Punch Signature Gigante
As a long-time, premium cigar smoker for over 40-years, the storied Punch brand holds a special place in my heart and palate. I came from an era when boutique cigars weren’t even a twinkle in many manufacturers’ eyes, in fact, some of these young guns weren’t even born yet. So back then, Punch was one of the premier brands in a much smaller market, that was on most smokers’ must-try list.
For this review, I chose to tackle the big and bold Punch Signature Gigante, because it puts a modern spin on this classic Cuban heritage brand while remaining the only Punch blend that somehow remained under my radar. Before I dig deeper into this hefty 6 x 60 handmade premium behemoth, let’s take a close-up look at the blend.
Handmade in Honduras, the Punch Signature Gigante is billed as a full-bodied cigar that features an Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper and a Connecticut Habano binder, followed by long-filler tobacco from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The cigars come packaged in flashy red and black slide-top wooden boxes of 18.
Now that the recipe and packaging have been revealed, it’s time to focus on looks and my pre-light impressions. Gigante comes adorned with an eye-catching large white band creatively engraved with the Punch Signature logo that deviates from the less flashy red and gold bands found on the original Punch cigars.
This tells you right off the bat that this big stick was made to appeal to a whole new generation of Punch smokers.
The wrapper had a rather mottled clay red color with patches of black throughout. This lack of symmetry didn’t detract from its silky hand feel or seamless, leathery appearance.
The pre-light nose displayed a pungent spicy and damp earth smell that may not sound appealing to some, but it denotes perfect aging.
Now for the good stuff … It’s time to torch this titan!
Right out of the gate, I got a real wake-up call as hot red pepper invaded my palate and nostrils. This peppery firestorm quickly intermingled with some oak and leather to tame the beast and provide what I hope becomes a highly complex smoke.
These three core flavors, with some added sweetness, and a bold expression of chocolate, offered a very flavorful finale to end round one. if I laid this big stick to rest now, which I never would, this would have been a very tasty multi-dimensional, full-bodied smoke.
The second third began where the first third left off, with a three-note combo of leather, oak, and to a lesser degree, some tamer nuances of red pepper. A few more puffs in, and that delightful sweetness once again entered the mix, joined by hints of cinnamon, earth, and plenty of luscious chocolate.
The cigar is performing like a champ with a crisp slow burn and only one minor touch-up required. Right before round three begins, the cigar has settled in nicely with rich complexity and a wonderful, sweet tobacco room note.
Round three is when I realized that’s there’s no such thing as a bad-tasting Punch Cigar! While still holding its full-bodied flavor profile, Gigante is running on all cylinders with a tapestry of oak, wood, black pepper earth, cinnamon, and chocolate, which all take turns being the dominant top note.
The cigar becomes just plain sweet and creamy right before it was ready to be retired to my ashtray so that I wouldn’t burn my thumb. If I had a roach clip, I probably would have taken one or two mores drags. Yep… It was that good!
- I simply loved Punch Gigante, and you will too if you like a perfectly constructed premium cigar with rich, dark, bold” Maduro flavors delivered in the form of a hefty 60-ring, 90-minute smoke.
- It’s a rather affordable cigar that can easily hold its own with the costliest high-end premiums and boutique offerings on the market today.
- If you already smoke Punch Cigars but are looking for a modern new take on this storied Cuban Heritage brand, then Signature Gigante, or one of the brands smaller sizes, is the perfect place to start.