Punch Medalla de Oro (2011 UK RE)

(Size: 6 1/8″ x 50  —  Time: 1hr 30mins)

So then, it has been some time since I last added a new entry to the blog.  For that I must apologise, though I suspect you were all quite thankful not to have to read my ramblings on the hot subjects of the day.  I’ve been jotting down some tasting notes this week as I’ve travelled around the country for a couple of herfs.  I’ve also managed to unearth a pad with notes I thought I had lost.  I shall be releasing these ‘lost’ reviews in the run-up to Christmas.  The BBC released the ‘lost’ series two of Dad’s Army to much fanfare.  Meanwhile I’m sure that there is the same level of tingling anticipation for my reviews as is usually only reserved for Middlesborough Council’s Annual Traffic Report…

Irrelevant small-talk aside, let’s talk about the Punch Medalla de Oro, a regional release for the UK. Hunters & Frankau chose this dobles sized cigar alongside the Bolivar Britanicas as their 2011 offerings (though both were released alongside the Ramon Allones Petit Belicosos in 2012).  I thoroughly enjoyed the RA when I tried it, so I hoped that the Punch would be just as good.  The day was set up for an enjoyable afternoon, as I travelled up to Chester for a mini-herf with my good friend (and sometime guest reviewer on CM) Dan Ward.  We visited the Turmeaus on Watergate Street in the city’s fine Tudor centre.  Calum and the rest of the team were friendly, attentive and enthusiastic about the cigars they were selling – and offered between them some excellent advice as to a good local COSA to visit after they closed.  Myself and Dan chose the inviting Punch Medalla de Oro and sat down in the small sampling area to enjoy…

Appearance /15

As the name would suggest, the Punch Medalla de Oro is very similar in appearance to the Bolivar Gold Medal – both being neatly wrapped in gold foil.  The cigar looked incredibly inviting, a grown-up Easter egg…  The foot was neatly packed, and the cigar was firm (but not hard) along its entire length: a sign of good construction and equally as good storage.  Removing the foil revealed a pleasant wrapper, with a few small veins, all running in the same diagonal direction.  The wrapper had just a slight sheen to it, and was a colorado claro shade – lighter than one would normally expect from a special release, but attractive.  14

Smoking Characteristics /25

The cigar lit quickly, easily, and evenly.  The early burn remained even also.  Both Dan and I were impressed with the draw of our cigars, with Dan describing it as “just right”. Our agreement on this issue would suggest that these a fairly consistent cigars, and the slight resistance was spot on.  The smoke produced was thick and aromatic – with many visitors to the store commenting on the lovely aroma which we were creating.  The smoke production was good throughout for both cigars.  From start to finish the burn was fairly even and straight, with only a couple of minor touch ups required on each stick.  The ash was solid, light, and only slightly mottled, with next to no flaking.  The only issue we really found was that both cigars demonstrated some minor tunnelling, nothing major, but it required a little bit of attention.  Despite the tunnelling, the cigar remained firm throughout.  23

Flavour /25

Straight off the bat the Medalla de Oro was a bit peppery, with some nice roasted nut notes.  This intense first few puffs soon settled down, and a creaminess developed alongside the pepper and nuts.  The intensity continued to drop through the first third, and by the middle of the stick it was very subtle, possibly even subdued.  The flavour profile had shifted slightly by this stage too, with it being more woody (Dan suggest slightly oaky, which I would go along with), there were also just hints of berry coming through.  At this stage, we decided a mineral forward Sancerre would have been a better match to the cigar than our (gorgeous) Puglian Primitivo, but we weren’t complaining – the cigar was good, and the wine delicious.  As the cigar approached its final third, some warming spices started to develop alongside the wood, which soon gave way to a return of the pepper from the first third.  The final third wasn’t terribly exciting, though we were impressed that it didn’t become at all tarry (despite its youth).  At the very death, some “considered” spiciness came to the fore, with a touch more wood in the background.  21

Overall Impression /35

The Punch Medalla de Oro is a cigar which promises a little more than it delivers.  It is a nice cigar, and through the middle is what one would expect of a Punch cigar – fruity with a bit of wood.  The opening promised so much more than the stick delivered – it is relatively young, and I’d suggest that it has the potential to add a few more points to its score from today.  It does look stunning, and the construction was excellent.  It smoked well, and was never anything less than good.  However, as an RE, I would suggest that it is currently a little overpriced for what it actually is. 31

Grand total… 89/100

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3 thoughts on “Punch Medalla de Oro (2011 UK RE)

  1. I know this review is from a while ago and I don’t know if you’re still doing these,but I wanted to say a little regarding this cigar… This cigar is fantastic. I agree with just about everything you said. In short, I found it full bodied, packed with flavor and strong – but not overwhelmingly. I loved the flavor on these which again, I agree, however, I found that the flavor built up quite steadily toward the end. Flavor in the middle wasn’t lacking at all… Perhaps the wine… OR, the only other difference that really stands out – my cigars had amazing, dark wrappers. I don’t want to seem like I’m advertising, but I do a little Internet show and during one of my videos (not a review but more of a tutorial) I break out a box of these and you can see how dark the cigars are – We know that there can be subtle variations of color among the same blend, but THIS is different! Just thought you’d be interested to know, apparently, these are out there in a darker form that to me might attribute to a more intense flavour. I really need to review one of these myself. I want to see what people are saying and if there are indeed a lot of lighter / darker Medalla de Oro cigars out there. Great reviews friend. Keep them coming!

  2. Thank you for the kind words Joseph. Please post a link to the video (if WordPress will let you) – always nice to share what other cigar enthusiasts are thinking.

    Some interesting points you raise. You could be on to something with both. As I mention in the review, I think the Primitivo may have been just a touch to powerful to pair with this cigar, so may well have just masked a few things through the middle. Also, I often think that people underestimate the influence that the wrapper has on a cigar, although one would hope that they were blending for consistency, even with variations in wrapper shade.

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