The Punch Rare Corojo line is released annually in March and is only available until the annual supply has been depleted. Exclusive for 2014, the limited edition Rare Salomones was added to the line - a beautiful figurado adorned with exclusive banding that is completely different from the other Rare Corojo vitolas. Produced in very limited quantities, once the Rare Salomones is gone, it's gone!
Upon receipt of the sampler pack from General Cigar Company, there was an extremely pungent ammoniatic odor, which I initially thought was from the cellophane tubes encasing each cigar. I promptly removed each cigar from its cellophane prior to placing the stick in my humidor, but realized that the unpleasant aroma was likely from under-fermentation of the tobacco. I smoked one almost immediately out of curiosity, but with plans to let the other four cigars rest in the humidor for about a month or so before smoking them. Not only was the aroma unpleasant, but the smoke was quite "green".
I started smoking the remainder of the cigars after letting them age for about 5-6 weeks - and as time continued to pass, each smoke was better than the last. With some age, the aroma from the wrapper was still just slightly ammoniatic, but also had a slight cedar aroma. The Rare Solomones is a beautiful figurado with a tapered foot, making for very easy lighting. The draw was moderately tight, but had no effect on the smoke at all.
From a flavor perspective, the cold draw of this light-to-medium bodied cigar was slightly grassy and did not provide much flavor. The first third of the smoke was predominantly of mild cedar with citrus and floral notes, with the bitterness of lemon peels. The second third of this smooth textured smoke was of pure tobacco flavor characterized by elements of dried fruit sweetness being introduced with a very mild mulling spiciness, which remained through the finish. This is a huge stick and slow-burning, with burn times ranging from 1:45 to 2:00 - so don't light this unless you truly have the time to savor it!
The Punch Rare Corojo Rare Solomones is a decent smoke, especially after allowing for some aging - longer time in the humidor correlated with improved flavor. I'm curious how the flavor profile would progress if I kept a couple in the humidor for perhaps another month, two months, or even six months...