Cigar Review Wednesdays — Punch 48 LCDH & Habanos Specialist
The first cigar that ever wore the La Casa del Habano and Habanos Specialists second band.
The number 48 sure looks cool on the cigar band but it doesn’t have any specific reason to be there rather than being the cigar’s ring gauge size.
The most surprising characteristic of this amazing cigar is its flavor. For a young cigar, it already shows a lot of subtleness and complexity on its flavors, which is great because we can already have a very good experience with it without putting it away for a long time. It is not a super-premium cigar and it will not break your bank, but this medium-bodied smoke surely deserves a place on your humidor for all the reasons presented above.
Before lighting up
When you open this 10 count box of cigars and you take a deep breath, you are risking an overdose by chocolate. The sweet smell of milk chocolate, leather and wood hit you and you want to keep smelling with your nose buried in them. Please do this only if the box is yours, no one has to smoke your nose so stop it. Seriously disgusting. The cold draw is very easy and the airflow is near perfect. We have to note that the Punch 48 evolved beautifully since we put them away, 2 years ago. The first time we opened the box, in 2017, it had a very woodsy smell, very fresh and with a bit of ammonia coming through. 2 years passed and the box is on a completely different level.
Lighting the Punch 48 and taking the first puffs was actually a bit disappointing. There was nothing much happening there. Some wood and a fade of cinnamon, but that was about it. We feared the worse. Could it be that we waited 2 years and the cigars were not worth aging? Disappointment started to settle in. But we were wrong.
You know those nights when you drink a mojito and you feel great and when you have the second one you don’t remember what happened and you wake up the next day in Thailand, with a tattoo in your face and missing a tooth? That’s what happens with this cigar (maybe referencing the movie Hangout II here, not sure). Exaggeration apart, this cigar transforms itself on the second stage becoming alive, very tasty and complex with solid notes of leather, toasted bread and some freshness, but not that horrible young freshness, a much more refined one that kept this cigar on the very medium profile.
In terms of flavor, this stage was the best. The strength of the cigar intensified and it is now a solid medium cigar with some pepperiness blending in nicely with the sweetness of it. Somehow, the delicate taste of toasted bread kept going and faded away just minutes aways of putting the cigar down.
It is incredible what 2 years can do to a young cigar. When we first smoked the freshly released Punch 48, back in 2017 it was a very bitter cigar with a lot of freshly cut grass to it that ruined the entire experience. As of right now, it is on our list of Top 15 Cuban Cigars to Have in Your Humidor. Yeah, that good.