Cigar Review: Punch Uppercut

Punch Uppercut_1Punch Uppercut_2

Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatran

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan Ometepe

Strength: Medium/Full

Price: Box of 20, $103.95

Grade: 8.7

It took some time to finally get in a review of the Punch Uppercut. I had a couple, then sent them away in a cigar pass, then had others, then something else happened, then finally I forced myself to buy a few and hold onto them for review, so here we are, finally! First off, the Uppercut does not have the classic Punch label, which caused a bit of a double take when it was first released. Punch is of course distributed by General Cigar and is both a titan and a staple in the cigar industry.

Unique to the Uppercut is the Ometepe binder leaf, which is grown in volcanic soil off the coast of Nicaragua. The dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, fairly common to Punch, is complemented by aged Nicaraguan filler. It is offered in only three sizes: Grand Corona (6×45), Robusto (51/2×50), and Toro (65/8×54). According to Wikipedia, “Ometepe is an island formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua…the two volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus to form one island in the share of an hourglass…the island has a population of 42,000, and an economy based on livestock, agriculture, and tourism. Plantains are the major crop.” Enjoy the history lesson?

Be sure to check out Punch’s website devoted entirely to the Uppercut.  Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.8:
The wrapper on the Punch Uppercut Robusto had minimal veins and the color was a beautiful reddish to deep brown in color and was toothy to the touch. The tightly packed cigar had no soft spots at all. The double band really makes this a serious looking smoke. The pre-light aroma was of rich tobacco, which reminded me of fresh tea leaves, and was coupled with some spice at the foot. The same profile was evident in the cold draw, but this left a blast of spice on the back of my throat.

Burn, 1.6:
The Punch Robusto lit and toasted well; the draw was a little tight for my taste, but it did loosen up as the smoke progressed. The ash was light gray in color and was consistent throughout the smoke. The burn was ok, not as straight as I like, but I never had to touch it up even though I probably could have. The cigar produced plenty of smoke and had good temperature throughout.

Flavor, 2.6:
The first third of this smoke was of tobacco and some random notes that were hard to distinguish. One inch into the smoke the spice picked up. The second third continued with a solid tobacco and leather flavor with some notes of wood – not cedar, but more like an oak. The spice was still present in this portion of the smoke as well. The finish was decent, not really long but not short either. In the final third this changed; the finish became longer, the smoke was heavier on the palate, and the tobacco was very rich. The spice was present as well in this part of the smoke but was not dominant by any stretch.

Overall, 2.7:
I enjoyed the Punch Uppercut for the most part. It was a nice smoke with a good flavor profile at a decent price for sure. I expected a bit more complexity but other than that I was satisfied with this Punch. Maybe not a go to, but an enjoyable departure.

(Total: 8.7)

Question of the Day: What is your favorite blend from General Cigar? (Listing here)