Shape: Toro (6.1” x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran Ligero leaves
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Strength: Full Bodied
MSRP: About $7
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars!
This new Punch Diablo on the surface seemed right in my wheelhouse, so without being partial to bolder Maduro style cigars, here is my take on this new creation. First off you might notice that this is “of course” another AJ Fernandez creation, but when the going is good why not have your hand in as much as you can. Oh, and AJ and Punch deliver a “knockout” with this collaboration! Visually the 4-year aged Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper is a beautiful sight to the big bold smokers out there, with its dark brown cocoa appearance. Once you get it in your hands, you will notice that nice abrasive toothy feel, which will only get more pronounced the longer you let this age. Inside the cigar it sports yet again 4-year-old tobacco of a Nicaraguan and Honduran ligero blend, bound together by a 6-year-old Connecticut broadleaf. All these different characteristics come together so well that you’ll want to “punch” your mama!
I started with a quick dry retro hale from both the cap and foot ends, from which you get that earthy, haybarn kind of feel and taste. Upon first light and pull, strong hints of pepper and spice hit the palate with a, lack of a better word, punch. From the very beginning, you will find out quickly that you’re in for a heavy flavored full-bodied ride with this cigar. After the first couple of inches, the cigar started to smooth out a bit, where I started picking up nice hints of leather. Right about the halfway point, I started picking up notes from that earthy hay once again mixing with a pronounced woody taste. The back end of the cigar becomes more consistent with the earthy, leather and wood notes all blending together nicely. Just about every pull I could distinguish one flavor more than the other. The burn was great, not one runner and hardly a touch up needed. I did have to re-light a couple of times towards the end. If you enjoy a bolder stronger smoke this cigar is for you, and it might just give that shaky knee when you stand up!
This is one heck of a bold powerful cigar. The Ecuadoran Sumatra Oscuro Wrapper is starting to become one my favorites and holds everything together very nicely in this cigar. AJ Fernandez has created another Gem here and I highly recommend you pick one up immediately. The only knock I would give this is it seemed to fizzle a bit towards the very end. When I smoke something this bold I want that feeling throughout. This is right up my alley and while I recommend this to everyone who reads this, don’t take them all because I will be out to get more!
Review by Blake Diehl