Cigar Review: Punch Rare Corojo “El Diablo”

Cigar Review: Punch Rare Corojo “El Diablo”

General Cigar
Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
Binder: Connecticut (Broadleaf)
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras & Nicaragua
Size: 6 1/2″ x 66
Strength: medium to medium-full
Price: $8.25

Overall Rating: 8.1

The Punch Rare Corojo has been an annual release by General Cigar for 15 years now, and has been extremely popular with average cigar smokers. In 2015, a new 6 1/2” x 66 box pressed version named the El Diablo joined the Rare Corojo line. The cigar’s dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder and mix of fillers from three countries (here’s where you’ll find the corojo) provides a fair mix of chocolate, cedar, earth and pepper note. The El Diablo is a devilishly big cigar that may be a bit big for some.

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Pre-Light: The Punch Rare Corojo El Diablo is a big square pressed cigar, although the square box pressing does make the 66 ring gauge a bit more manageable. The Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper (I know it’s a bit misleading) of the El Diablo is a dark coffee color. The wrapper is one of the darkest Sumatran wrappers I’ve seen. There are no really prominent veins and a nice oily coating to the cigar’s wrapper. There is both the standard punch band and a secondary “rare corojo” band to the cigar.

Off the wrapper there is an aroma of earth and leather, while the unlit foot of the Rare Corojo El Diablo has a strong chocolaty scent to it. On the cold draw, there is mostly chocolate with some notes of earth and natural tobaccos.

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Burn: The burn on the Rare Corojo El Diablo is a little jagged, but it never gets out of hand or needs any correcting from a lighter. The draw is very good and allows through a fair amount of smoke.

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Flavor: The Punch Rare Corojo El Diablo begins with some sweet chocolate flavor that remains the dominant note throughout the cigar. The chocolate note remains the solo flavor during the first third of the cigar. At the transition to the second third of the El Diablo there is a bit of slight spice and cedar. Chocolate and cedar notes dominate the retrohale. During the transition to the start of the final third of the cigar, there is an earthiness that creeps in and joins the existing chocolate flavor. The chocolate flavor begins to morph into something resembling homemade fudge brownie. A bit of black pepper and spice begin to join the earth and chocolate notes. Some slight hints of leather and cedar can also be picked up in the final third of the cigar. In the final inches of the Punch Rare Corojo El Diablo the black pepper becomes more powerful, but never drowns out the chocolate flavor completely.

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Overall: The Punch Rare Corojo El Diablo is a good cigar. There is a fair amount of chocolate, cedar and pepper note to the flavor profile, but there is very little complexity to the cigar on the whole. The size is a bit too much for most smokers, even if the box pressing makes it a tiny bit more manageable. Personally, I’d smoke the Rare Corojo again if it was given to me, and I might even pick it up at a shop with a limited selection. Overall, the El Diablo just doesn’t do it for me in the same way the Punch Rare Corojo Salamones did in the past. While fans of full bodied big ring gauge cigars may find it worth a try, it is definitely not a cigar for everyone.

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Pairing: The Punch Rare Corojo pairs very well with a cup of dark roast coffee. A good sipping rum such as the Zafra 21 is also a good compliment to the El Diablo.

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On a side note: While my personal opinions on naming, marketing and such don’t alter the way a cigar is rated, sometimes I feel it’s worth letting our readers know when there’s something I find off and sometimes I just like to vent. The name “Rare Corojo” has always bothered me. The cigar is an annual wide release, and there’s nothing rare about the tobacco used (to my knowledge). It’s more marketing gimmick than anything else. Still, the thing that really drives me nuts about the Punch Rare Corojo is that it doesn’t use a Corojo wrapper. True it does contain some Corojo filler, but I feel the name is a bit misleading. Maybe Rare Sumatra makes more sense. Recently, I saw a cigar from a manufacturer that I love calling itself a Pennsylvania cigar because it was exclusive to a single shop in that state, yet the cigar made no use of Pennsylvania tobacco of any kind. People are bound to assume that the cigar contains a wrapper made of the tobacco in the name, so I find it almost unethical. This is a trend I’d really like to see stop.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigars for this review were provided by General Cigar. Although the generosity is greatly appreciated, it does not in any way alter the overall rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot we remain committed to providing unbiased cigar and product reviews.