It’s not everyday you see a cigar with an exclamation point in its name, but there will be a new one arriving on store shelves in mid-February.

General Cigar Co. has announced the upcoming release of the Punch Kung Pow!, the third in the brand’s Chinese New Year Series. It follows up the Punch Egg Roll from 2019 and the Punch Chop Suey from 2020.

The cigar is a 6 x 52 toro vitola that uses a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, a Honduran habano binder and the filler tobaccos from Brazil, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Like its predecessors, it is a wallet-friendly cigar, coming with an MSRP of $5.99 per cigar.

“The Chinese New Year Series for Punch has become a new tradition and for the 2021 release, we took a page from the Szechuan cookbooks,” said Ed Lahmann, senior brand manager of Punch and the creator of Kung Pow!, via a press release. “The medium-to-full-bodied blend is vaguely sweet with an undercurrent of spice, just like the popular Chinese food dish of the differently-spelled name. We put a new spin on the takeout container for this year’s release, and we’ve once again hit the post-holiday sweet spot for cigar lovers,” he added.

A total of 4,500 boxes of 20 cigars have been produced by the STG Danlí factory in Danlí, Honduras, a significant increase from the 3,650 boxes that were designed to look like takeout containers for the Chop Suey release.

This year’s boxes are also designed to look like a takeout-style box with a graphics that are a nod to Year of the Ox. “Chinese astrology tells us that The Year of The Ox is a year of hard work, determination and rebuilding,” added Lahmann. “Our ‘No Bull’ motto on the lid says it all.”

The cigars are scheduled to begin shipping to brick-and-mortar retailers on Feb. 15.

Images courtesy of General Cigar Co.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.