Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 52 Torpedo
Today we take a look at a Unicorn 2007 Punch Rare Corojo Torpedo I received from a dear friend.
Everyone has smoked this cigar at one time or another. They have been around since 2001.
But this baby is a Unicorn (“Unicorn” The whole point of calling it a unicorn is because it’s so rare you literally may never see one…nor find its derivation.)
I researched the hell out of this cigar and it doesn’t exist in this incarnation. It is in a glass tubo. The size does not match with any of the Rare Corojos released in the past.
No reviews. No press releases. No acknowledgement by Punch.
So, I thought it would be fun to go in blind and review a cigar that may go either way.
It may also show that it takes 13 years for the Rare Corojo to taste good…or not.
I removed the cigar from its glass tubo last night and allowed it to breathe in my humidor overnight. I did not dry box it. I was too skittish about that and something going wrong with its first reunion with oxygen in over a dozen years. I would have hated to see the wrapper go south on me.
The torpedo cap is exceptionally applied. Just beautiful. From its base to point, it measures as 1”. Impressive. It will feel like sacrilege to snip it.
The cigar feels fresh and resilient. Perfectly filled without hard or soft spots. The construction appears immaculate. The cigar lays heavy in the hand…a stout stick. Seams are tight. Some veinage…but nothing to whine about. And being in the glass tubo has kept the cigar perfectly round…which made it easy to measure its ring gauge.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Ginormous floral notes waft aggressively into my schnoz. Followed by milk chocolate, malt, cedar, caramel, cotton candy, the sweet and tangy elements of Worcestershire sauce, brilliant café au lait, peppermint, peat, leathery, and Platinum OG.
And not a lick of spiciness…
I was wrong. The tip is hard as a rock. After clipping off 3/8” of tip, there is no draw whatsoever. I carefully insert my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. I find the plug just above the main cigar band. But the stick feels so fragile, I feel like a surgeon. And yet, I still manage to crack about ½” of wrapper at the cap. So, I’m going to use my PerfecRepair Cigar Glue to fix it. Being at the cap, the repair will take a few minutes of drying time before I begin.
The cold draw presents flavors of espresso, dark cocoa, malt, black pepper, peppermint, cotton candy, caramel, coffee, creaminess, cedar, and black licorice.
Here goes…I hope that when I light the foot, the whole thing doesn’t explode like the first time an 18-year-old boy has sex.
The burn line is crisp.
The blend begins mellow yellow. A scoche of spiciness…some sweetness that tastes like caramel and milk chocolate, and a nice aged maltiness.
I am pleasantly surprised that the stick doesn’t taste old and musty. No qualms.
Complexity is minimal though. Transitions have not started. The finish is mainly sweet things with no pepper on the tongue.
Naturally, this was never an expensive cigar…running today in the $5-$7 range. So, I must mediate my judgment for this blend by remembering it ain’t a Casdagli. Still, the curiosity abounds as how well this blend survived those years in solitary.
So far, the cigar isn’t bad but even after this amount of time, it may take the cigar some time to warm up before I begin to see some complexity. You’d think that after its hibernation, it might be bursting with character…it ain’t. Now if I was reviewing some brilliant blend to begin with, things might be different.
Due to its packed nature, it is a slow roll.
With an inch burned, the cigar’s flavor profile goes back into hibernation. Everything disappears except for that impression on your wallet where you used to carry a condom…that you never used.
The burn line is spot on. And the glued cap is behaving nicely even with me slobbering on it.
The cigar seems to have passed on after a long illness. I can taste tobacco but nothing else. All those wonderful aromas to start and now the thing is lying there like my first wife on our wedding night.
Instead of improving with each puff, it disintegrates into mediocrity. Someone went to all the trouble of saving this cigar for years…handed it to my friend at some point; in which he was handed the responsibility of loving this precious…only for me to end up with it and reviewing it. I don’t think that Punch intended for this to happen. Poor Punch…the cigar is now in the hands of the enemy.
Kinda’ funny, actually.
My first sip of water…a touch of black pepper…that’s it.
Now it’s just bloody fucking bland. All of its precious bodily fluids have been drained. At this juncture, the cigar did not survive hyper space.
The construction and burn have been exemplary. But the cigar squeezed out all of the flavor through its hidden asshole. Yes. Cigars do have assholes. Even genitalia. I will display a diagram at the end of the review showing where these parts are found.
If I had smoked this cigar for fun and posterity, I never would have chosen to review it…but I’m all in and I ain’t stopping. A sudden jerk in the typing process could cause me to break a hip and be dead two days later.
Actually, the only thing I taste is the pure tobacco…which is not imbibed with other flavors. This tells me the drek leaves they use for this blend are subpar to start. This is not the shining glory of Punch’s catalog. And time has been cruel…like when Charlotte made me perform cunnilingus on the biggest fish in our tank. Talk about girls’ locker room flavor. (Note: I never got a full boner).
Huge snowflakes begin to fall. Our first snow in a couple of weeks. It’s purty…especially, since I don’t have to go out into it.
I’m trying desperately to think of something positive about the Rare Corojo Unicorn…time to start sniffing glue again, I guess.
I’d pay $6 for a 13-year-old Rare Corojo. And then deeply regret it for up to 6 months or 15,000 miles…whichever comes first.
I’m nearing the halfway point and it just isn’t going to happen. Now, I have to smoke the whole bloody thing to finish this stupid review. I’d rather poke Craig in the eyes with a hot poker…he is my boss at Prime Cigar…an outstanding gentleman who never sees me stealing from the register…I wonder if they have figured out why the shop only makes $14 on my shifts?
There is no balance whatsoever. No complexity. Zip on the transitions. Not even a finish. The first invisible cigar. I might as well have Gene Hackman light my thumb.
There is another option here…since this is a Unicorn…are the leaf stats the same as the never going away Rare Corojo? Or did they use refuse from the kitchen to make this cigar? Tough question. I don’t taste cheese. But there is a light goose pate’ element at play…no, wait…I haven’t brushed my teeth yet. Sorry.
The snowflakes are now the size of VW bugs. I can hear tenants outside with their small children delighting in the spectacle.
I’d take a photo but I’m too fucking lazy.
Funny thing…I always play music while I write. Generally, the music will dictate the outcome of my review. The better the tunes, the better the cigar. This is scientific fact. I hadn’t noticed that music was on til now while I’m forced to listen to .38 Special.
The cigar blend is going nowhere slowly. This is the longest revocation of the time space continuum I’ve ever experienced in a review. The cat is staring at me and mouthing words in slow motion. Pretty sure he is saying “Fuck you…Feed me!”
I had high hopes. I really did. Some cigars do exceptionally well with extended aging. Others fall into the toilet and are flushed with the variety of misshapen logs that look like your cousin Florence.
About 7-8 years ago, I reviewed a cigar and instead of leaving a numerical rating, I took a photo of cat turds. I’m not going to do this today because I’m older and highly sophisticated.
There has not been an iota of improvement. It is the sheer definition of static. Not even linear which I’d take in a minute to get through this review. It is The Thing.
There are flashes of what I perceive as flavor, but they are merely aneurysms waiting to decimate my puny brain.
I’m now smoking a #2 pencil. With the eraser dipped in Marmite.
My second sip of water…I taste water. This has never happened. Any time I sip some water during a review, something pops…something!
What did I tell you? I’m now listening to Ace Frehley of Kiss on his solo album and the song “Back in The New York Groove.” Oy. What’s next? The Archies?
“God’ll get you for this.” This is what’s occurring. My karma is verklempt. I’m being punished for accidentally killing an entire pod of whales while in Alaska with an overdose of blotter acid. They were begging for it. I guess I fucked up.
The cigar now tastes like the corn husks Leaf by Oscar uses to wrap his cigars. (Yes, I know they are tobacco, but they sure look like corn husks to me…and a couple hours later when I take a dump, I find corn. So, you tell me…).
The cigar has made a giant leap in the flavor department: Mustiness. Yeah, baby! Forward progress.
Now I’m just goddam punishing myself.
Some black pepper arrives.
And the strength? Mild/medium. D.O.A.
Any of you have a ferret you want to rent out for a night?
I can’t take it anymore.
I’m youtubing how to tie a hangman’s knot.
And now you know…no reason to hang on to your Punch Rare Corojos for extended aging. Just do what I do when I get one…toss it.
And now for something completely different:
Eddie Munster ~ 1983
I first published this story in a review 2012. It is all about my project with Butch Patrick. And since I have new followers and readers, I thought I would burden them with this story. Regular readers…carry on.
First take a look at this 1983 music video: “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” by Eddie and the Monsters.
We had both sides of the 45 single recorded and the master passed on to the record company for pressing and distribution. We did the promo photos ourselves with the assistance of a real pro.
Now we needed a “rock video.”
Mind you, this was 1983. God help us… the crap that was out there…and we were going to add to it. The following was the top 10 songs of the 1980’s.
1. Love Shack – B-52s
2. What I Like About You – Romantics
3. Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol
4. Rock The Casbah (Mustapha Dance) – the Clash
5. Antmusic – Adam and the Ants
6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
7. Train In Vain (Stand By Me) – the Clash
8. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
9. Situation – Yaz (Yazoo)
10. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
Butch was parking cars for his dad at a casino in Gardena, CA. He was certainly down on his luck…and prime for molding. I had a studio…and a mutual friend. It became a project.
The film crew was famous cinematographer, Marvin Rush. He filmed most of the Star Trek series and movies…as well as TV shows: “Bob Newhart” and “TAXI.” And he was mine for free because he was intrigued about the project. At this time, Butch wasn’t doing promotional overkill with signing conventions and the such like he does today. He had just disappeared.
We were a day away from filming at mortuary and I hadn’t written the shooting script yet. There was no story. So, at some point in the evening, I did a line of coke and sat on the recording studio couch with a legal pad and pen. In 25 minutes, the script was done. I tweaked it a bit, but it pretty much was canonized.
I catered the shoot at the mortuary. The mortuary was the biggest chain in Southern California and the kid that worked there gave us permission to shoot later in the evening. Except, as it turned out, he didn’t have the authorization to allow us to do so.
As Howard sat up a nice kosher buffet, the extras rolled in. It was a full-on Jewish deli. Everyone was excited. So was I. Until I noticed that children were coming in. I blew my lid. I screamed at the crowd, “Who brought children into this mortuary?”
Hands raised. I took them aside and asked them if they were fucking crazy? I told them to leave…and they did, unhappily. We had the first shot set up, the extras in the pews, the smell of brisket and corned beef wafting in the air and the “Monsters” in full make up.
Just before I yelled, “Action,” a bunch of goons stormed the mortuary, with baseball bats, threatening to beat the hell out of me and everyone else if we didn’t get our asses out immediately. I grabbed the kid who gave us approval and he admitted that he didn’t ask his betters if it would be OK? So, instead, he bragged about it at the mortuary to his co-workers and they formed a scheme to bush whack us.
One of the goons asked who was in charge? I stepped forward and as I did, I felt something hard trying to crush the back of my skull. A fight broke out. The goons were outnumbered. So, they called the cops. We managed to get everyone out, the film crew packed up and burned rubber and we were all gone before the cops showed. Howard was the only one still there, trying to pack up his delicious food, and miscellaneous shit. The cops tried to arrest him, but he talked his way out of it, made them brisket sandwiches, and he split.
We were in big trouble. I ended up at the E.R, and got some stitches. All the while, trying to figure an alternate plan. I assured Marvin we would get this right and please don’t bail on me. He was a great guy and said he would follow me to San Quentin, if necessary, to get this done.
OUR CINEMATOGRAPHER GETTING ANGLES FOR THE SHOOT:
The next day, I took a ride to the Princess Louise, docked at San Pedro Harbor. It was an old, 3 deck private yacht, that had been transformed into a tourist attraction. Two restaurants and a chapel on top. I met with the chaplain and negotiated a fee of $200. It was a lock. We shook hands and moved to the next step. The filming on the boat would take place about 4 days later. I used that time to do another dangerous shot.
There is a line in the song that Eddie sings that says, “I got up and split from school.” So, we headed to Hollywood High on Sunset Blvd. Butch managed to borrow John Travolta’s Trans Am that George Barris was doing some customization on. The only way we could have the car was if George provided the driver. No problem.
We had no permit for filming. No permit. Let me say that again: NO PERMIT!!
I did this shot without extras. But still, my crew was large….maybe 25 people. 4 of us had walkie-talkies and were positioned strategically around the shoot. It was 7PM. Night school was in session.
The shot was to have Butch run down the steps of this ancient school wearing a graduation gown and cap and jump into the Trans Am. He then peeled rubber, did a couple of fish tails, and headed down Sunset Blvd. Cut.
The steps were at the front of the main entrance. It was lighted nicely. A huge class was going on just above on the second floor. 75 people had moved to the windows to see what was happening. The streets started to flood with onlookers.
I was the director. I was in charge. Huge klieg lights lit the area to be shot.
We did several takes. And then one of the guys, on a walkie talkie, called me and said cops were driving up to check things out. I put a temp hold on production while I watched 3 squad cars slowly drive to where I stood in the middle of Sunset Blvd.
They got out of their cruisers and stood beside their cars. Not a word. Obviously, they assumed we had a permit because no one would have the balls to shut down this heavily trafficked area.
I said “Action” for the last time…the shot went without a hitch, and then I yelled “Cut and… Print!!”
Everything went perfectly. We quickly packed up. Applause came from everywhere. It was deafening. Even the cops were clapping.
We got into our vehicles and headed over to the Brown Derby where I treated everyone for dinner.
We would be ready for the Princess Louise…..I just needed to make a visit to Cassandra the Casket Queen.
I got the L.A. Yellow Pages out and searched. There she was. Casandra the Casket Queen. Butch and I took a ride to her beat-up Hollywood home. No furniture except for a bedroom. The place was laden with real caskets but painted in psychedelic colors. Wild. Crazy. Nuts! Cool! Perfect!
We negotiated a rate for renting 5 of them for one night. Butch called George Barris, the car customizer to the Stars, and asked to borrow 2 hearses. We managed to shove all of the caskets inside.
We parked it at my house in Long Beach. The shoot at the Princess Louise in San Pedro was set for that night. Everything was lined up. People were paid off…either in cash or coke.
Marvin Rush, the cinematographer, was set to meet us there at 6PM. Our make-up artist would be there on time, or so she promised.
Even my financial backer would be there. He was an ex-San Quentin con that was a big dealer of cocaine. He and I became good friends because I wasn’t a mooch. Everyone around him constantly hung on the hope of hand-outs. I never asked. And for the most part, I turned his offers of a toot down. One little snort and I was good for hours…whereas, his hangers on needed a toot every 20 minutes. And I just didn’t like the shakes it gave you if you did too much. I was the only one in his life like that. And more importantly, we liked each other. Rick was a big bear of a man who you wanted on your side. I never betrayed his trust.
We stood outside the boat waiting for everyone to assemble. Rick had driven his Rolls Royce. So that was our focal point for assembly.
Once everyone was there, around 100 people including extras, I went up to the chapel to finalize and make sure we were set…I met with the chaplain and he was sweating bullets. He was dressed in his captain’s clothes. Looked very cool.
Standing next to him was a dapper man that I had never seen. He OWNED the boat and told me we could not use it because the chaplain had no authority.
Fuck! Shit! Piss! Cunt! Cock! Screw! Motherfucker! Motherfucker!
He told me to calm down and told me that for $4000 ($10K in 2020 dollars) we could use his chapel for filming.
$4000. If I fucked this up, Marvin would bail on me and the whole project would go up in smoke. I ran down to Rick and told him. Rick, at first, offered to tune this guy up. I told him no. I asked Rick for $2000 in cash. I would go home and get my $2000. Rick did not like this one bit but got into his Rolls and headed for Torrance to get his dough. I headed to Long Beach.
An hour later, Rick and I handed the guy his $4000. Then…..he said, “I’ve changed my mind. I want $6000. And in a blur of fists, the owner of the Princess Louise lay on the ground moaning, bleeding, and probably wondering what happened to him?
Rick had no truck for cheats. A person’s word is everything and this guy was a hustler. He tried to hustle us, so Rick spanked him. We all helped the owner up to a chair and Rick whispered in his ear. I could not hear what he said…And Rick never told me what he whispered to the owner. I think it was better that way.
We started loading the equipment up a ramp and 3 decks to the top of the boat and into the chapel.
The last thing we took upstairs was the outrageous caskets.
This had to be the funniest thing I had ever seen…worthy of a Mel Brooks movie…The second deck had a swanky restaurant on it and the only stairs to the chapel was inside the eatery. We held 5 caskets, like pall bearers, through a crowded restaurant…”Oh…excuse me…sorry…may I get through there please?”, etc. You could hear utensils drop to the plates. You could hear 50 people inhaling but not exhaling. No one blinked. I wish I had filmed, or at least taken photos, of that. It was priceless.
I handed Marvin the latest shooting script. One of his guys looked at it and said, “No way. 31 scenes???” Marvin immediately chastised him for questioning the director, me.
Our song was exactly 2 minutes long. We had already filmed the high school which accounted for 2 edits that lasted 2 seconds each. In all, the script had 33 scenes. That was an average of 4 seconds per edit.
And I had to finish it that night. I would not have Marvin again because of his schedule.
We started filming around 8PM and finished at 6AM. I got every scene I wanted and got them in no more than two takes. I improvised on the fly as situations presented themselves. The out-takes are hysterical.
The last scene has Butch sitting by a lagoon with the moon reflecting on the water. We had only minutes before the sun rose. We ran down to the shore by the boat mooring. Butch sat next to a small body of sea water…pebbles and rocks. There was no moon that night, but the Cosmic Muffin smiled on me that night. There was a light standard on the boat dock and the light from it was reflected in the water looking exactly like the moon.
“Action!” Cut!” “Print!”
We were done. Marvin took me aside…the man that went on to become the cinematographer of the many Star Trek series and some of the movies…..and told me that he thought that it would be impossible to get all the shots I had written down, but we did it and he patted me on the back and hugged me. I broke down. The stress of this shoot had finally hit home.
My adrenaline was running high. The night started with a hundred people. At 6AM, there was maybe 15 left. I offered breakfast but we were so tired that we just wanted to sleep.
Oh no. I had to take the caskets back. So, we loaded them into the 2 hearses and I drove it to Cassandra’s with a few guys. We unloaded them, I dropped people off, and headed home. The hearse stayed parked in my driveway all day while I slept with a smile.
The next part will be the torturous editing of the video, the fight with Rocshire Records, and the illegal bribing of radio stations and distributors. Then the fall of Rocshire Records to the F.B.I.
To be continued….
Butch slapping me with a lemon meringue pie while I lit my cigar. Produced as a promotional video to be shown at The Hollywood Palace on Halloween 1983:
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS