Reviews by Steve R

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Punch Rare Corojo

Steve R

I never quite understood why the Punch Rare Corojo is called, Punch Rare Corojo. After all, the wrapper is not Corojo. Rather, this box-pressed handmade sports a dark, oily Sumatra leaf from Ecuador. A head-scratcher indeed. Whatever the case may be, the Rare Corojo can be considered rare, since production is limited to just once per year, hitting retail shelves mid-to-late Spring.

A few years ago, we couldn’t keep this brand in stock. We would literally sell out within days, even before our catalog arrived in the customer’s mailbox. Boy, did we receive our share of hatemail! Fortunately, along with the addition of a new 6” x 60 El Doble size, production seems to have been juiced up a bit, making the Rare Corojo more readily available.

Punch is produced in the Villazon factory, a facility known for consistency and quality. The Rare Corojo is a step up from the traditional blend, featuring a rich, reddish Sumatra wrapper and robust tobaccos from Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican. Fresh out of the box, each cigar performs wonderfully. Slow, cool burns that run straight as an arrow and a draw that’s just right. The flavor, on the other hand, needs some time to mature.

Because of this, I forced myself to learn a little trick. Buy a box, sit on it for a year until the next release, then smoke it. In the meantime, buy a new box from the current production and repeat the process. It’s a chore, but worth it when you compare the flavor after a year-long nap. Given the right amount of time, these tobaccos marry to form a smooth, medium-bodied smoke that’s rich in hearty flavors, including subtle hints of wood and leather. The sharp, peppery notes mold into a subtle spice on the aftertaste, allowing me to appreciate the chewy flavors with each puff. Overall, it becomes better balanced, with a more gradual transition between flavors.

It’s inconvenient, and for that it suffers in the rating department. But, it won’t stop me from picking up a box each year.