend. My gut tells me that this 6-blend cigar may live up to its limited hype.

But then I take a fall back position on anything that runs at $15…For a couple extra bucks, I can buy some Casdaglis. I’d rather have the Casdaglis.

I hope I’m not jinxing it but this cigar is starting impressively with loads of flavor and complexity. Cigar Coop gave it a 94. Damn straight. But no other reviews and the cigar has been around since 2014. I don’t get it.

Strength is a solid medium. Nice morning cigar with coffee…or a 24 pack of PBR.

A nice balance appears that gives all the flavors equal time. It is so smooth that I want to plotz. I love the very tasty transitions. The finish is a mile long.
How come I’ve never heard of this cigar? Have you?
Oh, that’s right…no one has reviewed it.

Construction is fixed and solid. The burn is money.
This stick may just be one of those ginormous cigars I don’t mind smoking; even if it takes me all day to do so.

I can tell this baby is just warming up. My gut never lies…except when it gets in the way of going through a door sideways.

The subtle nuances develop quickly. Exactly what I expect from a cigar at this price.
So, the Don Julio Punta Espada may be the biggest surprise for me in the first two months of 2020.

Charlotte and I were in our apartment elevator on our way to the 2nd floor. A young man in his late 20’s got on board. The elevator was acting wonky and kept taking us to the 3rd floor. I made a comment that this was like a Marx Brothers movie. The kid asked who that was? “If you mean Karl Marx, I’m not fond of him.” Charlotte and I looked at each other. I said, “You don’t know who those guys were? Groucho? Harpo? Chico?” He just shook his head and got off the elevator. Kids today, man. Missing out on so much that came before them. We are raising underdeveloped drones. I know who Lizzo is.

The Don Julio Punta Espada is cruising. Nice easy-going blend. All those leaves are intermingling perfectly bringing a very rich gustatory experience to my palate. John Piette of Isabela Cigars does this with every blend he produces. The cigars have years of aging on them before hitting the shelves; needing little humi time. The Espada is using the same technique but charging 50% more than Isabela.

“Aqualung” is playing. Saw Jethro Tull in the early 70’s at the L.A. Coliseum. Chief Ed Davis was on a mission to stop Hippie children from smoking weed at concerts. My group of friends had press passes but sitting in the press box with all those straight dudes was intimidating as we were all bona fide looking long hairs. So, we moved out and to the left of the press box and sat at the top of the stadium. The place was crawling with cops and undercover cops arresting patrons. We sat there with cops surrounding us while we smoked doobs. They never noticed us; yet we were only feet away. Go figure.

I love the savory v. sweet marriage. Nothing to criticize. My dears, this is an excellent blend. Too bad it isn’t cheaper.

Took over 45 minutes to get here. Not complaining. All those minutes were highly enjoyable.

There is no significant change to the flavor profile. It is steady as she goes. Again, not complaining. Everything is on point. The complexity is doing all the work.

New flavors: Green tea, nutmeg, licorice, and a touch of honey. The malt takes a big leap with the added notes of hoppiness. I believe the flavor profile is going to open up in the second half.

I like the balance of spiciness vs. the rest of the flavors. Just the right kick in the arse without being center stage. This is how I prefer my women…like my coffee…black. Wait…I meant…never mind…I had my first acid flashback of the day.

This is a real connoisseur’s blend. If you have a sophisticated palate, you’re going to dig this cigar. If you are a newbie with discretionary cash, this is a good choice to stretch your wings. It is medium strength with no variations. And it delivers, thanks to the rich tobacco, a real cigar experience to be cherished.
Still, I’d be happy with the $12 Robusto.

You get all the cigar emails? I can’t get over how much the cost of boutique cigars are going up. We’ve passed the mandatory $12 mark and moved on to a couple bucks more. I mean, WTF? And the online stores won’t take my Fingerhut charge card.

“All Along The Watchtower.” I’m a happy man.

The ash wants nothing to do with leaving its pod. It lasted throughout the first third and after my photo, I removed it. Nothing more pleasant in the morning than seeing smoke rising from your crotch from a flaming 2” ash.

I decided to shave my pubes. I grabbed the electric carving knife but Charlotte stopped me before I began. She is such a stickler for safety. She handed me nail clippers and a lint remover.

Here we are at the halfway point. One hour 15 minutes.

This is a very consistent blend. The strength doesn’t want to move past medium. The complexity and richness continue on their path of increase the peace.

My son in law is a cop here in Milwaukee. On Sunday, while working at Prime Cigar, an MPD cop came in I knew. He runs the K-9 Unit. We shot the shit for a few minutes, making fun of my boy, and then he sat down and smoked his cigar. I tried to get his attention a couple times but he was engrossed in the big screen TV…so I barked and he turned around. He came over and rubbed my belly and then told me to attack my manager. It was a good day.

I gotta enumerate the laundry list of flavors…here goes: Chocolate, creaminess, citrus, malt, caramel, brown sugar, cedar, espresso, black pepper, licorice, cinnamon, rye bread toasted, nutmeg, prune, green tea, and marzipan. Whew.

For those of you that think I’m full of shit…OK…but still, you should see my face. It is all scrunched up in a look like I just finished filming a scene from “Saw.” My mother told me when I was young my face would get stuck when making unpleasant expressions. Currently, I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame…the Charles Laughton version.

The second half is soaring with the eagles. Complexity is full throated. Tobacco richness is so good that I don’t mind listening to the Korean group BTS.

Strength is tinkling on medium and moving up to medium/full.
I don’t know why Reyes doesn’t mention how long the tobaccos were aged; unless they don’t know. The smoothness of this blend tells me aging was a priority.
All those Ligero leaves in the filler had me thinking that this was going to be a pepper bomb. Not so. The leaves have mellowed out beautifully getting the best from the blend.

“TVC15” is playing. I miss Bowie.

The CDC says that if you can make it to 65, there is almost a guarantee that you will live another 12 years. So, I’m banking on those 7 years to go. You alte kakers out there…you’re not going to make it. I read your emails. You’re screwed. So, after you’re gone, I will be left writing for Millennials. No one will get my jokes.

When I played in the Todd Hart Band in the 90’s, we played “Some Kind of Wonderful” by Grand Funk. He always made me play a bass solo in the middle. I struggled every time playing something interesting with that beat. I think he liked to torture me.

Mellow yellow. The blend stretches its legs and flavors bloom like spring flowers. The smoothness digs deep and lays a warm blankey over the blend.

As soon as I saw there was only one review of this cigar, I worked out a bunch of funny disrespectful comments. Out the window.

Not a single flavor has disappeared. It keeps on chooglin’.
Everything is twice as good as the beginning. Not a lick of harshness or bitterness.
The sweet elements are now taking over. Even the 6 different leaves seem to have a sweet flavor.

No nicotine.
And then there is.
My music posters are melting.

The cigar is a real investment of your time in this size…2-1/2 hours.
But then you have 4 other size choices. But except for the Robusto, they are all ginormous.
This is a great blend for you to try. At least a couple singles. Over $300 for a box is an investment.
Newbies and sophisticated snobs will dig this blend.
I have to lay down.


And now for something completely different:

I have published this story probably too many times but I’m always adding new readers and…besides, this story cracks me up.

I took time off from being a project manager in commercial construction. It was killing me. I was 40. And the pressure to keep on schedule and on budget got to me. I had the curse of being good at what I did so my bosses always piled on the work til I burned out.

I found out I had high blood pressure during a blood drive at my daughter’s school and when they took my blood pressure. I was told they could not take my blood. Go see a doctor.
40 was too young to die so I had some choices to make.

I went to work, for an old friend, as a structural draftsman…in construction, anyone on a board is called a “Detailer.”

I was a detailer. It is what I learned in my youth. Before I was old enough to drive, my father brought me down to his structural fab shop and put me on a board. And while I was going to CSULB, the company sent me to L.A. Trade Tech to get my two-year certificate as a structural detailer. It turned out to stead me well later in life. I always took jobs on the side and made between $100-$150 an hour for my work. And that was a long time ago.

Back then, we used formulas to figure out the geometry and trig problems. Sophisticated calculators did not come until the late 1970’s. And ones that would do the geometry and trig came around in the late 80’s. We also had no computers to help us. We had a pencil.
I was working in Fullerton, CA. Not far from La Habra which was ritzy in places and had some hills and forest area behind where I worked.

On a hot day, with the A/C busted, we opened the front and back doors. It was a small place with three rooms in a strip mall. Each room housed three detailers. I was in the middle room.

One day, lo and behold…a ferret walked in. It didn’t seem to be afraid of us. As it walked towards me, I bent over and extended my arm. In a flash, the fucking ferret grabbed on to my forearm with all 4 legs in a death grip and began punching away at my skin with its teeth.

I ran around the office waving my arm trying to get the damn thing off. It wouldn’t let go. I screamed like a little girl and no one could get me to hold still. I was screaming the 7 words not allowed on TV (Thank you George Carlin).

It finally flew off my arm and blood gushed from my arm. I started to go into shock. Did my boss or co-workers call 911? Of course not. It was just a little ferret attack. And possibly a wild ferret as we were right on the edge of the open hills and forest.

I collapsed on the floor because I thought I was going to faint… and screamed out at everyone to close the fucking doors! Do not let that piece of shit weasel get out or I will, for sure, be required to take the rabies series inoculations.

My doctor was around the block. Dr. Mutter. When he saw me, he got on the phone with my boss and SCREAMED at him not to let that animal loose. I had never heard my mild-mannered doctor curse.

He bandaged my entire arm and warned me that if that ferret got loose…and then he made the motion of a needle going into my stomach…shaking his head the whole time.
I gulped the gulp of a pussy.

When I got back, Animal Control was there. A giant black man was trying to catch the elusive ferret with the long stick thing with a loop.

He finally caught it and the little critter began a high screeching that made us cover our ears.

Now here is the interesting part…. The boss had this stupid, good looking blonde working for him in his blueprint store next to the drafting company. She was really stupid. But she was a looker.

She was on our side of the building, like everyone else, watching this man try to catch the fucking ferret.
When it started screeching, this stupid woman screamed, “You fucking N*****! Let it go. You are hurting it!! You fucking N*****!”
Everyone was in shock.

The animal control guy dropped the stick with the ferret’s head still in the loop…the ferret tried to make a get away with a 6’ stick attached to it….no go. It hid behind some curtains.

He asked, “What did you call me?”
And the stupid bitch repeated it!!!! She fucking repeated it!
Oh my God. What a racist bitch.

But now I’m thinking the damn weasel is going to get away and I will have 6 weeks of shots to my belly because of a race war inside the drafting company.

I begged the man to please capture and secure the animal and don’t listen to the idiot woman. He calmed down and did just that.

I walked out alone with him and apologized profusely for the act of racism that just occurred. He was very magnanimous, and gracious, and left.

I walked back into the drafting room, walked quickly up to the bitch and slapped her with an open hand.
I screamed at her, “Do you realize what you almost did? You fucking piece of shit, bitch, cocksucker. If he didn’t capture it, I would have to go through some very painful inoculations!!!!!!”

She apologized as her hand rubbed her cheek where I smacked her. She didn’t have a green card so I didn’t care. She was from Germany and even though my wife is too; and worked part time doing the books for the place, she had nothing to do with this imbecile.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited. For 10 days.
And then it came. A little post card from Animal Control saying that the animal did not have rabies. One of the longest 10 days in my life.
I still have that post card framed and hanging in our bathroom.


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5 replies

  1. I’m not going to point out anything connected to five sizes but nothing skinnier than a robusto. Looks like a great smoke.

  2. Another entertaining review and another cigar that has not been on my radar. It does seem odd that they have only the chunky sizes. Not where most people live I think. Anything over 54 is not something I want to smoke. Ferret story was fun (not for you however).

  3. Arless,
    Cigar Aficionado says big is in…so it must be true.

  4. Ehh I went all in on big cigars about 5 years ago and really regretted it. I still buy some toros but for the most part I’ve transitioned to corona’s, robusto’s and rothschild’s. The flavor is better and it isn’t such a time commitment. I’d much rather smoke 2 corona’s with a multi hour break in between than be stuck stationary for 2hrs.

  5. Gabe,
    You’re a man after my own heart.

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