I recently smoked the Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso, a high-quality cigar at a reasonable price. I have provided my full review below. This content uses referral links.
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A recent shipment from Cigar of the Month included the Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso. This was a high-quality cigar at a reasonable price.
Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso
A Honduran cigar made with a mixture of Honduran and Nicaraguan long-fillers, a Honduran binder, and a dark Ecuadorian Habano Sun-Grown wrapper, this cigar exhibited the kind of quality I expect from Punch.
Cigar of the Month recommends pairing it with a Highland Whiskey. The closest thing I had on hand was the Johnny Walker White Walker Edition that I purchased through Flaviar. The two complimented each other perfectly.
In my grading system and review below, I have adopted the Cigar Journal: For the Discerning Aficionado method. It provides an excellent system for keeping track of my favorite smokes, and I recommend it to any cigar smoker.
Time of the Smoke
It took me about an hour to smoke through this cigar.
Look of the Label
The label was wrapped around the foot rather than in its usual location, so I had to slip it off before lighting up. This is the reason my picture above has no label. Nonetheless, the label was well-made and subtle, even if I don’t care for bands on the foot.
Below, I posted a picture of the label from my cigar journal. (I make it a habit of saving the bands and pasting them into my journal.)
Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso’s Condition
The Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso was well made. It was of solid construction with a beautiful oily sheen. It did, however, have very distinct seams that I don’t expect to see on the best-made cigars.
Feel of the Cigar
This cigar felt perfect all around. It was consistent and had just the right amount of give on the squeeze throughout. It was clearly an expertly rolled stick.
Aroma of the Wrapper
The pre-lit cigar’s aroma was a bit pungent, like vinegar. This vinegar smell overpowered everything else, making for a very unappetizing aroma.
The cut was perfect. I was able to slice off the cap quickly and without issue, leaving the structure of the cigar completely intact.
Lighting the Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso
The Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso lit up quickly and without issue.
The draw on this cigar was great throughout. It had the perfect amount of resistance that allowed for a relaxing, enjoyable smoke from beginning to end.
On the retrohale, the Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso had notes of pepper that were simultaneously very strong and smooth. I’m not sure how else to describe it, but it was very nice.
Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso’s Flavor
On the cold draw, I picked up very subtle hints of leather. After the light, the Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso had notes of leather, earth, and wood. It was an enjoyable smoke, but it was relatively plain. It certainly wasn’t anything to write home about.
Aroma of the Smoke
After the light, the cigar’s smoke smelled of leather and earth. It was kind of bland, though, and therefore nothing special.
The burn started off just a little uneven, which is not atypical of premium cigars. It never did, however, even up, eventually requiring me to touch it up. I hate doing that because I often notice a subtle change in the flavor of the smoke when I have to put a flame to it for a second time.
The ash was fine. It was nothing impressive, but it also didn’t cause any trouble.
Effect of the Smoke
I know that this is a bit of an odd category to consider. As the author of The Cigar Journal: For the Discerning Aficionado notes, however, if the best-tasting cigar in the world makes you sick, it’s not a great cigar for you.
This area is, therefore, very personal. Some low-quality cigars will make most people sick. Still, when you’re talking about premium cigars, different people will react differently to different cigars.
The Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso left me feeling relaxed and mellow, precisely what I want.
Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso’s Tobacco
The Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso showed itself to be well-made here. No flakes of tobacco found their way into my mouth at any point during the smoke.
Punch Bareknuckle Belicoso Final Grade
Overall, this was a good cigar that I would happily smoke again. I’m not sure why the unlit wrapper smelled so horribly, but perhaps it was a one-off fluke. The flavors through the rest of the cigar did not match its initial unfortunate smell. At $4.00 per stick, it’s reasonably priced, and I might consider picking up another one.
Final Grade: 88 / B+
As always, I recommend Monthly Clubs’ Cigar of the Month Club. I’ve been a member for years, and I love it. If you join, you’ll get five premium cigars delivered right to your door every month for just $32.95, including shipping.
(There’s also a slightly more expensive Rare Cigar Club available, for those who are interested.)
The opportunity to try a variety of high-quality cigars and to learn more about cigars in general through the accompanying tasting notes has been an invaluable experience for me. I have enjoyed being a member, and I recommend giving it a try.
If you’d prefer not to use my link, however, I still recommend the Club. Just go to Monthly Clubs’ Cigar of the Month website to explore Monthly Clubs’ offerings.