Doc’s Cigar Corner: Gran Puro Santa Rita by Punch

Doc of Doc’s Cigar Corner

The featured cigar is the Gran Puro Santa Rita (4 1/2″ x 52) by Punch.

I am quite favorably disposed toward Punch as one of the oldest Cuban brands which have maintained the quality and flavor of their Cuban roots at moderate prices as they have expanded to other Caribbean and Central American locations after leaving Cuba in the late ’50’s and ’60’s.

The Gran Puro is no exception to this pattern, with the tobaccos now hailing from Honduras. The Santa Rita vitola at 4 1/2 inches in length and 52 ring gauge is a good choice for a short smoke of good quality and flavor when you may not have time to enjoy a full-sized Toro or Churchill.

As stated, the cigar is well-constructed. It tends to burn evenly and, with some attention to the progress of the burn, rarely requires touchup, positioning being sufficient to maintain acceptably even burn. The cigar will usually be smokable to within 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches with uniform flavor characteristics.

Flavor is basically a uniform white pepper layered on moderate-strength sweet natural tobacco. The white pepper begins immediately on lighting, and is fairly mild at the start, becoming tangy in mid-cigar. At no point is the pepper excessively hot or bitter, but the degree of tanginess tends to increase gradually. Unusual notes of light hay and grass punctuate the latter half, as the spice and tanginess recede slightly to a smooth finish.

Overall, I rate this cigar as superior, not particularly complex, but dependable and enjoyable. It should pair well with a white wine such as Chablis, or a light lager.

Rating: 98

Availability: The Gran Puro is readily available online at places like Cigars International for $26.00 for a 5-pack, or $122.96 for a box of 25. The local Lubbock shops stock Punch ordinarily, so they will probably order the Gran Puro if requested. The same blend is available in three additional vitolas not included in this review.



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