Philc2001

2004 Punch Royal Selection #12

Recommended Posts

I'm a self-confessed Punch w-h-o-r-e, and throughout the late nineties and early 2000s I bought and stashed as many of my favorite Punch vitolas as I could with every spare penny I had. I have been smoking through those cigars throughout the past 10 years, and enjoying the beautifully developed flavors of aged Punch habanos. Today I spotted the lone remaining Punch RS12 in my winefridgador, it was dated 2004. The label on this cigar has turned yellowish with age, aided I'm sure by the oils from the cigar.

39d521bad0d7cee6c3cbdbeaef3d752c.jpg94bd7f6c44834d7fcc9f7fe63da97979.jpg

For libation I opened a bottle of 2012 Clemente VII Chianti Classico. This wine is a tribute to Guilio de Medici, who became Pope in 1523. It is said to be produced on the very grounds where Pope Clemente VII lived before assuming the Papacy.   

I cut the cap very shallow, and cold draw was just perfect, not tight and not too loose. Nuts, cedar and barnyard aromas are evident. I torched the foot into a nice even cherry and took the first draw, producing ample thick, rich chewy smoke. Roasted chestnuts, cedar, leather and a hint of cinnamon are present. The flavor is medium bodied, very rich with a wonderful earthy and woody aroma from the smoke trail. The first third of the cigar burned perfectly, never needing a touchup. The silvery gray ash finally fell as the first third burned away.

ddc52b94facfdaf044a4dbe5176a130e.jpg

The flavor warmed up a bit more in the next third and I could taste a slightly sweet caramel on the finish. The flavor and aroma shifted a little and it reminded me slightly of meat roasting on a wood charcoal smoker, though I suspect I was picking up hints of smoked meat from a neighbor's BBQ, but it was quite pleasing combined with the woody, barnyard aroma from the cigar. The cigar and the wine where a fabulous pairing, complementing each other well. The fruity rich currant and cherry tones of the wine where deliciously blending with the creamy rich and toasty flavor of the cigar.

37aede44f9e20d984abd32fa4dedad46.jpg

As I smoked past the halfway mark I was amazed at how creamy, smooth and superbly balanced this cigar is. Nuanced hints of sweet spices, with woody characteristics and the rich plumes of smoke were so perfectly blended, it was like being in a dream. The flavors continued to emerge and improve throughout the last third, but body remained consistent and smooth. As I was approaching the nub I was again tasting chestnuts and now some hints of vanilla. Caramel came a went a couple of times, while oak and cedar wafted throughout the cigar. My wife came out to the patio at one point and commented on the pleasing sweet cedary aroma. 

5ef2aabff943ee41486514f0671ac69b.jpg

At the nub I was quite heartbroken; I realized I had just smoked my last specimen of this spectacular cigar and probably the last of its kind since it hasn't been produced in several years. At the same time I was feeling blessed that I had experienced this wonderful and mind blowing cigar. I resisted putting the nub down as long as I could, with merely half an inch left I could not hold on any longer and finally laid it to rest among its ashes. To the last draw this cigar was superb in every aspect; perfect burn, voluminous smoke, and an exemplary complex medium bodied expertly balanced flavor profile that is rare and difficult to describe in words. Not a hint of harshness throughout the cigar. A moving experience to be memorialized.

483a275be24828e9f860e9012efb2c7a.jpg

Again, I am distressed and disappointed that Habanos S.A. has decimated the Punch marquee. Superb cigars like these have a special and distinct character. They will be sorely missed. My quest to find an adequate replacement continues, but my expectations are tempered because I doubt there will be another as memorable as this cigar was.  

Enjoy your smokes my friends.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful review.  It sounds like a tough challenge ahead to replace that guy in your lineup.  Best of luck and thank you for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, miurajus said:

Wonderful review.  It sounds like a tough challenge ahead to replace that guy in your lineup.  Best of luck and thank you for sharing!

Hear hear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news! Rummaging through my winfridgador this afternoon I found 3 more RS12s, they were in a mixed box with some robustos and some other petit coronas. The code on these is OPM Oct 03. Yippee!! Jumpforjoy :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a bit concerned when seeing this thread. I just opened my box to ensure the 21 sticks I have are still there. They are. And they are resting beautifully

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know its a different cigar, but I have 50 rs11 on their way and I can't wait for them.  Hope they smoke like this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome review...you don't know whether to laugh and smile or lament or cry! I wish you all the very best on your Punch journey into the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice review, thanks for sharing. The RS12s are indeed nice, and I have precious few left as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope my five 09 boxes are as good and age as well as your sticks! Went deep on them as they were killed off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Lant63 said:

I know its a different cigar, but I have 50 rs11 on their way and I can't wait for them.  Hope they smoke like this!

RS11 are wonderful cigars. I can't comment on recent production, but I have a precious handful left from an 03 box and a couple from an 00 box, and both are delicious. I look forward to your report on the inbounds.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent review, thanks for posting. What a journey, a great read. Only had the opportunity to smoke one RS12, a '00, a couple of years ago. The other one I have is still in a humi, after reading this I went straight through my sinlges humis to make sure it was still there too lol... and it is. Whew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.