Packaging award contender.

That’s the first thought I have when thinking of the Punch Dad Bod. When the branding and packaging is this on point, that seems unavoidable.

The Dad Bod shipped on May 1, well ahead of the Father’s Day holiday. I bring up Father’s Day because General Cigar Co.—which makes the non-Cuban Punch brand—leaned fully into the Father’s Day theme. The Dad Bods are packaged five cigars to a can that is about the size of a 500ml/16.9-ounce can, larger than a 12-ounce can but not a full-on tallboy can. While the cans have the appearance of a pop-top beverage lid, they are not opened like a can of beer. Instead, the top piece is designed to be removed as a whole.

Sticking with the beer theme, the cans are packaged in four-packs, meaning a box purchase results in 20 cigars. The cans and cardboard pack feature other common Father’s Day motifs with phrases like “It’s A Father Figure” written on the side and imagery of Mr. Punch, the brand’s mascot, grilling.

If all that wasn’t enough, the individual cigar uses a band that is made to mimic a necktie, a classic Father’s Day gift.

As for the cigars, they are 4 1/2 x 60 perfectos that use a Cameroon wrapper over a Connecticut broadleaf binder and fillers from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua.

“Father’s Day is the perfect time for us to let the world know that we salute dads, the Dad bod and the pleasure of smoking a great cigar,” said John Hakim, brand manager for Punch, in a press release when the cigar was announced in March. “So we created this special expression and packed it in tins that own the soft-in-the-middle physique with pride. Dad Bod is about showing our support for the salt-of-the-earth Punch smokers who continue to make Punch their go-to brand.”

  • Cigar Reviewed: Punch Dad Bod
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: STG Danlí
  • Wrapper: Cameroon
  • Binder: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
  • Filler: Brazilian (Mata Fina), Dominican (Piloto Cubano), Honduras (La Entrada) & Nicaragua (Condega)
  • Length: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $6.99 (Box of 20, $139.80)
  • Release Date: May 1, 2023
  • Number of Cigars Released: Undisclosed
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

This unique perfecto size is a longtime staple of the non-Cuban Punch brand, where it’s called Champion. The cigars are generally well-rolled, though the second cigar has loose seams near the bottom. The wrapper is a medium brown color though there are some brown mustard hues that break through the darker brown. Aroma-wise, rich wood smells lead the dance on two cigars over some saltiness, peanut oil and some moral flavor. One cigar has a smell similar to the weird foul water I noted in a recent review of the Angel Cuesta. The first two cigars have more of the rich woodiness, joined by either milk chocolate and vanilla, though the third cigar has more of that foul water smell along with something that reminds me of some spoiled fruit. The cold draws continue to be divergent: a pedestrian grain flavor—similar to a Nutri-Grain bar—is joined by some sweet sushi rice. That third cigar is more sour though it has lots of funky creaminess that reminds me of tzatziki sauce. While the aromas are generally medium-full, the cold draws are full.

While the three cigars showed differences before lighting, they are rather similar once lit. Grain flavors lead nuttiness, toasty earthiness, mild amounts of black pepper and sugar sweetness. On one cigar, the nuttiness is close to the same intensity, but the largest difference between the three cigars is related to the bitterness, which varies from non-existent to medium depending on the cigar. While the cigar starts medium-full in flavor intensity, the profile quickly gets to be full. The Nutri-Gran-like flavors continue to lead, though there’s less sweetness compared to the first few puffs. Some plain rice cakes and earthy flavors serve as secondary notes, while black pepper, toasty herbs and flour tortillas are tertiary sensations. The graininess picks up even more during the finish, out dueling mineral flavors and a shaper black pepper. Retrohales allow the bread flavors—sometimes a defined tortilla and other times generic bread—to shine even more, sitting atop black pepper and, occasionally, nuttiness. The finish has more sharpness, with pepper leading acidity and remnants of the grain and mineral flavors. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus. Construction is a mixed bag, as smoke production—particularly from the foot—is incredible, though two cigars need touch-ups to correct uneven burns.

Throughout the second third, the Punch Dad Bod’s main flavors change from being grains leading nuts and earthiness to the three flavors intertwining themselves to create more of a singular note. At times, drier grains are more noticeable than the other two parts, but for the most part, it’s a mixture. Secondary flavors include the most generic drip coffee-like flavor and mild amounts of sweetness. Oddly, the finish is noticeably richer than the main flavors. Some sharper spice notes accent that core mixture, though I find the more noticeable difference to be the change in intensity. The other change is that the sweetness is more noticeable; I don’t think this is due to an uptick in sweetness, just less dryness. That’s not the case with the retrohales, which tend to be much drier. There’s more creaminess, a generic bread flavor and then the core grains, nuttiness and earthiness. Again, the finish is stronger than when the smoke has just left my taste buds. The retrohale’s finish is drier with added spices, muted black pepper, muted toastiness and a tiny amount of leather. All and all, the flavor is pretty similar regardless of what I’m doing, though making notes allows me to understand the differences. Flavor is generally medium-full, while times, the finish can get to full. Body is medium-plus and strength is medium-plus. All three cigars require at least one touch-up during the second third with both combustion and burn evenness being issues.

While the individual parts of the second third’s core—grains, nuttiness and earthiness—are all present in the final third, the grain flavors have once again taken a commanding lead. This separation allows the nuttiness to turn to more of a peanut shell flavor than it was before. Leather, black pepper and a touch of creaminess round out the profile. At times, the profile, it can get much spicier, but it’s not consistent. The finish is fairly similar, though there’s some added sweetness; on one cigar, that sweetness is more fruity than sugar-forward. Retrohales have a dry creaminess over some leather and white pepper. The peanut shell flavor keeps getting stronger and stronger during the retrohale’s finish, eventually taking the top spot from the grains and leading burnt black pepper. Flavor is closer to full—or more often full than before—body is medium-plus and strength is medium. Construction-wise, none of the cigars need touch-ups in the final third; perhaps this is related to the thinner size of the cigar at this point.

Final Notes

  • General Cigar Co.’s press release announcing this cigar was shameless about leaning into the Father’s Day theme. It started with these words: PUNCH CELEBRATES THE DAD BOD Dad bod noun — the physique of adult males who prefer to drink from a six pack instead of spending countless hours at the gym obsessing over their abs. 
  • Reviews like this highlight the choice we make between quality and utility. Five years ago, halfwheel reviews were often of prerelease cigars, meaning that we would be able to give you our thoughts about a new or upcoming blend right around the time that it hits the market. In the interest of giving the cigars the best opportunity to perform, i.e. not smoking them right off the truck, and also being more consistent in how we approach each review, it now seems to take us at least six weeks from the time a cigar is released before we can review.
  • I’m not sure if it’s a regular feature of the Champion size, but the very bottom of the cigar is a touch wider than the rest of the foot, almost opening up a bit like the top part of a vase.

  • One cigar had this weird spot. At first, I thought part of the wrapper was missing and this was the binder breaking through. Upon closer inspection, this is part of the wrapper leaf. Cigar rollers are told to try to avoid having these imperfections visible, and as you can see, the person applying the band made sure that this would be on the back of the cigar. In this rare instance, it might have been better to put it on the front-facing panel as the necktie probably would have covered it up.

  • I think the decision to use the removable top instead of the traditional pop-top lid is a smart one. For both retailers and consumers, this means the cans be reused.
  • Three of the four cans we purchased had dents. I don’t think it did anything to the cigars, but it took away from the appearance. I’d be more concerned about the cigars moving around as there’s nothing inside of the cans to prevent the cigars from rattling around.

  • The first time I remember seeing this cigars-in-a-can concept was five years ago. Maya Selva had these cans at InterTabac 2018.
  • Whether intentional or not, there’s a nice perforation underneath the tie’s knot that makes it easy to remove most of it and allow the band to stay on for most of the cigar. I was only able to tear it off cleanly on two cigars.

  • While all three cigars were flakier than most, the second cigar I smoked had some of the flakiest ash I’ve ever seen. This wasn’t because large chunks of ash would fall off at inopportune times, rather, small pieces of ash would fall off seemingly every time I went to pick up the cigar. I can’t think of the last time the mess was bad enough that I took a picture, but that’s what happened here.
  • The cap on the third cigar I smoked came unraveled for some reason. It was annoying, but it didn’t seem to impact the flavor.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • General Cigar Co. advertises on halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Cigars Direct, Corona Cigar Co., Famous Smoke Shop and JR Cigar carry the Punch Dad Bod.
86 Overall Score

Every once in a while, I’ll review a cigar that performs slightly better in a technical evaluation than my own subjective thoughts about the cigar which are that the Punch Dad Bod’s flavors were fine, though rarely impressive. If the goal was to make the best cigar in the world, the Punch Dad Bod didn’t accomplish the mission. If the goal was to make a great Father’s Day gift for a wide swath of dads, some of whom may not be regular cigar smokers, this is a resounding success. This is flavorful enough, avoids any major downfalls and comes in some of the most fun packaging in recent memory. Gifting a can of these—$35 MSRP—to someone who is only an occasional cigar smoker seems like an awesome option that would likely bring a smile to a dad’s face.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.