Maybe the third time is the charm. When Punch Signature cigars were introduced in March 2015, I received samples of the Robusto size to review at that time, and then again in August 2016 when the new Pita vitola became available. I was not impressed with either cigar, and the hot spice in both cigars irritated my throat.
Fast forward to March 2021, when the packaging for Punch Signature cigars received an update (see press release). However, the blend remained the same. Anyway, I received samples of the Toro/Pita (6 x 50) size to test drive once again, which I let sit in my humidor for almost two months before giving these cigars another shot.
Punch Signature cigars are still made in Honduras with a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, where aged fillers are mixed with newer tobaccos. The cigar has an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper, and the binder is a Connecticut Habano leaf. The SRP of the Pita size is now $8.19 per stick, as of this writing.
Although the blend did not change, I noticed some differences/improvements in this new batch of Punch Signature cigars. First of all, the smoke was not as spicy hot as before. Yes, the flavor was still earthy with some "hot" spice, but the spice was much tamer this time and not hot enough to irritate my throat. The flavor of the sample cigar eventually became more leathery as it was smoked, with the earthy spice fading into the background.
Secondly, this current cigar is now at the upper end of the medium-bodied range, and is not as bold nor full as before. I don't know if recent harvests of the tobaccos used today are consistent with several years ago (or maybe the some of the same tobaccos have been aging), or if my palate has just become more acclimated to bolder cigars over the years.
The sample Punch Signature was very well made and had a good draw, mostly even burn, and held a long ash. It took me 75 minutes to smoke the cigar down to two inches remaining, without the need for any relights and just one minor touch-up.
I don't usually acquire cigars that I haven't enjoyed much in the past, and certainly not for a third time. But in this case, I'm glad that the most recent samples just happened to come my way. This time, I'm giving Punch Signature Pita cigars a much better rating of 3.75 points on a 5-point scale.
Original 2015 & 2016 Reviews
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.