Punch Uppercut Robusto
I know, I know, I am a few days late posting my weekly cigar review. Prepping for the holidays, and a vacation combined with a very important project at work sucked out all my free time. Without further excuses (as I’m sure you aren’t reading this post to see what I have been up to in the past few days) here is my review on the Punch Uppercut.
The Good Stuff: Punch itself, is a company that is well established and has seen its share of business. Not only is Punch one of the larger cigar manufacturers out there, but is has a psuedo-cult following as well. I can’t even count how many times I’ve started up conversations with people at my local B&M just to hear just how much people hold not only this company, but the Uppercut cigar on a pedestal. Not being one to pass up a good cigar I finally decided to pick a few up.
I’m no stranger when it comes to Punch cigars, but I’m no expert either. This company hasn’t really kicked out anything that demanded my attention. The research I dug up on this cigar was pretty straight forward. The Punch Uppercut is filled with aged Nicaraguan long filler tobacco bound by an interesting leaf that is grown on a small, volcanic island off the coast of Nicaragua called “Ometepe”. The band across the foot of the uppercut displays the rare tobacco’s homelands.
There have been many claims that Ometepe actually produces some of the best tobacco in the world. This binder and filler blend is then wrapped in a dark, oily, Ecuador Sumatra wrapper.
Size: Robusto 5.2″ x 50 – Wrapper: Sumatra – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Medium – Full
Prelight: The Punch Uppercut sports a very dark, and extremely oily wrapper. There are a few larger veins but nothing out of the ordinary. The wrapper was covered in tiny bits of loose filler tobacco that I had to carefully wipe off. There were no soft spots whatsoever and this cigar boasts of precision manufacturing. This cigar is extremely hard, and give a great bounce back once it is squeezed. The Punch Uppercut has a very rounded double cap on one and a extremely tight packed foot on the other. Probably a lot tighter that I’d like. I am just praying that this doesn’t lead to a tighter draw later on. There isn’t a lot of aroma coming off of this cigar, but I was able to pull a very chalky, organic tobacco smell from the wrapper. And a very grassy, earthy smell from the foot of the cigar. The Punch Uppercut has a very elegant dark blue and gold band, which differs greatly from the standard red a gold band that I am used to seeing. It also, as stated previously in the post, has a beautiful foot band with a view of the volcanic Ometepe mountains. The cold draw didn’t give much of a hint on how the cigar was going to turn out. Slight grass tastes with rich tobacco, and what tasted a lot like what I would imagine motor oil tasting like. I’m hoping that doesn’t transfer into the actual smoke.
First Smoke: The Punch Uppercut lit up extremelyeasy under my little single flame butane torch. In line with a lot of the more recent Nicaraguan released cigars I was hit with a massive wave of pepper withing the first few hits of the cigar. The pepper faded quickly and was backed with a very oaty and woodsy taste, with a hint of spice and sweetness. The draw, as I was afraid of was extremely too tight for my liking. I would have to take about 3 strong hits before actually getting a sufficient draw. This was the case not only with this Uppercut, but the other I purchased at the same time as well(same box). The ash produced by the Punch Uppercut was pleasantly well packed, and a very bright white with a very slim burn line. The burnline started out a bit wavy, but seems to be correcting itself quite nicely as I make my way through the cigar. The ash held on for about an inch before it tumbled into my ashtray.
Halfway There: The more I smoke this cigar, the oily my fingers get and I am loving that. There isn’t anything better than a super oily cigar. Unless of course, you take in consideration a super oily cigar with a thick, large draw. Or even a super oily cigar with a decent draw. Sadly, this isn’t the case in this Punch Uppercut. I am still having to hit the living crap out of this cigar to get any kind of response. I even clipped the head a second, and a third time. Outside of the disappointing draw, the flavor of the Uppercut is coming along very nicely. This cigar is producing a very sweet, organic oat and rye bread taste, with just a hint of cherry and spice. The burn line has shaped up quite considerably and is almost dead even. The Uppercut gives off almost no stationary smoke, and the smoke itself smells very woodsy, and pleasing. At fear of getting a headache, I have reduced the intensity of my draw, and I am just hitting the cigar more often than I normally would to keep it lit.
Finish: More than likely due to the massive hits I was taking off this cigar to get any smoke, the Uppercut has turned very harsh towards the end of the smoke. I was hoping even towards the end that the draw would open up a little, but no dice. The pepper taste made a brief return towards the end of this stick, only to be quickly replaced by sweet oats, soft wood, and strong tobacco tastes. I’m feeling a little bit of a nicotine kick from this cigar, but not a whole lot. The burn line has kept itself consistent and razor sharp all the way through the smoke with no touch ups or relights required.
Overview: Outside of the obvious draw issues that I encountered while enjoying this smoke, the Punch Uppercut was a solid stick. The consistent and complex flavors held my interest while not burning out my pallet. The smoothness of the cigar, and almost non-existing nicotine helped the Uppercut finish of very smoothly, despite the harshness that I encountered. I really would purchase this cigar again. While I was smoking it I had asked a few people who have also enjoyed the same cigar about any plugging issue that they have had and got a unanimous response of not having any. This may have just been the sticks I so luckily had chosen from the box purchased locally. If you find these locally, I would recommend at least giving them a shot. And if you are a Punch cigar enthusiast, then I would strongly recommend this cigar as it is probably my favorite Punch cigar to date.