Size: 6” x 52
This review is for a special cigar and good cause. Cigar Rights of America is a great organization that helps give voice to the cigar smoker in Washington. One of the ways that the CRA has raised money is through a sampler of cigars donated by the industry’s leaders such as General, Ashton, La Flor, Davidoff, Don Pepin, etc. Sign up, become a member and order your sampler here. The cigar that General has donated is a special edition Punch that was made in Honduras and features tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Here’s more about it from CRA:
Punch cigars continue to enjoy critical acclaim and a devoted following among tenured smokers. As an exclusive offering to the CRA, General Cigar developed a unique blend if this celebrated brand. Featuring spicy blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco, punctuated by a Nicaraguan binder and enveloped in a brawny Nicaraguan wrapper, Punch CRA cigars are handcrafted in Honduras.Debo Mukherjee, Vice President of Marketing for General Cigar commented, “It is with great pleasure that we have donated 5,000 handcrafted Punch cigars to continue our support of CRA. As a Founding Sponsor, we continue to stand behind the organization and its ongoing effort to protect the rights of premium cigar smokers.”
This was the first cigar I choose to smoke and review from the sampler because I thought it would be the least impressive, and I’ve never been a huge fan of General. Was I wrong?
This is a great rustic looking cigar. The wrapper is a tawny brown with minimal veins with lots of tooth. It gives a little to the touch in the middle, which makes me wonder if this is going to burn and draw well all of the way through.
It clips great, I light the cigar easily and the first thing I notice is quite surprising – no harshness. Usually cigars made by the two big guys, General and Altadis, are sub par compared to other premium handmades. They are usually rushed out of the factory and quite young and unbalanced. But this was very nice!
There was lots of wood and leather from the onset with a rich hearty core of tobacco. Initially I got lots of smoke, but the burn was progressing too quickly for my liking.
About halfway down, it began to tunnel – that soft spot I mentioned earlier – but quickly corrected itself. The burn was relatively straight and even throughout the smoke, but it did require some occasional “touch-ups”.
The last few inches were rich and intense, full-bodied but not strong, tons of coffee, leather and wood abound. There was also a nice lingering cocoa note on the finish, which was long.
Not only was this cigar good – it was great! This was one of the best cigars I have ever smoked from General, and one of the best tasting cigars I have tried in some time. It had the perfect balance of flavors and strength, the only detractor was the construction and it was not that complex. After this, I can’t wait to try the rest from the sampler!
Rating: 90 (A-)