I'm a big Punch fan in general; I like their stuff and find it to be pretty consistent. So, when I heard they were coming out with the Punch Gran Puro Nicaraguan in 2017, I was intrigued.
That said, I'm not as much of a Nicaraguan fan-boy as a lot of the cigar world seems to be in the United States. Often, I find the Nicaraguan tobacco can be a bit too much and the ligero offers blenders just what most cigar guys are looking for - tons of strength without much balance.
Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua Toro Cigar: Pre-Light
There's some heft to the toro in terms of the hand-feel. It feels like most of the Punch line-up in my experience, you're getting plenty of tobacco here. You know, not that cheap, hollow feeling you get from some cigars that pretty light in the hand.
Before we go further, here are some of the details:
Size: 6.0" x 54
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler / Binder: Nicaraguan
The lively band conveys energy agains the dark cocoa maduro-colored wrapper. If I weren't such a curmudgeon, I'd be almost excited.
First-Third of the Cigar
I'd tried a couple singles of the Gran Puro Nicaraguan in the toro size prior to this review and was very impressed. Because of it, I picked up an entire box (20 cigars).
Upon cutting the cigar, I was surprised - the draw ran a tad bit tighter than what I'd experienced in the past. I might have gone too shallow with my guillotine.
Immediately upon the first few draws, I'm picking up a distinct mineral aftertaste that stays in my mouth. It's not as "soapy" as what I have found from some cigars but I'm not generally a huge mineral fan. To me, it just seems a little abrasive and I generally toast cigars to facilitate a calm, mellow mood.
There's a leathery appeal that's certainly there with each draw as well. It's not too over-powering and overall, I'd call this a medium-bodied experience.
Up top, some floral notes begin to emerge. These are the flavors I'm looking for and found with the first few cigars in this blend I'd tried. For some reason, this particular cigar is coming off as a little more rough around the edges than the first few Punch Gran Puro Nicaraguans I'd smoked. Perhaps this fresh box needed a bit more time to rest and mellow out.
On the retrohale, there's the obligatory citrus --- Not quite as tangy as a what I'd identify as lemon but not quite as sweet as a straight-up orange flavor. So, I'm not sure where that leaves us. There's also a distinct cocoa flavor that makes its way into the equation during the retrohale experience. Very pleasant.
I found myself running into some minor burn issues early on as it relates to evenness. This could be my error as it's so early in the cigar, it seems likely I didn't light effectively. I'd like to blame the cheap torch I'd used but it's probably all on me. A quick touch-up seemed to confirm my suspicions that I was to blame and not the cigar itself.
In the first-third of the Gran Puro Nicaraguan cigar, I didn't get a ton of smoke output but that seems to change things up as I make my way into the second third of the cigar.
I don't experience much change as this cigar works its way down to the nub so I won't break this down into a typical first-third, second-third, final-third structure as it'd be pretty repetitive. I did experience the draw loosening up just a tad as the cigar heated up but it wasn't as loose as some of the previous cigars I'd enjoyed.
Overall, this particular cigar was not nearly as enjoyable as the first couple sticks I'd tried prior to buying the box. I'm going to give these a couple months of humidor-time and we'll go from there. Overall, this cigar is certainly smokable and in the $5-$7 range per stick, it's still a winner but the first impression had me thinking I was in love. Now I'm finding myself a tad bit afraid of commitment.