Punch is a cigar company with a story that is sadly all too common. They were founded by a German who saw that the European market was being underserved, and they set up shop in Havana, Cuba, making premium cigars that the Europeans in general, and that the British in particular, quickly fell in love with. Since their founding in the 1840’s, they were making great inroads into being a great and popular cigar around the world, even in the Americas.
Of course, all that changed with the violence of the Cuban revolution. Fidel Castro took control, and the few cigar companies that he did not close down were nationalized and expected to be run by the government (which may explain the stagnation of quality that has been experienced since then). They nationalized Punch in Cuba, so the owners went to Honduras, recovered their name, and began to run their cigar shop once again, creating high end cigars in Honduras.
The Rare Corojo is one of the best lines that came of their flight from Cuba to Honduras. It is made only once a year, and it is a bit rough around the edges. It has a red band, and it begins with a Colorado Shade wrapper, which is then filled with delicious, deep, and complex Honduran and Nicaraguan long-leaf fillers. This is a spicy cigar, but there’s something more to it. If you can find the patience to rest them in a humidor for a year or two, they mellow out, and the flavor is much more exquisite then, but if you can’t wait, there’s nothing wrong with lighting one up right away and enjoying it.