Punch Petit Punch (1998)

(Size: 4″ x 40  —  Time: 35mins)

As part of a recent trade I received a twelve-year-old Punch Petit Punch, aged by Hunters & Frankau, from a fellow BOTL on the UK Cigar Forums. It’s a cigar which I’ve had before and found to be pretty enjoyable. How would this subject fare?

The Punch Petit Punch has been the victim of recent, swathing cuts to the Cuban cigar range. Many of these cuts have been ill-thought through, and there are many which could arguably be described as blasphemous, or simply plain stupid. From my previous experiences of ‘un-aged’ PPPs, this falls into one of the latter categories, and I fail to see what the deletion of such a high quality perla has done to improve things for Cuban cigars…

Appearance /15

The first, striking, feature of this particular Punch Petit Punch is the second band, a golden H&F addition with the year of production emblazoned upon it. On such a short cigar, this has a decadent look. The wrapper on this cigar is very smooth and looks wonderful. There are very few veins, and the cap is well applied. This would easily be a 14 pointer on looks, but for an odd scrunching of the wrapper leaf on the underside (see pic, below) and a scrag to the foot. As such I couldn’t, in good conscience, not drop a point or two. 13

Smoking Characteristics /25

This cigar lit quite easily with a standard Bic lighter (with my new jet lighter having broken within a month…). The draw was excellent from the off, it tightened a little too much around the two-third mark but soon loosed to a nice level again. The volume of smoke was ideal – not the most I’ve encountered, but plenty enough – this was true throughout. The burn was, unfortunately, not the most even I have encountered, but with just minor tending-to it proved to be a complete non-issue. Likewise, a dodgy looking ash wasn’t an issue as it was none-the-less solid. Overall, aside from a couple of very minor issues, this cigar had good construction, possibly aided by a good deal of box-pressing (something I’ve always found to have a positive impact). 22

Flavour /25

Early draws were full of sweet, honey flavours, which soon developed into something reminiscent of a nice, honey-cured ham. The sweetness subsided as some toasted almond flavours started to develop. On the retrohale, there were definitely some floral flavours which added to the experience. Soon these floral aspects started to show in the mouth flavour as the cigar entered the middle-third. At around half-way the honey faded away and the floral notes took over as the pre-dominant flavour. With this, there was a hint of mineral-ness, which grew towards a citrus ‘tang’ (akin to that in a nice white wine). At the finale, the flavours grew spicier, but returned to a slight sweetness, with cinnamon being the big finish. 22

Overall Impression /35

The Punch Petit Punch is a great little smoke, a nice half-hour stick. I wouldn’t really say that this is a coffee cigar, I smoked it with a coffee, and it wasn’t quite the perfect match. In-fact, I’d probably describe this as an afternoon-tea cigar. With honey, citrus (marmalade) flavours and cinnamon, it is almost as if it was blended specifically for a summer’s day in an English country garden. 32

Grand total… 89/100

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