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Staff Reviews

Punch Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

Allow me, friends, to usher you to your ringside seat for this rousing rendition of ‘Grant’s Rant.’ In this highly anticipated edition I’ll take a stroll down memory lane and reflect on a bygone era when Punch cigars were mainstays and perennial pound-for-pound contenders for anyone with a penchant for frugality. My decades-old introduction to the historic Punch brand happened innocently enough. Perusing the blowout bins for me is as common as a raccoon upending a row of trash cans. I simply can’t get enough. I fondly recall tiptoeing through the closeouts and blowout bins here at Holt’s when, across the room, I spied with my little eye an old school, vintage-looking cigar enrobed in a lustrous Ecuador Sumatra wrapper.

It was a turning point, a stepping stone, in my career. My curiosity had peaked and my palate had evolved. I had officially graduated from mild cigars to broaden my horizons with the Toro-sized Punch Pita. It had a rustic appearance and a wrapper that closely resembled the color of jute twine, but for less than $5 a cigar, it easily exceeded my lofty expectations and went on to hold a place of honor in my collection of Tupperdors and Coolerdors for many years.

I’m revisiting the Punch Pita today to see how it stacks up with my earlier assessment. To me, cash will always be king but consistency crosses the finish line in second place. My beloved Punch Pita pays homage to both cost and consistency with aplomb. As I traverse down memory lane, I’m satisfied with a nearly one-hour smoking experience thanks to a perfectly rolled, slow-burning, diverse assemblage of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos. The cigar is both aesthetically attractive and palate-pleasing. I attribute this to its supple, almost leather-like Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. Thick, oily wrappers can be challenging to light thoroughly and evenly, however, even the thickest, most durable wrappers are no match for my trusty triple-flame torch lighter. 

After ensuring complete ignition, I was rewarded with a cornucopia of earthy flavors and a muted spice that persisted for about 15-minutes. The burn line wasn’t as even as I had hoped for or what I had experienced in the past. A quick touch-up applied with pinpoint precision corrected the burn immediately. At about the halfway point and 30 minutes later, the flavor profile had assumed a tart sweetness akin to over-ripened Bing cherries while it persisted with a modest medium body. The room note was pleasant and alluring with a prominent woodsy aroma. The cigar reached the end of its serviceable life after about 45 minutes. The flavors and strength hadn’t transitioned or intensified since the flame touched the foot.  

I typically gravitate towards full-bodied cigars with pronounced flavors and a hearty spice.  You see friends, my prized Punch Pita hadn’t changed one bit after all these years; my palate and personal preferences changed.  For that reason, I highly recommend and graciously bestow a very respectable 86-point rating on the reigning ‘King of Consistency,’ Punch Pita.

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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