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Old 01-11-2002, 03:16 AM   #1
Starting Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Waltham, MA USA
Posts: 78
Cigar: Punch Ninfa, cabinet selection
Vitola: Panetela, 7x33
Tobacco: Cuban (puro)
Age: about two years
Review Date: 1/10/02
Street price: $5-$6

Appearance: Good. Medium brown wrapper, colorado, with no blemishes. One rather prominent vein, several fine veins.

Construction: Very good. Short cap, no soft spots. Tightly wrapped, nicely filled.

Burn: Very good. A couple times one side burned just a bit more quickly, but it always worked itself out just as fast.

Problems: None.

Draw: Excellent. Comfortable draw from start to finish, with generous amounts of smoke. Not an easy thing to do in a Panetela. I was impressed.

Ash: Grey to dark grey, firm.

Smoked to: Band. Got a little hot at that point. About 60 minutes.

Strength: Mild to Medium/Mild. I had a moderate meal beforehand, and I just started to feel a little headiness at the end of the cigar. The effect, though mild, was weighty.

Aroma: Excellent. The first inch was classic Havana Punch: creamy and dense, with an almost milk-like scent. Once the cigar got going, it was toasty and earthy, dripping with hints of molasses.

Taste: Very good. A soft tang throughout, the predominant flavors being freshly tilled earth and sweet spices. Not especially complex, but the flavor was rich and hearty with a clean finish.

Overall: Excellent smoke!

General comments: I'm not a huge fan of most Punch Habanos: the flavor profile usually doesn't do much for me. Who would have thought, then, that a panetela of all things would turn out to be such a rich smoke. As I mentioned, it's not especially complex, but it does take a big turn after the first couple inches, which kept me intrigued. And the Ninfa is consistently flavorful throughout, quite a surprise in such a small ring gauge. At around $6 I'd say this is one of the best values in Cuban cigars.

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