While it may not seem like it now, there was a time when Habanos S.A. would release over 20 new Edición Regionals in a single year.
The year 2009 was just such a year, as a total of 23 different Edición Regional blends were released all over the world, which ended up being the second most in the program’s history after it debuted in 2005. In fact, six of those 23 cigars were members of the Punch marca, and one of those six was a 6 1/8 x 50 vitola made for the country of Spain that was dubbed the Gran Robusto.
Those six Punch regionals for the year 2009 were:
- Punch Punch Royal (5 5/8 x 50) — Edición Regional Benelux
- Punch Gran Robusto (6 1/8 x 50) — Edición Regional España
- Punch Small Club (4 x 50) — Edición Regional Francia
- Punch Platino (7 5/8 x 49) — Edición Regional India
- Punch Northern Lights (4 5/16 x 52) — Edición Regional Países Nordics
- Punch Poderosos (6 1/2 x 54) — Edición Regional Suiza
Perhaps unsurprisingly, although the Punch Gran Robusto was originally scheduled to be released in 2009, the cigars were not actually available for sale into early 2010, when there were 80,000 of the cigars packaged in boxes of 10.
Here is what I said about the cigar in my original review back in October 2017:
The Punch marca has never been a go-to for me in terms of Cuban cigars, especially when talking about about the Edición Regionals, but the Punch Gran Robusto España 2009 may make me reevaluate that. Complex, nuanced and almost perfectly balanced for most of the cigar, the Punch also features a great amount of both mocha coffee and vanilla sweetness, and a wonderful creaminess throughout the profile. Yes, the profile fell apart near the end, but it was late enough that it be easy to put the cigar down before that happened in future samples, meaning I would not have to experience any of the downturn. Sadly, I never smoked this particular cigar fresh, but I can tell you that it is smoking wonderfully now and is well worth the effort to track down and try for yourself.
- Cigar Reviewed: Punch Gran Robusto Edición Regional España (2009)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 6 1/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $16 (Box of 10, $160)
- Release Date: 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 8,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (80,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
Despite the fact that this Punch Gran Robusto Edición Regional España came from a different box, it is covered in a very familiar cinnamon brown wrapper that is parchment-like to the touch and is virtually devoid of oil. There are plenty of veins running up and down the cigar’s length and it is almost shockingly spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of hay, manure, leather, cedar, dark chocolate and baker’s spices while the cold draw brings flavors of orange citrus, cinnamon, cream, cedar, leather, earth and cocoa nibs.
The flavors come swooping in immediately after I light up the foot of the Punch Gran Robusto, the most dominant being a combination of lemongrass and cinnamon. Lesser notes of creamy cedar, nutmeg, leather, gritty earth, rich espresso beans and a touch of floral flit in and out as well, while some surprisingly aggressive white pepper is noticeable on the retrohale. Also included in the profile is a distinct—albeit extremely light—caramel sweetness that shows up early on, although it does not increase all that much as the cigar progresses. Other than a reduction in the white pepper on the retrohale and a bit more of an aggressive creamy cedar note, the profile remains pretty much the same until the final puffs, when the flavors seem to just give up the ghost and turn unto a mushy mess that I take as a signal to quit puffing.
Construction-wise, the Punch is excellent overall, with a draw that features an almost perfect amount of resistance after a straight cut—somewhat surprising after noticing the extreme sponginess of the cigar—along with a burn line that is razor sharp until halfway through the final third, where it finally starts to waver a bit. In addition, there is plenty of thick, off white smoke while the overall strength increases slowly from a point close to the mild mark to end fairly close to medium by the time I put the nub down after one hour and 42 minutes with an inch remaining.
As I mentioned in my first review, Punch is not a Cuban brand that I tend to gravitate towards, so I was particularly interested to see just how the Punch Gran Robusto Edición Regional España had aged in the close to two years since I smoked it the first time. What I found was that the profile had changed almost totally, from mocha coffee and vanilla sweetness to a dominant lemongrass and cinnamon combination with just a touch of caramel sweetness on the retrohale. Interestingly, there are two things that have not changed in that time: the balance, which is still thankfully still excellent for most of the smoking time; and the fact that the profile still falls apart right at the end of the cigar. Regardless of the changes or lack thereof, the Punch Gran Robusto remains a very good cigar and still seems to have plenty left to give, even after 10 years.