By Russ Ouellette
Punch Rothschild Maduro CigarsI’ve been smoking Punch Rothschilds since about 1977.
Back then (as now), they came in half-wheels of 50 inside a box, secured with a ribbon. They never had bands or cellophane back then, and, frankly, they’re not the same cigar, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you like a very earthy, flinty cigar, you should probably track down Mr. Peabody and see if he’ll let you use the Wayback machine, otherwise, light one of these up, as there’s much to like in the new version.

Today’s Punch Rothschild is a stubby robusto (4.5 x 50, although the older ones were a 48 ring gauge, I believe) with a coffee-brown wrapper that exhibits a couple of small veins, but nothing too thick. The cigars are fairly firm, but not tightly packed. The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper has a nice satin-like sheen and the unlit aroma is earthy with a solid, fermented tobacco scent. On the pre-light draw, I get a woody note with a bit of faint coffee. The initial flavor after lighting is somewhat surprising; I get a heavy blast of oak, with a hint of espresso and cocoa (unsweetened). The draw is a touch loose, but the cigar kicks out a good amount of smoke.

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