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Cuban Cigars

Famous Cuban Cigars: Punch Punch 48

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

If you buy Cuban cigars, you likely have purchased some from a La Casa del Habano (LCDH). If so, you might have noticed that these official shops have some cigars that are not available elsewhere. The thing is, some Cuban cigars are made exclusively for the LCDH stores and officially licensed sellers of Cuban cigars. The logos of both retailers are found on the cigar bands. That is the case with the Punch Punch 48, a Toro.

WHAT IS THE PUNCH PUNCH 48?

The Punch Punch 48 is a great example of how Cuban cigar brands repeat the names of cigars, with slight modifications, to capitalize on a vitola’s popularity. In this case, there was already a Punch Punch, 5.625 x 46. This, if I haven’t mentioned it before, is one of my favorite Cuban cigars. The Punch Punch 48 is 5.5 x 48. This is a size known as Hermosos No. 3 inside of Cuban factories. Hermosos means pretty ones. The Punch Punch 48 made its appearance in 2017.

FLAVOR

The Punch Punch 48, also called the Punch 48, is a decidedly medium strength cigar. This is a fairly well-made cigar that delivers some nuance. It is floral and has chocolate throughout, with cameos from Graham crackers, cinnamon and some leathery notes. For a medium cigar, it’s quite rich and complex. If you buy a box, a piece of advice is to smoke one, then put the rest of the cigars away for a few months in your humidor. Some of these have seemed too young and have been a little sour.

WHERE TO BUY

As mentioned, this is a cigar exclusive to official Cuban cigar shops. Among them is London’s James J. Fox where the Punch Punch 48 goes for about US$34 each. Not a bargain. You can find these in duty-free shops for about US$12.50. In the official stores, they might cost a little more, say around US$17 each if you buy a box of 10. My sense is they are quite popular, so you might have to wait for them to be in stock.

HISTORY

Punch is one of those iconic Cuban brands, founded in 1840. The brand was sold in 1874 to Manuel López Fernandez, whose name can still be seen on the brand’s bands and boxes. López made the brand very successful and Punch was considered one of Cuba’s best cigars for a long time, until it too was nationalized by the Castro government in the early 1960s. The brand, like many others, suffered after that from poor quality control. Today, Punch has recovered, but is overshadowed by other, more glamorous Cuban brands like Cohiba and Montecristo. One last note. If you’re a fan of Double Coronas, Punch has traditionally made one of the most underrated ones in Cuba.

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