would you believe me if I told you that the Punch Egg Roll isn’t the first cigar I’ve seen that comes in a Chinese food takeout box? And I don’t mean because a guy carrying a humidor ran into a guy carrying Chinese takeout. (“You got your cigars in my fried rice!” “No, YOU got your fried rice in my cigars!”) I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t believe me. It was only after some googling that I came across pictures of the Lost & Found Panda Welfare from a few years back. But I never got to smoke one of those, so let’s move on.
Sound advice from the fortunes inside the band. I hear there are others, but I’m good with these.
I should have grown out of it by now, but I haven’t. I’m still amused by oddities and gimmicks in cigars, and I’ll try them when I have a chance. Of course, the novelty wears off quick if the cigar itself isn’t that good, is overpriced, or just inconvienient. We know that the last two points won’t be a problem here, the Punch Egg Roll is only $4 a stick. So this would have to be a pretty bad cigar to be over priced. And at 4 1/4 inches in length, with a reasonable ring gauge, it’s far from inconvenient. But is it good? Let’s find out.
Mr. Punch seems to think so, but he’s biased. From the box:
Punch egg roll delights
My taste buds are rewarded
I smoke another.
Size: 4 1/2 x 50 (Shaggy Foot)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United States
Price: MSRP $3.99
The Pre Light
This doesn’t affect my rating of the cigar, but I can’t help mentioning that the wrapper leaf is a little too dark for the egg roll concept. And how about putting some candela in the filler so the shaggy foot looks like cabbage sticking out? Wait, on second thought, maybe don’t do that. (But if you do, please send me one.)
Foolishness aside, the Punch Egg Roll is a good looking cigar. The wrapper is oily and dark, and it has a pleasant sweet barnyard aroma. I have smoked three or four of these so far, and only one had any noticeable exterior damage- a good chunk of wrapper leaf was ripped and folded back. That probably occurred when the cigars were put in the box. I noted savory chocolate, prunes, and pepper in the cold draw.
The First Third
Breaking the review into thirds might seem like overkill with a cigar this size, but there was enough development in flavor to merit it. The initial puffs tasted like molasses, raisins, dark toast, and minerals. But as the cigar burned through the shaggy foot into the wrapper leaf, ligher woody and earty notes appeared. As it continued, some pepper and spice appeared. In terms of burn issues, one of the cigars had some difficulty making the transition from the shaggy foot to the wrapper, but it did finally get the hang of it. I offered it the torch, but it told me, “no, Brian. I got this.”
The Second Third
The middle part of the cigar introduced a number of changes. The earlier sweetness was reduced considerably. Leather, nuts, cinnamon, and coffee made appearances. I didn’t get leather for very long, though. Nuts, coffee and pepper started to take over. Nothing bad to report when it comes to the burn.
The Final Third
Pepper continued to grow here at the end, and coffee deepened into an earthy espresso and dark chocolate. Most of the sweetness was gone at this point, but the occasional happy shot of raisins broke through the heavy flavors. And again, no issues here with the burn or the draw.
When was the last time you nubbed a budget-priced cigar? I have smoked the Punch Egg Roll down to the nub every single time. I bought the first one for the novelty, but keep buying them because they deliver really enjoyable (and varied) flavors in a short window of time, and at a great price. This could be the best bang-for-the-buck cigar out there right now, and it’s a same it’s a limited run.
I think it’s only right that I end this review with a haiku:
Egg Roll’s so good. Wow.
And the price is so low. How?