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Cigar Review: Punch Rare Corojo Elite

The statue may be creepy, but the smoke is great!

Much as I absolutely love working here at BestCigarPrices, it’s sometimes nice to take a little time away from the office. Last weekend I managed to slip away for a few days to head down south and visit a great cigar-smoking friend of mine. Of course I had to bring some stogies along for the trip, and I plucked from my humidor some Punch Rare Corojo Elite samples I picked up from our always-generous General Cigars rep.

The drive from New York to North Carolina is long, and my wonderful girlfriend and I decided to stop in Richmond, VA on our way down. There we came across the Capital Ale House, an absolutely top-notch establishment featuring a vast selection of the finest craft microbrews around as well as some delicious food. I knew the microbrew aficionado in me was in for a treat when the beer menu was about 30 pages, and I was certainly not disappointed. I opted for the Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA that they were featuring on tap, and boy was that a great decision. As I waited on my sausage & shrimp ravioli smothered in lobster sauce to arrive I contented myself to be overwhelmed by the hoppy, floral flavors of this decadent IPA. Each sip was better than the last, and I polished off my pint well before the food showed up. Think I may have found a rival to my all time favorite IPA, Stone Brewing Company’s version.

The only thing wrong was, despite being in the heart of tobacco country I couldn’t fire up a cigar to go along with it. I thought once I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line I’d be among my smoking brethren, but apparently even in the south they have laws that tell business owners what they can and can’t do with the business that they own. That topic is for another rant however, so I just ordered up another Racer 5 and dug into my raviolis. What a perfect meal. Friendly staff, reasonable prices, tasty fare all around, what more could I ask for? I know I’ll be back next time I headed in that direction.

Of course once I finished I was more than ready for one of those Punch Rare Corojos! Two short hours later I was on my friend’s porch and we settled in to give these a try. A little smaller than my usual size, these check in at 5 ¼ x 44. They also check in with a toothy dark-colored wrapper and a rich pre-light aroma. Instant spice hit me when I lit this up, along with some woody undertones that meshed together perfectly with the spice. I had never smoked the Rare Corojo before, but I am certainly no stranger to General’s fine products. This one carried the same characteristics that make many of their brands best sellers in our humidor, specifically the absolutely flawless construction, the smooth, easy draw, and consistent flavor from start to finish. If you’ve read a few of my reviews, you know I like a spicy smoke, and the delicious Corojo wrapper on this one is right in my sweet spot. It’s a shame I didn’t have another pint or two of Racer 5 to go with it, I think the Corojo spice and the extreme IPA hops would make a phenomenal pair.

I really dug into the full flavors of this one, about a third of the way in I started to get a little leather to go along with the wood, and the spice never let up. I also love a cigar that delivers smoke so thick you can chew on it, and this stogie fits that bill as well. My buddy and I were puffing away perfectly content, alternating in between raving about the qualities of this cigar and discussing our plans for the rest of the weekend and reminiscing about old times. This cigar is perfect for that set and setting, it’s an easy-going smoke that leaves you free to relax, and soak up the flavors, and concentrate on solving whichever of the world’s problems is most pressing at that particular moment.

I had a great, relaxing weekend and am now obviously back at the “grind” – ha! Some grind. I think it’s pretty cool that one of the highlights of my vacation was something that directly relates to my job. I came back with an even clearer appreciation of how lucky I am to have such a cool gig. To summarize, Punch Rare Corojo is a spicy stogie that fits my palette like a glove, Bear Republic Racer 5 is delicious, and it is really a long way from New York to North Carolina and back.