Punch Selección Round No. 1

Moving ahead with my week of “cheap” stogie reviews, tonight we have the Punch Selección Round No. 1, a neat little Corona at, you guessed it, less than $5. I've tried finding this one online for a description of the tobaccos used, but I can't find it anywhere. I'm assuming it's a Honduran puro, but I can't be certain of that.

Cigar: Punch Selección Round No. 1

Vitola: Corona (5 1/2” x 40)

Price: $3.99/stick

Origin: Honduras

Wrapper: Unknown
Binder: Unknown
Filler: Unknown
Body: Mild-Medium

Rating (out of 10): 9.2

This cigar's got a beautiful, milk chocolate-colored wrapper with some light veins and a very faint sheen of oil. The band somewhat mimics its Cuban counterpart; they're not identical, but one could probably be forgiven for mixing the two up.

Flawless construction on this one. No cracks, tears, soft spots... and a perfect cap that cuts perfectly with my narrow punch.

The barrel of this one smells both woody and fruity at the same time, and I'm getting a msuky, earthy tone from the foot.

First Third:
The band is pretty loose, so I just went ahead and slid it off at the start. Cold draw is open and sweet, like cocoa with a rich fruitiness to it. This flavor continues after lighting, but also takes on notes of chili pepper and cedar.

As the smoke progresses, the fruitiness (I'd have to call it something like dried apricot) gives way to caramel.

The ash is pretty white, with some light grey streaks through it. It appears mostly solid, but it's also curving early on, so I don't expect it to hold out very long. The burn, though, is mostly even, though not perfect.
Sure enough, the ash dropped off as soon as I set the cigar down for a moment.

Second Third:
As we progress through the second third, the primary flavors become cedary and grassy, and the cocoa and fruit become nearly indiscernible. Still has that chili spice on the finish, though.

Certainly a mild to medium bodied flavor on this one.

I had to set this one down and let it sit for a bit... it was getting pretty hot; I guess I'd gotten used to smoking cigars with much larger ring gauges, and these narrower ones do tend to burn faster and hotter. Easy to forget that sometimes.

Final Third:
Maintaining that cedar profile in the last third, with a hint of that dried fruit coming back in.
Still plenty of chili spice on the finish, but it does start to taste the tiniest bit charry toward the end, too.

Closing Thoughts:
This was an elegant little stick; but truth be told, I'm surprised to find myself favoring the cheaper, tackier Cuban Rounds over this one. It's not that this one's a bad cigar by any means; but it does burn a bit hotter and spicier than I like, and the flavors, while certainly complex, were not my favorite. But taste is a very subjective thing, and what I might not like, someone else may be wild about. Either way, it's still a fantastic smoke for a fantastic price. I had no trouble with either burn or construction at any point, and those, for me, are the biggest factors that will kill a cigar if they're not just right.