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Staff Reviews

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua Robusto Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Punch pumps out plenty of medium to full-bodied smokes you can scoop up for an affordable price, and today I’m smoking Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua in a Robusto that’s just under 5 inches with a 48 ring gauge. I spend a good amount of time at the campground with my wife and kids during the warmer months, and I never hesitate to add new cigars to my summer rotation. Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua has been on my radar for a bit, so let’s see if it passes my barometer for taste and price and how it compares to one of my favorite cigars from this famous Cuban-legacy brand, Punch Vintage Maduro, which I reviewed a while back.

The first Punch cigars were blended in Cuba in the 1840s, and the brand is named after the historic British puppet, Mr. Punch. Like most of today’s big Cuban brands, a non-Cuban version is made for cigar lovers in the U.S. The Punch cigars you can buy at your local smokeshop are handmade in Honduras or Nicaragua, and they’re part of the portfolio of General Cigar Company, the maker of the Macanudo and Cohiba brands alongside several others.

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua hails from Nicaragua, and it’s blended from a pretty oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over a dense combo of premium Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Punch is not a brand I’ll smoke too early in the day. The cigars are on the hearty side. I consider Punch cigars ideal for smoking outdoors because they’re well made and maintain an ash without being too pricey or precious. They’re also more complex and a definite step above your average yard ‘gar. When I share Punch with my pals, they couldn’t be happier, and they’re great smokes to break out around the bonfire at night with cold beer.  

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua debuted in 2017 and is the Nicaraguan counterpart to the original Punch Gran Puro, which is made in Honduras from a Sun Grown Honduran wrapper over one-hundred percent Honduran binder and filler tobaccos. Gran Puro Nicaragua is noticeably darker, and when I crack open a fresh box, the red and blue cigar bands pop out against the cigars’ toothy wrappers. Punch packaging was redesigned in 2019, and the neon green bands that once adorned the Gran Puro Nicaragua line are long gone.

Tasting notes of earth and dark fruit outline the Robusto’s woody sweetness when I slide my selection from the box, clip the cap, and take a few cold draws. Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua is sweet and strong. The longer I spin it around in my mouth, the spicier it becomes. Waves of hickory and black pepper pulse across the taste buds, and I’m prepared for ignition. The Robusto is nice and dense but lumpy in a few spots. Air passes through it with a touch of resistance, and it sparks up like a charm with a few blasts from my Xikar Tactical Triple Torch Lighter, an early Father’s Day present from my wife.

In the first five to ten minutes, Gran Puro Nicaragua presents an overall sweet and peppery profile of earth and dark cocoa. Strong notes of dark roast coffee and leather develop as the cigar heats up. Bittersweet notes of dark chocolate punctuate the aftertaste in each draw throughout the first half. The pepper fades a bit, and the cigar’s woody, earthy character comes to the forefront.

The Robusto is compact and crescendos after about thirty minutes. Gran Puro Nicaragua gives off a visible kick. By the time I’m zeroing in on the last third of the cigar, notes of chocolate and baking spices, like cinnamon and vanilla bean, add definition to a chewy profile of hickory and cedar but it gets bitter, and the finish is charred by the time I’m past the band. The draw is lucid, and the ash is firm from beginning to end, although I had to touch up the burn on two occasions.

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua is a decent cigar to chomp on, and it shows off a lot of desirable qualities you’ll discover in the best Punch cigars available today. However, I docked a couple points for the rugged finale. Our Punch ‘Haymaker’ Monster Deal still rules the roost when I’m bulking up on my Punch supply. For around six to eight bucks, though, I recommend buying a few singles of the Gran Puro Nicaragua with your next purchase before you splurge on a box, especially if you’re a fan of Broadleaf wrappers. See if this Punch stands out enough to become a go-to in your coolerdor, friends.

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