Punch: An aristocratic touch

November 06, 2013
One of the finest and most historic Cuban brands, but recently has been going through a period of introversion and fading, at least in the Greek market

It was created in the mid 19th century (in 1840 or 1855) by a German named Stockmann who named the brand after a very popular - at the time - British satirical magazine. Punch was an instant hit and in 1884 was acquired by Fernando Lopez Fernandez, owner of Juan Valle y cia. But it was his brother Manuel who managed the fate of the brand, and indeed very successfully, until his death in 1925. Then came the 1929 global crash and Punch was merged with the Fernandez y Palicio group that produced, among others, Hoyo de Monterrey and Belinda. Until the 1959 revolution, Punch production continued at the Rayo street factory in Havana.  Currently, Punch belong to the elite of Habanos and still make some top-notch cigars. 
The brand is considered an expert in Corona Gordas, since despite the discontinuation of Black Princes and Super Seleccion No 2 a few years ago, they still make two excellent cigars in this format: the top of the line Punch Royal Seleccion No 11 and the very popular Punch-Punch. The foursome of the brand`s top -in my opinion- cigars that we will present in this tasting, is completed with two more cigars: the sumptuous Double Coronas and of course the extremely rare Punch Diademas (a monster cigar of 235mm x 18.65mm which, unfortunately, I have not tasted). 

 TASTING    

Punch Double Coronas     Rating:  8.5 / 10 
Length:  194mm 
Ring Gauge:  19.45mm (49) 
Excellent construction and free draw are among its greatest advantages. Its sumptuous character unfolds as smoking progresses, reaching its peak after twenty minutes when the smoke is laden with flavours of spices and chocolate, accentuated by nuances of leather and dried fruits. 

Punch-Punch      Rating:  8 / 10 
Length:  143mm 
Ring Gauge:  18.26mm  (46) 
Beautiful, oily wrapper and impeccable construction. Punch-Punch are the brand`s most famous cigars; Punch specialises in Coronas Gordas. The smoke is velvety and rich, giving out flavours of chocolate, green pepper and cedar.  This size is no longer popular as it used to be, but it still is one of the most elegant sizes.

Scoreboard Key
0 - 3
Poor
3.5 - 4
Average
4.5
Acceptable
5 - 5.5
Satisfactory
6 - 6.5
Good
7 - 8
Very Good
8.5 - 9
Outstanding
9.5 - 10
Excellent
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