The Punch brand was registered in 1840 by a German named Stockmann.
The brand was very likely named after the character Mr. Punch of a very popular puppet show in the UK. Mr. Punch still appears on the vista of Punch Semi Plain Boxes today.
Many people say that the name came from the famous British comic magazine ”Punch”. This was rather unlikely, as the Punch magazine established in 1841, one year after the registration of the Punch brand.
As its name suggests, a robust taste was the hallmark of this brand. The brand soon gained immediate success, especially in the British market.
In 1874, ownership was changed to Luis Corujo. The factory was located at 38 Gervasio street. In 1884, Manuel Lopez Fernandez, brother of Fernando Lopez Fernandez, who ran the firm Juan Valle y Cia with others, become the sole proprietor. Manuel retired in 1924 and died in 1925. Esperanza Valle Comas became the new owner.
The stock market crash of 1929 resulted in financial hardship for many cigar factories. In 1930 the Punch brand was acquired by ”Fernandez & Palicio y Cia, S. en C”, owned by Ramon Fernandez Alvarez and Fernando Palicio Arguelles.
In 1930’s, Punch along with Belinda, Hoy de Monterrey and La Escepcion , was one the four main brands marketed by Fernandez Palicio y Cia. The brand appeared in the Registry of Exporting Manufactures in 1940 under the ownership of Fernandez Palicio y Cia S en C, located at 51 Maximo Gomez street, Havana.
At the time of the Revolution, the Punch brand was already a very popular brand, especially among British smokers. According to records in 1959, the Punch brand was exported by ”F. Palicio y Cia, S.A.”. The address was the same, 51 Maximo Gomez Street, Havana.
Production remained uninterrupted after the Revolution. The post-Revolution History of the Punch brand was quite unremarkable, except that many models of similar sizes were deleted in the 1970’s and the 1980’s. Unlike some strong brands which have been observed to have changed to a milder blend after circa 1995, the blend of Punch cigars seems not to have changed.
Characteristics of Punch cigars
Pronounced pleasant woody flavors, very subtle ”woody” sweetness, and medium tobacco taste, all blended in excellent balance are the hallmarks of the taste of Punch cigars. Except for perhaps the Super Selection No.2, Punch cigars are not particularly tannic. They can become a mellow and brilliant smoke in 3 to 5 years. Nonetheless, they age extremely well.
The ”Punch” kind of flavors, for some reason, blends magically with cedarwood. When well-aged for 15 to 20 years in a cedar cabinet, the taste is strikingly similar to Scotch whiskeys of the same age. There is no doubt that other cigars aged in cedar cabinets develop the same taste, but for some reason, this kind of ”feel” for Punch cigars is the most striking.