What this country needs is a good 5 cent cigar! That is what Thomas R. Marshall, 28th Vice President (1913-1921) said.
“…historian John E. Brown has traced the quotation back to the Indiana newspaper cartoonist Kin Hubbard, who put the words in the mouth of his popular character “Abe Martin.” As a fan of the cartoon strip, Marshall simply picked up the phrase, repeated it, and became its surrogate father. “U/S. Senate
Over the decades, one could restate this as; What this country needs is a good $3.00 cigar or $5.00 cigar or in the case of the 2020 – a good $5 – $6 cigar. That is exactly what General Cigars did early this year with the introduction of the Punch Knuckle Buster, a value priced cigar that in the words of Ed Lahmann, senior brand manager for Punch:
“A cigar is not about money or status or boutique cigarmakers. It’s about removing those barriers and enjoying a moment of well-earned relaxation.”
Manufactured in General’s HATSA factory in Danlí, Honduras, the Punch Knuckle Buster has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan and Honduran
The Punch Knuckle Buster is expressed in three vitolas and comes packaged in 20-count boxes, except the Gordo which is packaged in 25-count boxes:
- Robusto (4 1/2 x 52) MSRP $4.99
- Toro (6 x 50) MSRP $5.49
- Gordo (6 1/4 x 60) MSRP $5.99
For this review, I sampled the Punch Knuckle Buster toro which I received as part of a cigar exchange with the Frontline Cigars Members club.
The Punch Knuckle Buster is an decent looking cigar with its oily medium to dark brown wrapper. There are some veins and a touch of marbling throughout the wrapper, along with some noticeable seams. The packing is tight and it is finished with a simple cap.
A single band adorns the Knuckle Buster, using a black, silver, white and gold motif. The name “Knuckle Buster” is boldly printed in the center in white along with the name “Punch” in gold above and “Habano” on the bottom. A brass knuckle is printed in gold on the top of the band.
Running the cigar along the nose, I was impressed with the pre-light aromas that offered a sweet and pungent note along the barrel while the foot had an delectable foot fruit that after a few more sniffs, I would describe as pear.
I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar with my double blade cutter and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that was decently restricted and offered notes of fruit and pepper.
So far this value priced cigar has shown it is most definitely worth the price and all that is left, is to fire it up and burn it to ash. I used my double flame torch to warm the foot and drew in the first puffs of cream notes. Follow along as a break down the Punch Knuckle Buster.
Cigar Review Notes
- Cream notes start the journey off the first puff of full volume of smoke
- Sweetness and cedar notes join the mix
- A light grey ash evolves on top of a jagged char line
- Light spice build moving through the first third
- Buttery notes add to complete the early profile
- Ash fell in a decent chunk revealing a flat and inward burn cone
- Cream and coffee notes enter with a hint of citrus
- Slight sour note enters moving through the second third
- Bits of leaf are coming out the head of the cigar
- Off burn develops that requires a touch-up to keep it moving along
- Cream and coffee continues down through the final
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, the Punch Knuckle Buster Toro was a surprisingly flavorful cigar experience considering the value price of the cigar. It did have a spot of sourness deep in the second third which lasted for a short time but then found itself again offering rich cream and coffee notes. From a construction perspective it did have some waves and and off burn that required a touch up and once the ash fell, it revealed a flat and inward burn. Considering the value price of the Knuckle Buster, I would certainly look at purchasing a fiver and rate this a 86. Yes this country now has a good $5 – $6 cigar!
Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged Burn; (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Touch-up Required; (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-2) Inward Burn; (-1) Sour Notes deep in second third; (-1) Bits of Leaf Coming out of the head