August 12, 2018

Punch Diablo Diabolus (5 1/4 x 54)

Photo courtesy of General Cigar

Video review HERE.

NOTE: A quick recap of the Diablo Scamp (6 1/8 x 50) following review below.

(Description taken from website)
Add Punch to the list of iconic blends, master blender AJ Fernandez will have his footprint on. At next week’s IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigar will showcase the Punch Diablo. The Punch Diablo was developed by Fernandez and is also produced at his factory in EstelĂ­, Nicaragua – making it the first Punch branded cigar to be produced outside Honduras.

The concept for Punch Diablo was to produce a powerful offering under the Punch brand. Ed Lahmann, Senior Brand Manager for Punch commented, “When it came time to select the blend for Diablo, we decided that we wanted to make the fullest-bodied Punch to date. AJ Fernandez is a master when it comes to developing full-bodied cigars, so we asked him to create a blend using aged tobaccos, one that has strength and bold flavor to complement the rest of the cigars under the Punch umbrella. We’re confident that the blend he delivered will be a great new option for classic Punch smokers and that Diablo will give all full-bodied smokers another reason to experience Punch.”

The blend consists of a dark Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro wrapper over a Connecticut binder and a combination of Nicaragua and Honduran tobaccos. The cigar is available in three sizes: Scamp ( 6 1/8 x 50), Diabolus (5 1/4 x 54), and Brute (6 1/4 x 60).

General Cigar has worked with the name “Diablo” before. The Diablo name has been featured on a vitola under the Punch Rare Corojo line. It also was the name of a brand in the General Cigar Company portfolio that was introduced in 2004 that was called “Diablo Cigars.” That cigar used similar blend components to the Punch release.

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)

Vitolas Available
Each of the three sizes is available in 25-count boxes except for the Brute which is available in 20-count boxes.

Scamp: 6 1/8 x 50 (SRP $7.19)
Diabolus: 5 1/4 x 54 (SRP $7.79)
Brute: 6 1/4 x 60 (SRP $8.19)

The cigar is very dark and well made. It is fairly dense feeling also.

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a sweet, tangy orange citrus, caramel, leather, and a massive amount of black coffee. The cigar has a powerful, dark noted feel to it at the outset.

At the first third (29 minutes) you could call the citrus a cedar. It's hard to tell because of the elevated coffee notes, along with the leather notes. There is still caramel there to add sweetness but it too is dwarfed by the coffee and leather. Plus, there are now nutmeg notes holding down some of the sweetness. The cigar tastes full flavored, or full bodied, and the strength is a high medium to full bodied. I expect it to be full bodied at any minute. The finish is one of a sweet caramel with a generous amount of lingering black pepper. The overall black pepper is down a bit but it's still quite high. For the first third I rated the cigar a 91.

At the second third (1 hour 1 minute) the cigar is burning evenly. In the second third the citrus notes came back and you get a definite sweet orange citrus. You also have caramel, nutmeg, leather, and those massive black coffee notes. Some people may say the dark notes (which I am calling black coffee) could be unsweetened dark chocolate. It's almost a wash. I'm sticking with black coffee. The cigar is now full bodied in strength. This is another cigar that I would urge you to smoke extremely slowly to get the best flavors. With the return of the sweet orange citrus notes I am raising the second third score to a 92.

The cigar lasted 1 hour 32 minutes. Quite an outstanding time for a 5 1/4 inch cigar. Again, I went extremely slowly and I recommend you go slow too. In the final third the cigar reverted back to the flavors of the first third. It had a citrus/cedar flavor and the amount of sweetness was close to what it was in the second third but it was slightly decreased. You still had massive black coffee notes. There were still leather, caramel, and nutmeg notes. The pepper remained very good. The cigar was a definite full bodied. The finish was unchanged. With the slight downturn in sweetness I am lowering the score back to a 91 for the final third. This was a nice, full bodied cigar from AJ and Punch. Look for them on shelves now. You can also purchase these cigars HERE.

Overall Score: 91 (91.33)

I also had the Diablo Scamp as a comparison and found no major changes in the flavor notes. For a different vitola the flavors were pretty much on par with the Diabolus. Overall I would hold the Diabolus' score of 91. Very dark noted, heavy coffee/leather cigar with some citrus/cedar and caramel sweetness and lots of nutmeg.

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