Contender (Punch Uppercut Toro)

2015-11-17 18.43.22After watching the dramatic upset at the Rousey-Holm fight this week, I was in the mood for something that packed a punch.  I generally save my bigger cigars for the Okanagan Pipe & Cigar Club since it’s a good time to fully enjoy a cigar in the context of a gathering during which I’m doing nothing else.  So it was this month’s club meeting that inspired me to pull out my Punch Uppercut Toro, which I had carefully saved for several months.  This toro was hovering at the low end of heavyweight at six and a half inches in length; but it was on the thinner side for a toro at a 54 ring gauge.  Its wrapper note was mostly of appealing toasted nut, perhaps a bit like roasted chestnuts.  Made in Honduras but comprised of Nicaraguan long-fillers in a unique Nicaraguan binder grown on Ometepe Island, this nutty tobacco was sporting a silky matte finished, milk chocolate coloured Ecuadorian-grown Sumatran wrapper with visible veins as its trunks.  I clipped it with my double-guillotine cutter, and it had some trouble clipping in the center due to the firm pack (and, I admit, my sore arthritic fingers).  I had to do it twice, but then it was perfect.

Toasting the foot produced a roasted nut and percolating coffee smell that reminded me of my family’s Christmas Eve custom of eating mixed nuts and staying up late.  The first draw was hard-hitting; oily and rich, like coffee and leather. Really tasty; loved its texture!  And its oils lingered on the mouth and in the palate in such a way that I was tasting it long after (and it was still tasty).The only problem I can complain about is that I soon found that I had an off-kilter light that required some correction and it never quite matched up.

2015-11-17 19.30.53The first round lasted about an hour, and I was steadily puffing at it too, having not much else on my mind but smoking, talking, and making cigar notes for this review at our tobacco enthusiasts monthly gathering, which is always a very social affair.  It left a long white ash that was not quite as impressive as that of the Padron 3000 Handmade I smoked last week, but it was certainly nothing to sneeze at either.  Certainly I found that the taste of delicious, unadulterated tobacco was consistent with the unsullied appearance of the ash.

By the end of the first third I discovered exactly how hard-hitting it was.  I was just a bit dizzy from steadily puffing.  It is billed as a medium to full-bodied smoke and certainly that was consistent with my experience, like a left jab to the head.

For the second round, our hero came in with a little more bitterness, but also with some real aggression in its darker spice and pepper notes. Our fighter tired a little in this round, though: I tapped off the ash so that it wouldn’t spill, and it went out twice after that.  I guess I tapped off more of the ash than I should have!  It lasted for a full 45 minutes, however; even though I had to clip it twice.  So for stamina this boxer was definitely staying in the ring.

So I let it stay unlit until after dinner.  When I fired up the Uppercut again it proved to be the Comeback Queen.  I found it to be strong, spicy, and peppery.  It finished its third round with bold coffee and leather elements once again; though the final third only lasted half an hour due to a couple of relights in my desire to stubbornly maintain the smoke.

Yes, the Uppercut is definitely a contender!  I enjoyed it and will definitely smoke it again; and I certainly won’t apologize for giving one to my son for his birthday.  I suggested whisky as his accompaniment, since, like most twenty-somethings, he intended to spend the night drinking.  I hope that he remembers the quality of the smoke in the morning!

My score:

Stars - 4 and a half

This smoke must be popular because it’s difficult to find.  Cigars International and Thompson Cigar are out of stock; but you can till get singles at Corona Cigar Company for $7.50 USD; and I think it’s worth your money.  You should get it before you can’t.

That’s a lady’s perspective!



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