Ponce Cigar Co. is a new cigar company run by Frank Vazquez. Vazquez worked for Corona Cigar Co. for six years. The first cigars from the new company started shipping this year in March. At launch, there was only one size, Ponce Robusto Extra. Later this year in September, a Corona Largo size was added.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The Robusto Extra measures 5 1/2 x 54. The blend uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, American broadleaf binder, and fillers from Villa González, Dominican Republic; Estelí, Nicaragua; and the U.S.A. The cigar comes packaged in boxes of 11 with each cigar retailing for $11.99. Ponce Robusto Extra is rolled at MJ Frias Cigar SRL in the Dominican Republic.
Length: 5 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 54
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: USA Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Republic
Factory: MJ Frias Cigar SRL
Blender: Frank Vazquez
Number of reviewers: 5 – Kevin J. (maninblack77) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Isaac M. (The Nothing) John I. (John I.)
Age: 7 Months
Release Date: March 2021
Contributed by: Ponce Cigar Co.
Initial Impressions – Ponce Robusto Extra
“A very plump Robusto with a dry cocoa-colored wrapper. Nothing really eye-catching about it. No oils are present on it. Very heavy in the hand. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This sample is chock full of rich and sweet compost aromas at the wrapper. The foot is also sweet but slightly vegetal. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Nice soft cocoa flavors apparent pre-light.Begins really aggressively with sharp peppery notes. Super sharp retrohale. Twenty minutes in this is developing into a really nice moist dark wood flavor. Really coats the palate thoroughly. Toward the end of the third, this displays a lot of salty notes on the finish.
Pretty potent right out of the gate. ” –John I. (John I.)
“The cigar started with a blast of pepper and espresso. Spicy cedar notes filled the nostrils on the retrohale. Pepper and espresso make way for me fresh wood flavor a short time later. At this point, there began a battle of flavors. Nearly every puff alternating from fresh wood to pepper and espresso. ” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“As I enter the second third there is a shift to a sweeter profile. A combination of caramel and orange fruit. There is a shift in the profile. of the retrohale as well. A sharp mint is present long after the smoke has left the sinuses. As the third comes to a close, the smoke has turned very creamy. Giving off an orange creamsicle feel. The smoke has gotten denser which has made the body jump up a tick. All of this with the strength staying mild-medium. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The second portion of the cigar is still carrying the charred wood finish while introducing a slight sweetness on the front of my palate. The sweetness is fleeting, unfortunately, because it is a nice addition. Through the nose the smoke is still sharply strong and limiting in regard to retrohaling. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Super dark wood notes deepen and build up in strength a bit with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Burn is a bit one-sided at around the point of the band. Corrects easily with a touch of the lighter. ” –John I. (John I.)
“The wood flavors really pick up in the final third. Its oak and hickory and generic wood taste swirled together. There sometimes picks up a bit of a pepper and cream combo but it never makes it to the forefront.
” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
Overall Impressions – Ponce Robusto Extra
“I really enjoyed the draw on this cigar due to its slight resistance and huge smoke output. I’d have no problem I’d all cigars had a draw like this one. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Straight from the jump. It never got off course which made me never think of a touch-up. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“If there is anything to be faulted, I would consider this to be slightly underfilled. The draw was very free and light, and the cigar felt soft along its length” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 91
“From beginning to the bitter end, this was a cigar I’d rather not try again. Flavors were underwhelming, the tar buildup left a very bitter taste in my mouth, and it just never recovered from either. One of the most underperforming cigars I’ve had in quite some time. But thank God there is an abundance of great cigars out there on the market. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This was a pleasure to smoke in regard to performance but didn’t hit for me in regard to flavor. While there was a bit of flavor transition with the sweetness, overall the flavor was fairly simple and lacking in complexity to keep me interested. I wonder if this is indicative of this cigar or my experience was an anomaly. Based upon my sample I’ll pass on another. ” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“There is only one word I can say about this cigar…WOW. Plenty of transitions keep you interested throughout the long slow smoking experience. This is a cigar to be enjoyed when one has time to experience all it was to offer. Someone once said that smoking a cigar is an investment of your time and this one yields great rewards. I will be looking to add a few to my humidor. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This cigar sports a ton of flavor and is not afraid to show it. The transitions are plentiful and this cigar can really demand a lot of attention from your palate. The only problem I had with this cigar was the draw, as it offered the same resistance as a straw without a drink. There was nothing else I could fault, and I have no problems suggesting this to anyone that is looking for something with full and robust flavor. ” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Loved this. It was a bit one-dimensional with big bright flavors of pepper and dark wood, but it offered a few glimpses of sweetness and spice as well. More than enough to keep me interested. Construction was also incredible. A tremendous example of hand-crafted goodness. I’d invest heavily in these. ” –John I. (John I.)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 96
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.