At Cigar Intel, we do things differently. We are normal people smoking cigars just like the rest of you. When the staff sat around smoking a fine handmade cigar while chatting about the idea of our first ever Cigar Intel 2012 Cigar of the Year award, we realized that we needed to be different. Similar awards provide incredibly valuable information to our fellow cigar smokers and we did not want to take away from the methods of the likes of Cigar Aficionado, Cigar Snob magazine, etc. In fact, we’re looking forward to smoking each and every cigar on all of these lists.
We did not want to duplicate their methods. So, we decided to use our own criteria to select the Cigar Intel 2012 Cigar of the Year. And seeing as how we don’t have statisticians, research analysts, or the like on our staff, we decided to go old school. Our 2012 Cigar of the Year criteria is simple; we selected the cigar that we smoked the most of all year. The cigar that our friends asked to bum from us. And the cigar that our acquaintances admired and snagged a few from us. This is the cigar that we smoked while hanging out at cigar bars, working on this website, and enjoying life.
Cost was not a driver per se but in the end, the cigar we chose is affordable. Size, color, shape, or origin had no play in our decision. However, since the cigar we selected is a smaller sized robusto at 5 1/4″ by 45 ring size, the cigar fit into all types of occasions. Strength was not a factor in our decision but the medium body certainly played well with a variety of our fellow cigar smokers. Look and feel was not a criteria but the box pressed reddish color cigar is a real selling point.
The Cigar Intel 2012 Cigar of the Year is. . . . (drum roll please). . .
The Punch Rare Corojo Elite
Size: 5 1/4″ x 45
Style: Robusto. Sort of. Small for a robusto. Maybe a half corona? No wonder General Cigar calls this an Elite.
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic
Strength: Medium to Full
Source: We bought boxes of these cigars from a variety of locations, both online and brick and mortar. Our favorite source is JR Cigars.
Propaganda: The General Cigar website provided the following information. The Punch Rare Corojo line is made at the Honduras American Tabaco S.A., in Danli, Honduras. “When Punch Rare Corojo was introduced in a limited edition some years ago, the taste and aroma of the cigars was so exceptional, all of them were sold very quickly. Then, in the year 2001, Villazon cigar master Frank Llaneza began producing in small quantities, a new square-pressed version of the cigar that is even more robust than the original. Punch Rare Corojo cigars are made with extra rich, dark Sumatra wrapper leaves that are grown in the mountains of Ecuador. The filler is a rich blend of Honduran, Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. If you want a Punch cigar with an extra kick to it, Punch Rare Corojo, in the distinctive red box, is the one for you.”
Look: This cigar is dark brown/reddish in color. The wrapper is flawless with very little oil. No large veins are visible. The cap is perfect, almost imperceptible.
Feel: The cigar is firm throughout. The wrapper is silky smooth.
Smell: Before lighting, the cigar had a faint earthy odor.
Taste: General Cigar calls this a full bodied cigar. We call this a medium to full bodied cigar. The cigar is smooth throughout with earth and wood. The reason we call aren’t biting on the full bodied designation by General Cigar is because the cigar has an absolutely fantastic finish. No bitterness. No overwhelming after taste. Just a fantastic, go-to cigar.
Location: Pretty much everywhere we could smoke a cigar in 2012.
Accompanying Beverage: Iced Tea, beer, port depending on the setting.
Rating: It doesn’t get much better than this. A fantastic cigar that is also affordable enough for a daily smoke. Sadly, this cigar is not available all year. This cigar is a Nubber Classic!