Size: 6 x 52
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Strength: Medium to Full
Price: Only available in a 10 pack sampler from CRA – $90.00
Behind The Stick:
As many of my frequent readers know, I am a huge fan and supporter of the CRA organization and was lucky enough to purchase the CRA Samplers offered on their site. Today’s review comes to us from this same sampler, but this one is produced by General Cigars – The Punch which was specifically blended for the CRA sampler itself. I have tried to locate exactly what is was that they had changed, but as all good secrets, they have been able to keep a very tight seal on this one. I do know that they only produced 5,000 for this sampler, so it does make me feel pretty lucky that I was one of the few who were able to try these out. Please check out my other post about the CRA Sampler for more history on this blend. I must also report that this is a single smoke impression, I was only able to smoke one for this review.
General Cigar has done it again, even though they are a one of the giants within the cigar industry, they still seem to pay special attention to their sticks, proving to all the reason why they are one of the giants. General has never struck me as a company I would turn to for uncompromising quality, but on the same thought, they do make some really good cigars. This one in specific was evenly packed from head to foot with only the slightest bit of give near the foot – bonus. Minimal veins and a light coating of oils (very, very light) caused this stick to shine brightly, enticing me to pick it up. I’m beginning to get into the Punch cigars more and more, and looking at the near flawlessness of this beauty really made me wish they sold these specific sticks on a regular basis.
I don’t know if they made this cigar specifically to my flavor likings, but this cigar is awesome! It started off with a little bit of spice (light and smooth) mixed with wood and just a slightest bit of leather. The overall tobacco flavor powered through giving a nice bitter, mildly salty with a hint of sweet tobacco – starting to drool yet? Once the cigar got around the midway point, the flavors seemed to explode (right after the first ash) into tobacco, wood and coffee, the leather flavor from before still remaining yet very subdued. Once the smoke reached the final third of its life, the leather notes that had been quietly carrying itself in the background pushed the wood flavor out leaving a very nice coffee and leather pairing that caused me to nub this one out just before I burned my finger.
The more and more of the ‘CRA specific blends’ that I am smoking in this pack keeps pushing me back a step or two. I am truly impressed at how these companies were able to produce these, even in limited numbers, allowing a small rarity to be bestowed upon the CRA members. This Punch in specific has caused me to fall, again, for the Punch line by General Cigar and promise me, I will be looking for an everyday smoke that would compare to this beauty – yea, its that good. I have contacted the General Cigar Co and they report they do not plan to produce these in any real quantity but perhaps enough of us could ask and maybe we’ll see these in our local shops! If it was a true ability, this would be one of the first cigars I would recommend as a box purchase.
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory