Sucker Punch

01 Apr

Maker: General Cigar
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero
Binder: Cameroon
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Flavors: Wood, White Pepper, Butter
Draw/Volume/Strength: -1 / +1 / 3+
Rating: 9.0
Where to Buy: Famous Smoke Shop

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

On April first, it’s a good idea to take a look at this classic expression. The great showman and circus promoter PT Barnum is often credited with the above statement, but this is probably a misconception. It was most likely said by a contemporary of Barnum’s named David Hannum, in critique of Barnum and his customers. The reality is, Barnum was far more egalitarian, and appreciated his patrons, from whom he derived his fortunes.

“Be kind to your customers,” he said. “Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business.”

Photo of Sucker Punch King Hit cigar

Sucker Punch King Hit (6x54)

He was also known to have promulgated a number of great hoaxes in his time, but we can’t let history’s lens distort contemporary views of that sort of thing. These were the ways of a circus and side-show promoter in the mid-1800s. By most accounts, Barnum was an honest, honorable, and upstanding man. He was an advocate for the abolishment of slavery, he supported African-American suffrage, and even founded a hospital. He was also an early supporter of temperance… but we won’t hold that against him.

Regardless of Barnum’s views, there are a lot of gullible people out there. In the modern context, they take the form of conspiracy theorists, alarmists of various kinds, and people who follow click-bait links on the internet. Most of them are good, honest people, who just take the world at face-value. A better phrase to use these days is, “There’s a scammer born every minute.”

The all-new Punch Sucker Punch from General Cigar is no hoax. It’s the real deal. The classic Punch cigars are known for bold, in-your-face favors, and no small measure or power, but Sucker Punch comes in with a little more finesse, more of a jab than a knock-out blow. The cigars are exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop.

The blend features a bold Nicaraguan filler core, with a surprising Cameroon binder, finished in a gorgeous, tawny-hued Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper. I chose the King Hit, a beefy Toro shape (6×54). The construction is impeccable; the roll is rock-solid, and the wrapper is absolutely seamless.

First tastes are buttery and smooth, with a dose of white pepper over a base of toasted, woody flavors. The draw is a hair tight of even (-1), producing an ample smoke volume (+1) of moderate strength (3+). By mid-way, the pepper quiets down a notch, and the flavors settle nicely into a core of walnuts and wood. The burn is straight for the duration, and the flaky white ash holds to about an inch. Flavors remain consistent throughout, darkening slightly in the final moments, before a semi-sweet, mellow finish. It smokes to a 1-inch nub in about 90 minutes.

This is a very interesting cigar. As a Punch, you expect a ton of fresh tobacco tastes, with a big, earthy Honduran terrior. Sucker Punch comes in from the left, with a Nicaraguan ligero core providing rich flavor and approachable strength, balanced against an unexpected Cameroon binder, providing a remarkably smooth texture, and just a hint of subtle sweetness. I rate it 9.0. It’s remarkably flavorful cigar, and while it’s fairly one-dimensional, it’s a great dimension, and a pleasure to smoke. Sucker Punch is sure to excite the newer cigar lovers in your herf, but it will also keep the veterans guessing.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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