In 2008, the Punch Diademas Extra was scheduled to be released as an Edición Regional series. Unfortunately, there were significant delays, reportedly due to the fact that the first batch of gold foil used the wrap the cigar was lost, the second batch was of unusable quality, and finally, the last batch did not actually arrive until late 2009, and you could not actually buy the cigars until early 2010 in most places.

Interestingly, there have been some boxes with box codes from 2008 that have been found. What this means is that most likely, the cigars were already aged up to two years by the time they reached the open market. The vitola, officially a Diademas Extra, is the re-release of an older regular production size that was discontinued in 1980 and replaced with the slightly longer and smaller ring gauge Diademas Extra, which was also discontinued in 1988.

The Punch Diademas Extra (ER Italia) was a fairly limited release with only 1,020 boxes of 10 cigars rolled for Diadema S.P.A.

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Punch Diademas Extra (Edición Regional Italia 2009)
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: Miguel Fernández Roig
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Size: 9 3/16 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 55
  • Vitola: Giant Perfecto
  • MSRP: $25.00 (Boxes of 10; $250.00)
  • Date Released: 2009
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,020 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,200 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

I have to say, the first time I saw one of these cigars in person, it was extremely impressive. It is a physically enormous stick with a very interesting shape; certainly not something you see every day, and I don’t know of a non-Cuban cigar that comes close to the look. Couple that with the shiny gold foil that covers the entire length of the smoke and you have a cigar that you will not forget after seeing it. Although the foil did feel a bit flimsy, I found it pretty cool that the two bands were on the outside of the foil as well. And, speaking of the bands, the second band, which is blue with a crown front and center and officially called the “S1” band, is not used on any other cigar other then this one.

As I mentioned, this is a large stick and I love the gold foil presentation. When the foil is taken off, I was stuck with a very strong scent of barnyard, hay, pepper and chocolate, what I would call a uniquely Cuban combination. The wrapper is a light to medium brown color and is quite rough. I would call it rustic feeling and it is slightly spongy when squeezed.

The first third starts off nicely enough, albeit mildly, with just a tad bit of pepper on the tongue that quickly fades into flavors of chocolate, leather and tobacco. Punch Diademas Extra (RE Italy) 3.png

The second third had is still quite mild, but stared to turn just a bit creamy as well, with a cedar flavor appearing, along with the same leather notes from the first third.

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The last third is pretty much more of the same. The pepper never returns, which is a pity, and while the cigar was quite creamy in nature, there just was not that much to it; just the same leather, cedar and tobacco flavors that is present in the first two thirds of the stick.

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Final Notes:

  • Despite the huge size, there is very little smoke coming from this cigar.
  • This cigar has the dubious distinction of being the largest cigar I have ever smoked that I can remember right off the bat. Larger than the Fuente Fuente OpusX A, the “El Padrino” and the Hemingway Masterpiece (9 x 52) just to name a few.
  • As with almost all perfecto vitolas, the burn and draw on this cigar was pretty bad until right after the “bulb” but then evened out nicely.
  • There have always been rumors that almost every Edición Regional coming out of Cuba are rolled with the exact same tobacco into different vitolas. I won’t go that far, yet, but it is awfully interesting that the profiles seem to be eerily similar, even across different brands.
  • The final smoking time was two hours and 45 minutes, but felt like three days.
75 Overall Score

This cigar was kind of like a marriage. It starts out great, but lasts way too long and at the end of it, you just want to chuck the whole thing. It got boring about halfway through, then just got more boring until it was literally a waste of time to continue, although in the interest of being fair, I had to finish it. Sadly, it really was not worth the effort. Just another monotonous monstrosity in a sea of mediocrity that is the Edición Regional series.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.