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Connoisseur’s Corner: Punch Punch

Punch Punch

99
Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva Cosecha 2003 (2009)

Beautiful to behold, it has perfect construction and smoking performance. And as the intact ash burned more than halfway down, the complex flavors— cinnamon, dark chocolate, leather and earth—melded together into an almost indescribably perfect smoking experience. At 11 years this medium- to full-bodied cigar is still smoking young, and has another 10 years to go before reaching anything close to its peak. Guaranteed to be a perfect 100-pointer in the future. Wow! —Gordon Mott

96
Montecristo Especial (1994)

This is Cuba’s forgotten slim smoke, a pigtailed cigar that gets none of the buzz enjoyed by the Cohiba Lanceros or Trinidad Fundadores. It’s a shame, for this is a flavorful but nuanced smoke brimming with sweet and earthy spices. There are notes of light chocolate and orange peel and the finish is heavy on peanut flavor. The draw—always a concern with lanceros—is ideal, and the finish is long and rich. It’s smoking well now. —David Savona

96
Romeo y Julieta Chuchill (1990)

Silky and softly box-pressed, this Churchill has retained its oils over the decades, as the wrapper is still dark and supple. The draw produces a creamy smoke, dense with chestnut and graham cracker notes. Elegant accents of nutmeg, citrus and salted caramel blossom on the palate as well. Both draw and burn are flawless, remaining textbook perfect the entire time. A fine example of a classic cigar aging gracefully. —Gregory Mottola