- Vitola: GPN4 (Rothschild)
- 4.875” x 48 ring gauge
- Purchased at Burns Tobacconist
The Punch Gran Puro line has become a mainstay in many cigar shops over the last decade; in fact, it was named to the Top 10 of that Big Lifestyle Magazine’s 2016 list. General Cigar decided it was time to expand on the name, so early in 2017, they introduced the Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua.
They build the Gran Puro Nicaragua in the HATSA factory in Danli, Honduras, using high-priming Nicaraguan binder and filler leaves. These are finished with a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. The cigars are sold in boxes of 20, in 4 different sizes, all of which have very attractive MSRPs.
We recently got the Gran Puro Nicaragua in at Burns and I got to try it in both the Rothschild (which they call GPN 4) and the Gran Robusto/GPN 5 (5.5 x 54). I enjoyed both but decided on the Rothschild size for review purposes. I have to say that it has been very well-accepted at the shop, too, with it’s combination of very wallet-friendly pricing and pleasing flavor profile.
The original Punch Gran Puro line uses wooden boxes partially covered in paper and this line mimics that approach, though with a different color scheme. Mr. Punch is featured prominently on the box lid art and the color scheme isn’t really objectionable on the boxes themselves. But the bands of these cigar are some of the worst I’ve seen in recent memory, and I think it really just has to do with the lime/neon green color used where the original Gran Puro used gold foil…it’s just an awful color for a cigar band, especially when put against the red of the Punch logo and the light blue of the bottom strip of the band. They should have just left it as gold foil and it would have been much better-looking, I believe. As it is, it’s one of the few cigars that loses points based on just the band…bottom line, the band has to be pretty bad for me to mark off for it, and this one is pretty bad.
Moving on to the wrapper leaf, I have better news…it looks great with its espresso bean coloration and oiliness. It has a strong earth and leather aroma to it, while the foot of the cigar had earth, cocoa powder and dark roast coffee bean notes to it.
The cold draw was very good and had flavors of semi-sweet chocolate and cedar.
The Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua opened up with full-bodied smoke that carried the flavors of espresso bean and unsweetened cocoa powder up front, followed by earth and cedar notes that come through just behind. A little pepper heat came on during the finish, while the retrohale was nutty, leathery and quite peppery. As the first third kept burning, I noted it became more leathery with touches of semi-sweet chocolate and espresso. The cedar and pepper notes faded pretty quickly.
Earthy notes started picking up a little as the second third came around. I got a touch of cinnamon and noted that leather was slipping to be a more background note.
As I got deep into the final third, the Gran Puro Nicaragua displayed more earth and semi-sweet chocolate notes, with leather and slight pepper notes in the background.
I’ve had a great draw with all samples of Gran Puro Nicaragua so far. The burn line was even enough to not require touch-ups and the ash was fairly solid…though I did have a chunk drop onto my shirt…I probably should have tapped off earlier.
The price on these is outstanding…and the experience is definitely solid. So full point for value.
The Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua ticks all the right boxes for me: Nicaraguan filler and binder along with a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. While it’s not as rich or fulfilling as some others with that basic build (Mi Querida, Tabernacle, and pretty much any Tatuaje with a Broadleaf wrapper come to mind), it is definitely a solid smoking experience with a fantastic price point. As such, I would expect to see it in my regular rotation for some time to come. Now if they could just make it look better on the shelf…