Punch Up In Britain: Medalla d'Oro for U.K.

A new Punch cigar has made its way to Great Britain, just in time for the Summer Olympics, which are coming to London in 44 days. The Punch Medalla d'Oro had its official launch on May 31 at the summer party thrown by Hunters & Frankau, the importer of Cuban cigars into the United Kingdom. It is now in stock in British shops.

Measuring 6 1/8 inches long with a ring gauge of 50, the cigars are wrapped in gleaming golden foil. The distinctive wrapping extends past the halfway point of the cigar, with the red and silver Regional Edition band (reading "Exclusivo Gran Bretaña") extending past the end of the foil. A close examination of the foil shows that it has been stamped over and over with the words "EMS 2012," EMS referring to English Market Selection.

There are 3,000 boxes, each one containing 10 cigars, for a total run of 30,000 cigars.

The cigars are quite pricey. A box of 10 Medalla d'Oros retails for £275 (about $428), or £27.50 ($43) per cigar.

The Punch Medalla d'Oro (which is Spanish for Gold Medal) is styled after the Bolivar Gold Medal, a significantly thinner smoke (42 ring gauge) that came partially wrapped in gold foil. The Bolivars were discontinued in the early 1990s, brought back in Germany, then reissued as a Casa del Habano special, but the cigars were once again discontinued within the last few years. The cigar proved popular in certain circles, but never truly excelled in blind tastings in Cigar Aficionado magazine and Cigar Insider, our twice-monthly newsletter about the cigar industry. The cigar was rated three times, scoring 87 points once and 88 points on two occasions.

For more details on the Regional Edition program, read Gordon Mott's Havana Corner.

For the full story on this new cigar, see Tuesday's Cigar Insider.

"Over the years I've had very few excellent regional's. And many mediocre/simply okay ones most of which were surpassed by those of regular production. I no longer bother seeking-out regionals nor limiteds for that matter. Unless one's really into smoking/collecting the bands and the boxes; not for me." —June 16, 2012 18:54 PM
"Second band excitement demands second band prices. I will pass on this, just to much money." —June 13, 2012 17:51 PM
"Yeah right. For $43 I would rather smoke a behike. Soon all cuban cigars would sell more expensive than gold. Pass" —June 13, 2012 15:47 PM