Yesterday, I made Punch Uppercut available for sale on the web site. I know nothing about this cigar, nor have I tried it. However, while I was looking at the product my mouth began to water. These cigars are amazing looking! Jeff – aka Supertramp – was kind enough to give me one of his, knowing I wanted to try it with the intention of writing another sterling staff review. So here I am, writing my review with a Punch Uppercut Robusto in hand. A fitting cigar, since that’s what my Phillies did to the Yankees last night: gave them damn Yankees a big ‘ole uppercut to the jaw (Gonz: hahaaa).
This cigar is dense. It’s heavy in my hand, jam-packed with tobacco without a soft spot to be found, and really powerful looking. The wrapper is thick and dark. There’s a nice, oily sheen and some tooth, making the cigar look even more impressive. She’s lit and away I go.
Punch Uppercut starts out with a very interesting flavor. I instantly pick up a warm, woody influence, but I’m surprised at how cool the smoke is. The flavor is somewhat dry, but the wrapper imparts an enjoyable sweetness that clings to the tip of my lips and the tip of my tongue. For the record, I punch cut this cigar which might account for some of that sweetness - I keep forgetting to bring my favorite guillotine cutter to the office and have been using a new Bugatti lighter for both cutting and lighting purposes. Anyway, that’s probably why I am noticing so much sweetness, because there’s more wrapper in direct contact with the front of my palate.
The smoke is thick and creamy with a warm, toasty aroma. I smell some faint, zesty undertones to the aroma. The burn is razor sharp, producing a solid white ash that’s pretty to look at.
I’m an inch in. It literally took about 15 minutes to get this far. The cigar is burning slow despite all the puffing I’ve been doing. In addition to the woodsy influence, I am picking up those earthy undertones Punch is notorious for. The sweetness remains on the finish, but I am also noticing some subtle spices with each exhale. Almost instantly - as if somebody flicked a light switch - I taste the Ometepe tobacco....
Ometepe is a volcanic island off the coast of Nicaragua. This island supports small plots of proprietary tobacco farms. These farms produce some of the most unique tobaccos you’ll find. They’re powerful and impart a rustic, earthy flavor that’s nearly impossible to describe, but easy to notice. Personally, I notice these tobaccos also hit me in the head a bit, right behind the eyes. Punch Uppercut utilizes this leaf as a binder, sitting beneath the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and securing a blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers.
So yes, I can feel this cigar. Both in the head and in the gut. There’s some power there, but it’s not overwhelming....it’s more relaxing if that makes sense.
I’ve passed the midway point and the spices are intensifying. They’re no longer sitting on the finish – they’ve actually become a primary flavor, while the wood and earth tones seems to be pushed to the back of the bus, lingering on the finish. The cigar is burning well, dishing out even thicker clouds of heavy, creamy smoke with each puff. Wow, things are really picking up. This cigar is turning into a hearty spicebomb with good power.
I’m in the final third and the spices - amazingly - toned down significantly. In fact, I am struggling to pick up any pepper at all. Instead, I notice a velvety smooth note of leather, accompanied by the consistent undertones of earth and wood. The strength? Yeah, that’s still there. While many full-flavored cigars try to wow you at the end with booming spices, Punch Uppercut brings it home gradually, with a rich array of hearty flavors that’ll mellow you out and settle you in for the night.
Punch Uppercut surprised me. Punch cigars always look good, but my taste preferences have long since progressed beyond the Punch family of blends. However, the Uppercut captured my heart with its looks and sealed the deal with its evolving, satisfying bouquet.