The triple Punch in the name of this cigar suggests that is will provide a knockout blow to its smoker. Or the more astute aficionado will know that the name is a homage to the “Punch and Judy” characters of an age gone past. The most well informed among us will know that even Punch Punch is a relatively new modification to the name of this cigar; it was originally called “Punch de Luxe”. So a cigar with such a long history, certainly must be quite rich with tradition. And so it is.
Punch cigars are famous for their aging potential, most discerning palates won’t even touch a Punch that has less than 5 years of age on it. I’m not so fussy, and in fact, i enjoy experiencing the cigar as it matures, so that i can greater appreciate the process of flavour changes it undergoes.
A corona gorda, the Punchx3, is a hefty cigar that feels just nice in the hand. This particular stick i had was an excellent specimen with a luxurious tan wrapper. The tobacco had an intense salty sharpness in the scent, and surprisingly a thin veil of tea and ammonia around the foot. It was just barely ready for smoking, having just completed the sick period. I was probably going to be in for a rough and randy ride.
The pre-light dry draw revealed a musky pelt flavour, and again, this indicated a very fresh cigar — something you wouldn’t think to find in most 3 year old cigars, but that’s exactly what i had. The cigar lit easily and the draw was perfect. A masterclass of construction and combustion.
The first third offered a very distinct espresso coffee bitterness, that was neither pleasing nor displeasing. As the flavour slowly opened up towards the second inch, the Punch smacked me hard with a meaty display of complexities — a subtle pepper grind that came and went, almost with every other draw; a very strong woody bite on the tastebuds in equal measure. Quite, quite nice.
The second half showed this cigars age (or lack of it), in relative terms to what we know about the overall Punch brand: it requires a LOT of time. The flavours turned metallic and salty; an interesting combination of pepper and salt played all through out here. That slight biting irritation at the back of your throat, a hint of tannins. Yes, at least a few more years this stick would need to get rid of that and even the flavours out.
The final third, i allowed this cigar to dominate me, as young stallions tend to want to do. Instead of fighting it, i gave it its head, and it did take me for a very bumpy ride (which was exactly what i expected). The taste profile goes all over the place. Sometimes sweet, sometimes metallic salty (like rust), other times delightful with that rush of coffee bean intensity. The final finish was gorgeously peppery to the lips, and i was left there smacking my lips for more. A great, wild ride of a cigar.
Verdict: 87/100. Give this cigar 5-7 years, and you will get an amazing cigar with some out-of-this world complexities. Its no wonder that so many serious collectors have several boxes of the Punch Punch Punch aging in their humidors. One of those, invest now for tomorrow cigars.
Thank you to Cigarone.com for supplying the cigars for this review.