If you’ve read my past reviews, which I expect you have since I have a cult following, you most likely remember my statement about being a “glorified cigar-smoking therapist.” Throughout several years of dealing with customers, male and female alike, I’m at the conclusion that men love to be punished. Now before you go writing my boss emails of disagreement, please hear me out.
The majority of men that visit the CI Super-Store love to golf. While very few have a low handicap, the majority of us Churchill-smoking golfers hack up the lush fairways of the Lehigh Valley and 4-putt our way to triple-bogeys or worse. Though we normally enter the clubhouse frustrated, disappointed and dejected about our score, we continue to enjoy the game and find ourselves golfing multiple times throughout the week.
Moreover, the majority of men I know love to gamble. I could write a book on “bad beat” stories from the poker room, how many times the croupier hit “00” on the roulette wheel and the time that old Italian guy held the dice for an hour and a half while you were betting the “Don’t Pass” line. I get it…you’re unlucky. Yet I hear the same crap, just on different days, and the same guys are taking their Friday paycheck to the local gaming establishment.
Finally, my last example of men loving punishment: Many of the men I know are married. And...yeah, I’m going to leave it at that.
My point: Men loved to be punished! With this in mind, what better way to satisfy our self-chastising appetites than with a Cu-Avana Intenso Punisher.
Presentation wise, this cigar looks great in the cello. It’s a well-crafted 6” X 52 torpedo with an appealing, oily brown wrapper. The traditional Intenso band is proudly placed on the foot of the cigar with a black band toward the head of the cigar which reads, “Punisher,” a qualifying prerequisite to what you’re about to experience.
Before even lighting this baby, I pick up an interesting flavor on the tongue and lips - an invigorating spiciness from the wrapper. The blend itself contains a flavorful, spicy blend of well-aged Nicaraguan ligeros from Nestor Plasencia’s flourishing tobacco fields and aging rooms.
Let’s get to the point: This puro is starting off spicy. However, along with the spiciness is a rich, tobacco core with a nice, chewy smoke that clings to the spicy pockets on the tongue. I detect white pepper through the nose with an ever-so-slight sweetness from the tobacco. Through the first few puffs, I’m fairly intrigued by the “Punisher” as it’s holding a grey ash, producing lots of smoke and has an easy draw. My palate feels like I’m simply smoking a strong cigar after a zesty Mexican meal.
After about the first half-inch of this Nicaraguan beauty the slight burning sensation on my lips and tongue is subsiding and I’m really starting to pick up the flavor of the tobacco. Moreover, the pepperiness through the nose has settled and I’m catching some sweet leathery notes on the palate. Despite the excessive amounts of ligero in the blend, this is turning into a tasty yet balanced cigar. If you’re looking to pair this cigar with a beverage, be a true man and punish yourself with some tequila. The temperature of coffee is too hot and doesn’t pair nicely with the “Punisher”.
I’m about at the halfway point and the strength that subsided earlier is picking up again. My biggest customer, a 6’ 8” fellow who I appropriately nicknamed Tiny, tells me the “Punisher” put him down for the count. I must have eaten my Wheaties this morning because I am enjoying this cigar immensely. Quickly, the “Punisher” toned down for a few puffs after 3/4ths of the cigar then suddenly picked up again for the finish. The final puffs of this cigar turned out flavorful and pleasing.
I can’t figure out if this punished my palate or my psyche. The cigar delivers what you expect in a sense, but completely surprises you in other areas. Last time I spoke with Nestor we were traveling in his car to his Ocotal factory in Nicaragua (sorry, just giving myself some street cred) and he asked me how I liked the “Punisher” with an impish, almost guilty grin. I gave him the same story I’m giving you, “Men love to be punished. It certainly does just that.”
My synopsis is as follows: This is a completely unique, spicy and original cigar. I’m not recommending it for the faint of heart…if you like 5 Vegas Gold, Rocky Connecticut, and Graycliff G2, stay far away! Don’t even look at this thing for it could potentially burn your retinas. However, if you’re a Joya de Nicaragua or Cain guy, give the “Punisher” a shot.
Expert advice for the day: “If you’re granted 3 wishes, your first wish should be more wishes.”