Review of Punch Rare Corojo Salomones Cigar
By: Gary Manelski
Punch Rare Corojo cigars are a seasonal blend which have been an annual limited release from General Cigar since 2001, usually during the month of March. These cigars are made in Honduras with a rare Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and a blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos bound inside a Connecticut Broadleaf binder. Punch Rare Corojo cigars are available in eight sizes ranging from the Elite (5¼ x 45) priced at $3.90 up to the new Salomones (7¼ x 57) priced at $7.99. The Rare Salomones is the only cigar in the line that comes in a wooden cabinet style box, and this cigar will only be available during 2014.
I have smoked Punch Rare Corojo cigars in the past when I was with About.com, and enjoyed them immensely. This year, I had the opportunity to sample the new Rare Salomones size, which took me a full 90 minutes to smoke down to two inches remaining. The cigar had that same naturally sweet and rich flavor with a touch of spice that I remember, and the smoke was still medium-to-full bodied. I smoked the sample on the day after receiving it in the mail, which accounted for a couple of slight and brief sour notes after about 30 minutes into the cigar. Based on past experience, at least a couple of weeks in the humidor would have eliminated that minor issue. I like to rest my cigars in the humidor for a couple of months prior to reviewing, but since these cigars are seasonal and limited, waiting a couple of months would have made this review out of date before being published.
What makes the Rare Salomones a little different (and more expensive) than the other sizes in the Punch Rare Corojo line is its unique shape. The cigar is a figurado which is tapered at both ends, but not closed at the foot. I found the 57-ring cigar easy to light, since the end was tapered. The cigar also becomes gradually thicker from head to foot, prior to reaching the tapered down foot at the end. The ring gauge is well under 50 near the head after being cut. This provides a big cigar smoking experience without having to put an extra thick stogie in your mouth. This could offer an advantage for some smokers who prefer the feel of smaller ring cigars. The cigar had a very good draw, even burn, and held a long ash. No relights were needed, and only one minor touch-up light was applied after about 50 minutes into the smoke, just to keep the burn perfectly even.
I think that Punch Rare Corojo cigars are great values in seasonal smokes, and I still rate them with a solid 4 points on a 5-point scale. However, although the Rare Salomones size provides an interesting smoking experience, it will take about 90 minutes to finish, and is the most expensive cigar at $7.99 in the Rare Corojo lineup. If you don't have the time or inclination to smoke such a large cigar, I suggest the Magnum size (5¼ x 54) which sells for $6.50, or one of the other sizes which sell for even less. All are steals for seasonal smokes having a rare blend of fine tobaccos.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.