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Released every year in February since 2001, the Punch Rare Corojo blend features a Sumatra wrapper from Ecuador covering a Connecticut broadleaf binder and filler tobaccos from Dominican Republic, Honduras & NIcaragua. There were two new vitolas in this year’s release: a 6 x 52figurado vitola named Rare Lapiz that sells for $9.82 each in boxes of 10 and a 6 1/2 x 66 gordo known as El Diablo priced at $8.25 per cigar that comes packaged in boxes of 20.

While the Rare Lapiz is a limited edition release for 2015, the El Diablo will continue to be a regular addition to the Rare Corojo line after this year.

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“Punch Rare Corojo started the trend of seasonal cigars, and each year, we’re pleased with the response to this annual collection,” said Ed McKenna, senior brand manager for Punch, in a press release. “Given the range of frontmarks and the addition of Rare Lapiz to this year’s lineup, we are confident that Punch Rare Corojo will sell out quickly.”

All of the Punch Rare Corojo cigars are rolled at STG Danlí in Honduras, and retailers will only be able to order them until May 15, or until stock is depleted.

There are six different vitolas in the 2015 release of the Punch Rare Corojo.

  • Punch Rare Corojo Champion (4 1/2 x 60) — $6.64 (Boxes of 25, $166)
  • Punch Rare Double Corona (6 3/4 x 48) — $7.76 (Boxes of 25, $194)
  • Punch Rare Corojo Magnum (5 1/4 x 56) — $8 (Boxes of 25, $200)
  • Punch Rare Corojo El Doble (6 x 60) — $8.36 (Boxes of 20, $167.20)
  • Punch Rare Corojo El Diablo (6 1/2 x 66) — $8.25 (Boxes of 20, $165)
  • Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz (6 x 52) — $9.82 (Boxes of 10, $98.20)

Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: STG Danlí
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras & NIcaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Figurado
  • MSRP: $9.82 (Boxes of 10, $98.20)
  • Date Released: Feb. 16, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz is covered in a reddish mocha brown wrapper that is quite toothy to the touch and almost totally devoid of veins. It is just short of rock hard when squeezed, and seems to be excellently rolled after a visual inspection. Aroma from the wrapper is a surprising combination of sweet floral and earth, while the cold draw brings flavors of oak, leather, grass and pepper.

The Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz starts off with a very dominant gritty earth note, along with leather, espresso, cedar, hay and barnyard, along with a slightly generic sweetness that comes and goes. There is a floral note on the finish that reminds me of the scent that came off of the wrapper, and some nice black pepper on the retrohale. I am noticing a slight spice on my lips, but it has disappeared by the end of the first third, and the smoke production is well above average. Construction-wise, the draw is a bit tight to start, but the burn is excellent so far. The overall strength surprises me, and easily hits the medium mark by the end of the first third.

Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz 2

Unfortunately, the second third of the Rare Lapiz follows exactly along the path of the first third: earth and leather up front, with minor flavors of coffee, wood, barnyard and hay filling in the gaps. The sweetness from the first third is still around, but has lost quite a bit of its strength, as has the black pepper on the retrohale. While I can still tasted the floral note on the finish, it is being diluted by a creamy cedar note. The strength has stalled out slightly higher than medium, and while the draw is still a touch tight for my tastes, the burn has started to waver a bit, forcing a relight along the way.

Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz 3

The final third of the Punch Rare Corojo figurado changes very little with the same earth and leather combination as the obvious dominant flavor, followed by bitter espresso, dark cocoa, hay and wood in varying amounts. The sweetness is long gone, the pepper is long gone, and the spice is long gone, but the smoke production continues to impress, billowing off of the foot in dense waves. Both the burn and draw continue to have issues, although they are more annoying than detrimental, and after taking off like a rocket in the first third, the strength ends up just above the medium mark by the time I put the cigar down with a little more than an inch left.

Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz 4

Final Notes

  • Lapiz translates to pencil.
  • I do love the vitola of this release.
  • I find it extremely bizarre that a cigar with “Corojo” in the name does not have any actual corojo tobacco listed in the blend, although I suppose there could be some in the filler somewhere.
  • General Cigar Co. does not disclose the production numbers for the release.
  • Having said the above, the Punch Rare Corojo 10th Anniversary released in 2011 did use a Connecticut corojo wrapper.
  • Speaking of the moniker of the cigar, the name “Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz” is receptive to the point of being annoying.
  • Smoke production was enormous off of the foot, and never let up once until I put the cigar down.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples was one hour and 50 minutes.
  • General Cigar Co. advertises on halfwheel
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • If you would like purchase any of the Punch Rare Corojo Rare Lapiz, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Elite Cigar Cafe (972-661-9136) and Serious Cigars have them in stock.
65 Overall Score

Unfortunately, after smoking three of these, if I had one word to describe this blend, it would be "forgettable." While there is nothing offensive about it, there was also no point during the entirety of the three cigars I smoked that would lead me to come close to recommending it due to a profile that almost ever changed. The construction was medium of the road, with a draw that was just too tight and burn line that wavered for pretty much the entire cigar and the finish had a bit of a floral note to it that, while somewhat interesting, did not help the balance or the profile. Yes, the release features a nice vitola, but in the end, that is just not enough to save the cigar.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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