Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary

When General Cigar shipped me a five pack of the new Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary edition cigars, I decided to let them rest a while. I knew that probably meant that Jerry would beat me to the review (he did, sorta), but I wanted to give them a fair shake. So far my experience with the Rare Corojo line has been mostly indifference. I had a few years ago that I enjoyed, but more recent experiences have been forgettable.

But that could change with this special 10th Anniversary edition, and here’s why: It actually has a corojo wrapper, and I likes me some corojo. By now it’s common knowledge that the Rare Corojo we’ve seen over the years mysteriously features an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper. While that leaf might be “rare” or at least in somewhat limited supply, it’s not corojo tobacco. The prospect of a corojo Rare Corojo is enough to make me approach the line with renewed interest.

Before we get into the review, here’s a few more details from the official press release:

Richmond, VA—The highly-anticipated 10th anniversary edition of Punch Rare Corojo is about to be made even more exciting with the release of a new, limited edition frontmark which will debut at tobacconists nationwide beginning in late March.

Called Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary, the 5” x 50 frontmark is unique in that it will feature a proprietary Connecticut Corojo wrapper. The new cigar will begin selling in late March for a suggested retail price of $6.50 per cigar until the limited supply is depleted. The cigars will be packed in eye catching cabinet style red wooden boxes and can be easily identified by a secondary red-and-gold band that bears the Rare Corojo distinction.

Rick Chandler, director of marketing for Punch cigars commented, “For ten years, cigar enthusiasts have looked forward to the annual return of Rare Corojo, a brand that features a unique reddish-brown wrapper and epitomizes the best of what Punch cigars offer – a spicy no-nonsense blend at a reasonable price. This year, we’re pleased to have upped the ante by offering the classic Punch Rare Corojo along with the standout new taste of the 10th Anniversary frontmark.”

Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary joins the seven existing Rare Corojo frontmarks, which made their annual return to tobacco retail shops across the country earlier this month.

And on we go.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50*
Wrapper: Connectictut Corojo
Binder: Connectictut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Samples provided by General Cigar
Price: MSRP $6.50

The Pre-Smoke
You gotta love the new bands on the 10th Anniversary, which are sporting the same hip vintage look that you see all over the place these days. I would’t want to see the design replace the traditional punch bands going forward, but for a special edition, it’s fun.

The 10th Anniversary is a good looking box-pressed smoke, with a reddish-brown wrapper, fine veins and no flaws to speak of, unless you count a large, inconsistently applied triple cap. But since that’s the first part of the cigar that lands in the ashtray, it’s not something I’m going to fuss over.

The sticks were very firm for boxed pressed smokes, and once clipped, very easy drawing. There was a light compost aroma to the wrapper, and sweet cedar in the cold draw.

* Note: Though officially listed as a 5″ x 50 robusto, each of the sticks I burned for this review measured in at 5 1/2″ on the nose.

The Burn
The Rare Corojo’s burn was more hit than miss, burning evenly and producing solid attractive light gray ashes. However, as shown in the Tower of Burn below, I ran into some burn trouble at times. As luck would have it, the worst behaved of all the review cigars was the one I selected at random for the pictures. The most common issue was the need for an occasional touch-up.

The Flavor
The 10th Anniversary started off with a nice combination of earthy roasted nuts and leather. In this early stage of the cigar, leather seemed the most dominant of the flavors, but gradually gave some ground to cedar. Other interesting notes in this third included a Connecticut-ish creaminess and sweet graham.

The spiciness became more noteworthy in the middle third as an extension of the cedar. Leather, roasted nuts and a reduced sweetness continued.

In the final third, the cedar kicked it up a notch, but the spice didn’t seem to grow as much as I expected. Leather and roasted nuts continued to play a supporting role.

The Price
It’s in the sweet spot, and the cigar seems generally well constructed. No complaints here.

The Verdict
The Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary is a solid smoke, and the best experience I’ve had with the Rare Corojo line in years. It is as described, a “no nonsense” cigar with some spice and good flavor. It’s a stick anyone could enjoy, though fans of power and intense spice might find it underwhelming. But a definite must try for Punch fans out there, especially those that enjoy the Sumatra-wrapped Rare Corojo.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.