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Found 6 results

  1. I was a big fan of the Punch brand, no secret about that, and I smoked a great many of them. The brand once had four different corona gordas; Black Prince, Punch Punch, Super Selection No. 2, and this Royal Selection No. 11. Back in the day when all four where in regular production, I favored the SS2 and the RS11 most. Although some claim all four are the same, just different packaging, I found the SS2 and RS11 more flavorful and satisfying than the others. Fast forward nearly 20 years and all but one have been discontinued, including this RS11. The cigar I pulled for this review has a lovely reddish colorado wrapper that feels slightly delicate, and is very nicely applied with a perfect triple seam cap. I carefully cut around the cap, peeling the top layer without removing any filler, to be delightfully introduced to a near perfect draw. For this review I decided to pair the cigar with a cup of expresso made from the distinctly Cuban Bustelo brand. No sugar, and just a dribble of half & half. I normally prefer Scotch with my Punch corona gordas, but I have some writing to do later so I don't want to dull my senses for my writing. It's very breezy outside as I smoke this cigar while watching the Falcons dominate the Packers in the NFC championship. Despite the wind, this RS11 is giving off a wonderful aroma of sweet cedar, with that distinctive down on the farm Cuban twang that I find irresistible. Right from lighting, this cigar finds the sweet spot of my taste buds and I am immediately fixated on savoring every aspect of this smoke. The first third burns evenly, and despite the wind shaking the trees, I am absorbing as much of the aroma as I possibly can. The flavor is loaded with elements of sweet cedar, basil and nuts toasting on an open fire. Although mild-medium in body, to my senses this is a truly fulfilling and satisfying cigar, so much so that I find myself chewing on the end of it refusing to put it down. As the first third burns away, the wind has caused the cigar to burn a little unevenly, requiring a lick from the torch to straighten it out again. The flavor has turned creamy and is now giving me a touch of semi-sweet vanilla, and that everpresent cedary tone is in full bloom. What a terrific sensation. This cigar has me so absorbed I barely noticed the Falcons have taken a 31-0 lead. Back to the cigar... Somehow, despite the strong wind whipping around, the cigar has managed to burn perfectly straight since the last minor touch up. The flavor has remained mild-medium, and superbly balanced. At the onset of the last third the flavor has started to impart some essences of Thai tea and sweet spices, a very pleasing and delightful twist in this complex cigar. Body has become a solid medium, and the aroma continues to throw loads of sweet cedar and Cuban twang. As the end approaches, I have started to reflect on the many years of satisfaction I have received from smoking Punch cigars. For a solid decade I smoked more Punch than any other brand, and at one point before I went on a self-imposed buying boycott, about 80% of my humidor was stuffed with Punch brand cigars. I only had a couple of cabs of RS11, as I preferred the SS2, which came in cabs of 50, over the RS11. But in terms of flavor they are more similar than not. At the moment, this 14 year old RS11 has reached the pinnacle in distinctly Punch flavor. In the closing puffs of this delicious vitola, I find myself painfully trying to hang on as the nub singes my finger tips and my lips. Although it is down to an inch, it has remained medium bodied and packed with flavor. The essence of Thai tea is still present, as are the vanilla, sweet spices and cedar. At last I had to lay the nub down as I savored the last bit of aftertaste and aroma. Again, I am mystified with HSA's decision to decimate this brand and terminate this great cigar in 2010. I find myself regretting not stocking up on this great corona gorda before it vanished from the lineup. On my personal scale I rate this a 9.5 out of 10, a truly fulfilling cigar experience. Thank you FOH for the opportunity to share this experience.
  2. So [mention=2756]mkz[/mention] gifted me an incredible "sampler" a while back (from his epic thread in the photo gallery subforum) and I've had a hard time keeping my hands off the cigars. Yesterday I finally gave in again and smoked my second stick from the pack, an old Troya Universales. Now, I should start out by saying that this was probably the cigar I had the least hopes for. About a year and a half ago, I was sitting in the José Martin Airport with a shitty-rum hangover lighting up the worse cigar I've ever in my life. It was a Troya that came in a plastic tube. Format: Universales / Short panatela / 38 x 5.3". Technically discontinued in 2005 but replaced with the same exact format (?). Pre-light / appearance: Overall uniform color, with a couple of small water spots near the cap. Toothy veins on the back. Filling looks good. Very little, if any, smell on the foot. Straight cut, doesn't appear dry or brittle and the filling looks good on this end too. Not much in terms of pre-light flavors but perfect draw. Light up / first 3rd: Salty vegetables on the very first puff. After this, the cigar alternates between nothing and very faint notes on the front of sweet bread. Little there on the retro, no spice. The finish has a pleasant and warm earth, once again combined with a distinct saltiness that goes well when the front produces sweetness. Burn has that characteristic shortfiller jaggedness but sticks close to a razor line. About an inch into it, flavors start picking up on the finish. Once again, salty vegetables. Second 3rd: Something tickling appears on the retro but is only there for a few drags. The front sweetness is now more pronounced but also spottier. Again, once it is there it makes up a beautiful duet with the saltiness that comes in after but I can also imagine that this has lost some over the years, and is only a fraction of what it once was. Mild but the finish has improved from "not unpleasant" to "enjoyable". Salty earth, hints of vegetables. The retro picks up once again, salty. Its a saltiness different from that which I've experienced with old cigars, it is more... Fitting? Draw flawless, burn now straight as an arrow. Final third: Big burst of spice on retrohale, almost out of the blue. Front not as prominent, no more sweetness (or at least my palate is not good enough to pick it up anymore). Has become more medium in body now continues to ramp up. Becoming very salty and briny, almost to the point of harshness. This is where I leave it. Final thoughts: The best Troya I've ever smoke but lets be honest; that isn't saying much. When it comes to the construction, I am extremely impressed. Beautiful bellowing smoke, PERFECT draw, great burn line throughout the cigar (especially after an inch or so into it). For being a machine-made cigar, construction is outstanding and better than many hand-rolled sticks that I've had recently. The flavors were spotty and weak at times but also gave glimpses into a beautiful blend of sweet and salt, earth, and hints of vegetables. The more I try turn-of-the-century machine-mades, the more I am sad to see that they are all but gone (at least in that quality). Thanks again to mkz for this smoke!
  3. Despite my best efforts to resist the Siren’s song, I feel victim to Rob’s sweet narrative about this cigar on September 5, 2016. Why did it take this long to try, only God knows; but, I am glad I took the dive before the executioner sharpened his blade. The Cigar: HUPC – MEG MAR16 (PE, I believe), will note that I have a box of the LUB ABR14 but have not dug into them yet. It will be interesting to compare the two boxes in the coming months. Days of Acclimation: 121 days since receipt. Stored the last few weeks in the mid 50s, so there is a nice crinkle when rolled in between the fingers. Construction: Nice looking cigar with a colorado claro color to the wrapper; a few small veins and a subtle oiliness to the sheen. Cigar is about right on fill with no apparent hard or soft spots. Smoking Conditions: Pretty good despite the fact it has been like Noah’s flood here for the past week; temperature 76 DF and humidity 48%. However, lots of damn bugs because the rains. Pre-Ignition: The pleasant smell of sweet tobacco, not as sweet as a Conni 1, but a subtle sweetness to the aroma. If I could bottle it up and spray it around the house, I would. A similar sweetness is found on the draw when cold; just love that H. Upmann goodness. Method of Incineration: The FOH lighter. First use of this handy device and it did an excellent job of lighting but not burning the cigar. Highly recommend you get one if you don’t have one. Flavors: Predominantly coffee and bread. More specifically, I would say expresso, Starbuck’s Iced Coffee and King Cake. Strength: Medium Burn: Nice and even for a young cigar, with only one correction required near the end. Smoking Time: About 75 minutes Smoking Experience: It started out as Rob would describe as mongrel with expresso out of the gate. This lasted about the first inch and then the cigar settled into a smooth and delightful combination of the King Cake with Iced Coffee backbone. The King Cake flavor is like a sweet brioche absent the sugary icing or filing which can hammer your palate to dust. The Starbuck’s Iced Coffee is a medium roast, which lacks acidity and allows the aromatic coffee flavor to be enjoyed unobstructed….As the cigar winds down the coffee flavors intensify, and I find I enjoy this intensity right down to the nub. I crave every last attempt to draw more smoke but give up before risking a mouth full of ash. Closing Thoughts: “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Unfortunately, it seems every PC I like gets the axe. First it was the Punch Petit Coronas Del Punch, and now the HUPC and DuPrince. Look out Monte 4 and PLPC, may God have mercury on your souls, HSA is coming for ya. In Memoriam:
  4. I talk a lot about me "not" being a collector. Yet, like many I suppose, I hold a place in my heart for my "last" box of cigars. This is my last cab of Partagas Lonsdales. I am a practicing genocidal madman when it comes to the extinction of cigars. The other day, was the official first day of the last days for this box of cigars. I never regret smoking a good cigar! -Piggy
  5. The Diplomaticos No.4 was a Marevas cigar identical in specification to the Montecristo No.4, at 42 ring gauge by 129mm. I say "was" because, like all great offerings from Habanos S.A. that don't sell in great quantities, this was discontinued in 2010. (Unlike its bigger and older cousin, the well-known Montecristo No.4.) It's a great shame really, as this cigar, if it was around deserves to be in your rotation, at least as a 'change-of-pace'. I was fortunate enough to receive this from a much admired and fellow Sydney FoH member, Kam a few months ago (thank you so much), and I was able to smoke this a little after the New Year. When I did so, I marvelled at how multi-flavoured this was after 7 years of age. I guess I was taken aback by smoking so many Montecristo No.4's in comparison, which when they are good, are very, very satisfying but I've never had a Marevas cigar this complex through the thirds. The cold draw was a little tight, and when I lit up I had to work a bit to draw the amount of smoke I wanted. However, the first third was full of cinnamon and nutmeg goodness. As the cigar evolved, the roasted nuttiness took over and the cinnamon spice took a back seat, with the cigar changing from mild to mild-medium in strength. The final third saw some of that cinnamon/nutmeg spice return and the strength and intensity of the nuttiness eased off a little. My initial thoughts upon smoking this was that if it were around I would definitely have it in my humidor to enjoy on occasion. When I next saw him, I reassured Kam to savour what he has left from his box. Alas folks, the No.4 is gone, but at least we have the No.2, for now.
  6. Saw this mentioned on another forum. Halfwheel has the story. "Production on the 7 x 47 Churchill vitola ceased in the second half of 2014, with news of the official delisting coming recently from Antoine Bathie of SEITA, the distributor of the line in France, along with the Jose L. Piedra marca" A shame if true. Let the run on Imperiales commence!

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