If you’ve been to the cigar shops of Havana lately, you’ve noticed an odd inventory situation.
Some legendary cigars, like the Bolivar Belicoso Fino, are nowhere to be found. Others, like the Partagas Lusitania, are, remarkably, frequently in stock. In general, the shelves seem a bit barer, not surprising given the wave of new visitors to Havana, both by land and sea, in the last year.
Of course, in this mixed-bag sea of supply, there are still some gems to be found, mysteriously popping up here and there, despite earlier periods where they, too, were often absent from the shelves.
It was a pleasure, then, to find a box of Punch Double Coronas at the Hotel Nacional’s La Casa del Habano last week, a rare, excellent cigar that is all too often in hiding (much like another famous Punch, the Punch Punch).
There’s nothing better than discovering an unexpected cigar in a far-off cigar shop corner.
Indeed, many larger cigars, from the Cohiba Esplendidos to the Bolivar Corona Gigante (recently discontinued and now impossible to find) are always rare on the Habanos scene, despite the fact that they’re often some of the best smokes Cuba makes.
And the Punch Double Corona is no exception.
This 194mm by 49 ring guage cigar has the classic milk-chocolate-brown Punch wrapper, with a sweet, spicy aroma marked by nutmeg.
The flavor profile is marked by pepper, earth and coffee, then cappuccino; the smoke is rich and creamy, perfect for a cigar that takes a good two hours to smoke.
But then, like an afternoon in a cigar shop in Havana, it’s something to savor.
– Alexander Britell