Review of Punch Signature Cigar
By: Gary Manelski
This is more of a pre-review of the new Punch Signature Robusto (5 x 54) cigar, just released by General Cigar in March 2015. I intend to smoke a couple more of these cigars after they have rested for a while in my humidor. Based solely upon one Punch Signature cigar that was sampled upon receipt, it would not really be fair to write a final review at this time. Therefore, I'm just going to report my initial and preliminary impressions of the cigar, which are subject to change.
As advertised, Punch Signature is a bold cigar. The cigar is made in Honduras with a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. In this particular blend, aged fillers are mixed with newer tobaccos. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Corojo, and the binder is a Connecticut Habano leaf. Punch Signature is available in four sizes, with prices ranging from $5.39 to $7.39. For more info, check out the press release from General Cigar.
I found the cigar to have leathery and earthy spice flavors that left my throat slightly irritated. The full leathery flavor pushed the spicy/peppery taste into the background, and after a while, the spice became less noticeable. At that point, the cigar reminded me more of a Cohiba Red Dot than a typical Punch cigar. If you like Dominican Cohiba's, this could be a good thing, since the price of a Punch Signature cigar is much lower.
The cigar had a good draw and held a medium-to-long ash. No relights were needed, but a couple of minor touch-ups were applied to keep the burn even. It took me 50 minutes to smoke the cigar down to 2½ inches remaining. My preliminary rating is 3.25 points on a 5-point scale, which again, is subject to change in the near future.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.
Follow-Up Review of Punch Signature Cigar
In August 2016, a new Toro sized (6 x 50) Punch Signature cigar was introduced called Pita. The blend is the same as before, with the new size priced at $6.99 per stick. You can read more about this new vitola in the press release.
I was not very impressed with the Punch Signature Robusto after it came out in March 2015, and after smoking the Punch Signature Pita, my original impressions were confirmed. Punch Signature cigars are full bodied and have a hot spicy and leathery taste that burned the back of my throat. The hot spice backed down after about 20 minutes, leaving a dry leathery flavor that just was not very enjoyable. I smoked only about half of the cigar, which took 45 minutes. During that time, a couple of relights were required before the cigar went out for the third time. At that point, I was done. I may have been too generous with my initial rating of 3.25 points. Let's go with a nice round 2.50 points on a 5-point scale this time around.
During 2021, additional sample Punch Signature Pita cigars were received after the packaging was updated.