As far as Cubans go, this is a very, very new brand — just launched in 1996, its was named after the original name given to Havana when settlers first landed there in the early 16th Century. The La Punta is not exactly a classic torpedo or piramide; its a tad bit shorter than both, perhaps just a shade off 6 inches with a ring gauge of approx. 50-52.
For a brand that was just 8 years old, i was smoking one from a box that was just about 1 year old. Expectations weren’t too high, but i’m always on the lookout for something new and the La Punta could be a nice little sleeper.
Burn is even and ash is firm
No two ways about it — this cigar is one ugly mama. Irregularly shaped in the box, the wrapper is deeply veined, crisscrossing its length in sharp, painful strokes. The light natural wrapper otherwise looks healthy enough with a nice coat of oils developing after about 1 month or so in the humi.
The scent test was not particularly inspiring. A mild woody aroma wafted through the box, and i detected slight hints of ammonia which is actually quite common nowadays amongst Cuban boxes of particular young age. Fuente was certainly NOT behind these cigars; perhaps they weren’t exactly rushed, but it would be fair to say that a degress of patience was NOT exercised before they made it our into the market.
Ash remains firm, but begins leaning!
Expectations for this cigar, which was already low, became lower still after the initial inspection. And that’s when the La Punta surprised me.
Lighting it was straighforward enough — it took to the flame quite easily. A few deep draws and large plumes of smoke started billowing around the room. Nice. The draw was just right and each mouthful was surprisingly flavourful. From the get-go, its almost as though this cigar wants to makes its presence felt: tangy spicy flavours delivered even with the very first draws. Beyond the first third, it began to develope distinct woody flavours that were laced with burnt vanilla. Very, very nice. While the spice tapers off just past half-way, it makes a surprising return right at the last inch or so and the peppery sensations came back with a vengeance; the turn of pace and character, i found to be very refreshing. This is not a boring cigar to smoke.
And leaning some more without falling!
It packs quite a significant nicotine punch; i had a nice little buzz just past halfway. Newbies beware. Also, the finish was very long and smooth; this cigar kept its presence on my palate long hours after it had been put out. As the flavours it left behind were pleasant, i found this to be quite nice.
Right to the nub!!
Verdict: Not the best of its class you’re ever going to encounter, but certainly no pushover either. A very nice change of pace. It’ll be interesting to see how this cigar and the brand fares in the coming years as it begins to mature. Recommended.