Saturday, January 30, 2010

Punch London Club - Maduro

Punch London Club- I've been on the search for a smaller sized cigar that packs a big taste in a short period of time. I don't want to go as small as the tinned-cigarillos; I want something I can enjoy earlier in the day with a coffee, or late in the evening while I soak in the hot tub. This is a recent endeavor and I haven't found a cigar that I find fits the exact mold that I'm looking for. So far, the Punch London Club is my small stick of choice.
The London Club is a Petite Corona size and is a nice smoke you can enjoy in about 30-45 minutes. I've heard a lot of good things about the NUB brand, but something about the big ring gauge on such a short cigar turns me off. I'll be reviewing a NUB here soon for those that are interested. Punch makes a variety of cigars and is known for...well, a literal punch of flavor and boldness. Blended with Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco, this cigar has a Ecuadoran wrapper.

Prelight- The Maduro wrapper on this cigar has a dry but fresh feel to it. Although it may not be classified as a sun-grown wrapper, it is grown in Ecuador (known for its cloud-filtered sunlight), and has the rough look of a sun-grown wrapper. The cigar shows no flaws and has a rich, chocolate brown color. There is one vein that travels down the length of the cigar, but the overall construction seems of good quality. The prelight draw tastes of chocolate with a little spice.

Sparking it- The stick lights quick and the flavor is full off the bat. The burn starts even and the ash burns to a nice white. This far in, the flavor is good, but not great. I like it though. I think most full-flavored smokers would. It has a very basic, but quality taste.

Smoking it- I have no problems with the burn throughout the cigar. There isn't a lot of complex flavors through the smoke; dark chocolate seems to be the prominent flavor of this smoke. At a little over $2 a stick, I think there is a lot of value in this pint-sized powerhouse. I'm very interested to compare the smoking experience of a NUB, to something like this Punch.
I recommend the Punch to any smoker that knows they've got a busy day ahead of them, but wants to take some time to relax with a cigar. The cigar looks small, but it smokes a little longer and packs more smoke than you might expect. This is probably as small as a cigar can get before moving to the cigarillo tins, and I think it is worth smoking.

Overall- C+

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What do you think? Am I on to something? Am I wrong? Or am I full of shit?