Cigar Reviews

Punch Cafe Royal Maduro (+ Contest!)

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So it seems that summer winding down and the weather starting to change up here in Toronto. I hope everyone has been making the most of their summer and has some big plans for the upcoming long weekend. Make sure you have something special lined up to smoke and enjoy!

Today’s cigar review is coming from the factory’s of General Cigar in Honduras. It is from the Punch line up and is called the Cafe Royal Maduro. The Cafe Royal comes packed in a thick and solid glass tube, thicker than most others I’ve come across, and has a gold seal at the bottom. Inside, the cigar is easily visible with it’s single gold and red band.

The Punch Cafe Royal is available in wrappers, either Connecticut or Maduro. There are also some other similar vitolas in the line-up but they have different names and don’t come in glass tubes so this is sort of a special part of the line. I’ve had this one lying around in my humidor still sealed for at least a year, possibly 2. Hopefully it didn’t dry up while sealed… more on that later.

Today I’m taking this cigar outside for a nice after dinner smoke. I don’t think I’ve had a Punch in quite awhile so it will be interesting to revisit this line again. The last review we did on a Punch was actually almost 3 years ago by Tony when he reviewed the Punch Uppercut.

Now as a side note, we also have a special contest running right now from our friends over at General Cigar as well. Make sure to read about it at the bottom of the review!

Cigar: Punch Cafe Royal
Drink: Innis & Gunn Canada Day 2012
Vitola: Parejo (5.625 x 44)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Price: A little under $5
Burn Time: Just over an hour

• For the most part it seems the glass tube protected this cigar from any damage as the wrapper is almost flawless
• However, the foot of all tube cigars seem to come with some damage but nothing to worry about there
• The color on this cigar is a deep chocolate brown with some oily gold accents
• There are almost no veins to be seen here
• From the foot, you can tell this cigar is well packed and the soft but springy feel when squeezed backs up that prediction
• The double cap is fairly cleanly applied, a little bumpy but it seems to have done the job

• The toasting was perfectly even and didn’t take too long to get the foot glowing nicely
• The burn line through the first bit has been most clean and neat with just a small slant in it, nothing to cause worries though
• The burn is holding up and although still slightly slanted it’s staying consistent with a nice thin burn line
• It seems to be burning a little faster than I’d like it to through the first half so lets hope it slows down a bit
• The burn never really slowed down so I felt this cigar was a much quicker smoke than it could have been

Smoke & Ash:
• Right from the start, the Punch Cafe Royal produces a nice comfortable amount of smoke off each draw
• The resting smoke is considerably less visible but still gives off a mildly sweet and cedar type of aroma
• The ash seems to be coming along nicely, very clean and neat with a mostly light grey color
• Even though the ash is looking strong, it feels like it will fall off due to the smaller ring gauge so I tapped it off just past a half inch or so
• I kept up the half inch ash pace for the most part to avoid making a mess of ash everywhere but the ask kept clean and even throughout
• Near the end, the smoke volume seemed to be diminishing a bit

Tasting Notes:
• The aroma on the wrapper has a sweet barnyard type of scent to it
• Most sweetness and barnyard aromas on the foot, with a touch of cedar added in there
• The pre-light draw is pretty bland at first but the finish is an interesting sort of fresh cedar and nutmeg
• The initial draws smack you with some pepper and a sweet but potent tobacco flavor
• Soon after, the pepper settles but it’s still there to linger on your tongue along with more of the nutmeg and cedar flavors
• I’m also starting to pick up some coffee notes here and there and the cigar burns on
• The retrohale has a small bite to it with a smooth coffee finish and the body has been on the higher end of mild so far
• The spices settled down a bit more as I got to the end of the first third and the coffee is now being joined by some soft cocoa flavors
• Some of the flavors seem to be fading just past the halfway mark and leaving a little blandness behind, hoping they pick up again soon
• The body has stayed the same for the most part but the bite and finish on the retrohale are pretty much gone
• A little bit of harshness started to sneak in near the end, that’s unfortunate
• The harshness ended up taking away all the other flavors I was getting near the end here

Final Thoughts:
When I decided to do this review I was a little worried about the whole sealed glass tube thing so I opened it a few days early to let it acclimate. But to my surprise, it was very well preserved and still seemed fresh so however they packaged these it seems to have weathered the age a lot better than some other sealed tube cigars I’ve had in the past. At first, the flavors here were enjoyable and sometimes kept me on my toes all while burning nice and cleanly. Near the end the flavors got a little bland and even a bit harsh near the end which was disappointing. I’m typically not a fan of the Punch line up but this one seemed to have a bit of potential, I just wish the good flavors would have kept up to the end. The Punch Cafe Royal is a decent traditional maduro in a nice package that also comes in at a pretty fair price. If nothing else, it’s something you can hand out to others that looks really fancy too! haha

There’s not much I can say here that I haven’t said before. If you look through past reviews you will see that I am a huge fan of all the Innis & Gunn brews and this years Canada Day 2012 special edition is no slouch. For those of you who know, Canada Day was actually back on July 1st but I was a little busy getting married and all so this brew sat in my fridge for a little longer. It is a limited production brew restricted to batch of only 180 Oak Barrels and bottled in individual boxes. It spent 49 days inside that barrel and it came out tasting fantastic. Toffee, coffee, a touch of sweetness and some vanilla backed by a malty finish. Damn tasty! A good pairing for any medium bodied cigar!

Now for the Contest!

So, do you like Golf? Like Macanudo? Know someone that does? We’ll be giving away 2 sets of these Callaway hats and 1 of these Callaway golf towels away to our readers!
This is in support of Macanudo’s “TAKE A SWING AT THE MACANUDO ULTIMATE ROUND CONTEST FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A TRIP TO AUGUSTA”. For more information on this contest click the link here for the press release:

Now how do you win, you ask? It’s simple! All you gotta do is add a comment here or on our Facebook page and answer the following question: Name something you would love to take a swing at while sporting this awesome hat and towel???

Also, make sure to “Like” our Facebook page to win! Link Here! It’s that easy.

We’ll pick 2 random winners (who has liked and made a comment) on Friday! That being said, make sure you’re 21 years or older and live in the U.S. (Sorry to my fellow Canucks 🙁 )

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter


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