Cigar: Punch Gran Puro Rancho
Size: 5.5 inches X 54 ring gauge
Wrapper: Natural (says sumthin about it being special Honduran, Havana Seed Wrapper)
A Little Backround: Punch Gran Puro is all-Honduran with an extra-dark, extra-bold Havana-seed wrapper developed exclusively for this cigar in the rich San Agustin Valley of Honduras. In addition, the binder leaves as well as the wrapper leaves are sun-grown and carefully selected from the highest primings to ensure the cigars' special color and flavor. The result is the puro of puros--a cigar impossible to imitate. A medium to full bodied cigar, Punch Gran Puro has a round, spicy taste with a hint of natural cinnamon that comes from the unique soil of the San Agustin Valley. Handcrafted in natural cedar, the Punch Gran Puro box expresses the cigar's rich heritage with an elegantly domed medallion that features a classic illustration of Mr. Punch and his dog Toby.
When I pulled this stick out of my spiffy humidor I noticed two things immediately: 1. That it was noticably bigger in size than the other 4 smokes I have had to this point. I didnt think that 4/64ths of an inch would be so obvious, but it surely was, and 2. Though this wrapper is listed as natural, it was also the darkest of all the cigars in the little sampling that I bought, which really piqued my interest in what was to come. It seemed well made and pretty tightly packed (didnt give much to slight pressure), there were a few small veins in the almost roast coffee colored wrapper. Being the dumbass that I am, I managed to scorch the thing lighting it, so initially it wasnt very pleasant, but as soon as I could knock the scorched ash of things improved dramatically. Initially (after first ash knock) it was spicy with pepper and sage notes, thet leads into lots and lots of wood tones, which I absolutely loved, first bolder like cedar and oak char (like bourbon barrels, yum), and then it got sweet like maplewood and a nice maple syrupy undertone. This was about the 1/2 way point and the cigar was producing voluminous amounts of round smoke. The other thing I noticed is that the ash was light, and rather firm, and held on for a LONG time (only knocked of the ash once after the first time). To this point it was a quite enjoyable smoke, and paired with the bourbon I chose (which I will describe after) nicely. But early in the last third, either the combination of bourbon and cigar, or the fact that it was a larger more full bodied than I had tried previously (or that I drank the bourbon rather fast) had me bugging out. LOL I was having an out of body experience, which by no means was bad, just quite unexpected (as an experience bourbon drinker I generally dont get buzzed on one glass of booze.). So even though I was enjoying the cigar thoroughly when it went out with 1 3/4 inches left to it (oh by the way, the draw got a little tight over tha last third) I decided that I didnt want to push it and just let it be. I will definately be trying it again sometime, though I will probably accompany it with a lighter, lower proof bourbon, or a microbrew beer.
You see the bourbon I chose to accompany it tonight was Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel/100 proof. And it really did fit the taste profile of the punch very well. It was big in the mouth with lots and lots of corn sweetness and a finish that went on for miles. I think the fact that these two went so well together kept me from pacing myself as well as I should have, and led to my big ole buzz. I dunno, I will say this, the pairing was good while it lasted.