Cigar review: Devil made me do it.

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IMG_3780.jpg Cigar review: My father always called the Devil , Diablo when I was a kid. I think he felt it was more dramatic than just the common everyday Devil name. For me back then , using either word was a cue for being in dangerous territory , a place to stay away from.

We all knew the Devil was a thing  or person to be reckoned with, so the best course of action was to back off. As always , how and where I received the cigar does not impact my subjective viewpoint of the smoke. This cigar was received gratis from General Cigars for review purposes.

As now Punch cigars are calling this new blend, Diablo, here is their take on the word and cigar.

Punch beckons you to the dark side without fear of losing your soul with the release of its newest collection called Diablo.

Punch Diablo marks the first time that a Punch cigar will be made outside of Honduras, where the brand has been made since the 1960s.

Ed Lahmann, senior brand manager for Punch said, “When it came time to select the blend for Diablo, we decided that we wanted to make the fullest-bodied Punch to date. AJ Fernandez is a master when it comes to developing full-bodied cigars, so we asked him to create a blend using aged tobaccos, one that has strength and bold flavor to complement the rest of the cigars under the Punch umbrella. We’re confident that the blend he delivered will be a great new option for classic Punch smokers and that Diablo will give all full-bodied smokers another reason to experience Punch.”

The unofficial brand spokesman, aka the snarky Mr. Punch character, chimed in to say, “With Diablo, we wanted a powerful smoke. So if you’re a pansie or a snowflake or whatever PC term they use these days, this is not a smoke for you.”

The devil is in the details, so Master Blender AJ Fernandez has left nothing to chance with this tempting four-country blend. Befitting of its diabolical name, Punch Diablo is made with a blend of four-year-aged Nicaraguan and Honduran Habano leaves and is wrapped in a deep, oscuro Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, also aged four years. A bold Connecticut Broadleaf binder that’s been aged for six years seals the deal to deliver a sinfully indulgent smoke that’s spicy, intriguing and destined to leave you spellbound.

Notes of wood, earth and leather abound in this medium-plus to full-bodied smoke.

Handcrafted at Tabacalera AJ Fernandez, Punch Diablo will make its debut in packaging that features the brand’s new look and feel. These three sizes will be available, beginning in late July:

Scamp (6.125 x 50); SRP per cigar $7.19; 25 cigars per box

Diabolus (5.25 x 54); SRP per cigar $7.79; 25 cigars per box

Brute (6.25 x 60); SRP per cigar $8.19; 20 cigars per box

Brand/Name of Cigar: Punch Diablo

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Size: 6 1/8 x 50

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro

Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf

Filler: Nicaraguan Habano/ Hondurian habano

Shape: Toro

Price: $7.19 MSRP

Where and When Smoked: Los Angeles, Ca. 9/16/18

Appearance/Construction: A dark brown rustic wrapper with a retro looking appeal. Solid construction with a slight oily feel and a few viable veins. The cigar band is bold giving you the impression of a big boy cigar.

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: The first hit was a powerful black pepper flavor with an interesting berry interlude.

The first third was a spicy, smooth fruit like blend and it was well received.

The second third threw a curve with a metallic, flinty taste which felt like the black pepper lost its way. It was rather unpleasant.

Final third: Flavor mellowed out somewhat with the black pepper and berry flavor showing up again. The flinty taste was still there but not as severe.

Smoking characteristics: Very even, clean burn as the construction was very well done. The ash was a dark grey with no relight.

Conclusion/Overall Impression: I like the Punch brand a great deal as most of the products I have smoked are a good value and very well done. The Diablo missed the mark for me with  the second third with its off-putting flinty taste.

Final Thoughts and the Numbers: I smoked the Diablo one time before my review. The first cigar did not have the metallic taste. I am not sure why I got this with the second smoke. I will give this cigar a pass but will try it one more time as I still have one left in my humidor.

Appearance/Construction: 4 out of 5

Flavor/Taste and Aroma: 3 out 5

Smoking Characteristics: 4 out of 5

Conclusion/Overall Impression: 3.6 out of 5

Keep smoking

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