This is one of the most unusual shapes I've come across; it's sort of an inflated perfecto. At its largest point it measures nearly an inch in diameter — 60/64ths. The Champion was introduced in 2001, and was promoted by General Cigar with a "Heavyweight" competition judged by smokers who chose by a 58 to 42% margin that this blend was superior to an alternate competing blend.
The Champion is a member of the "original" Honduran Punch family, not to be confused with the Grand Cru, Gran Puro, or other lines. Made in Cofradia, Honduras in the HATSA factory with an Ecuadorian Sumatra seed wrapper, a Connecticut binder, and filler from the Dominican Republic (piloto cubano,) Honduras, and Nicaragua, this is a cigar that took a lot of thought and care in the production.
I picked this one up on an Indian reservation north of Las Vegas, and by the looks of things they weren't doing a whole lot of traffic in the cigar department. They seemed to be selling more fireworks and tourist trinkets than anything else. Plastic paperweights with scorpions in them. That sort of thing. But the cigars seemed to be in good shape, so I picked up a couple Champions because I found the shape intriguing. After about a month in the humidor I unwrapped one and noticed tiny crystals on the wrapper, just the beginning of bloom. Time to fire one up.
This is a tasty little smoke. At 4 1/2 inches it's gone in 30 minutes, but it's a half-hour well spent. It lights up easily and burns well with a solid gray ash. It tastes somewhat woody and has a sweet overtone, something close to cherry. Reminded me a little of the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990, but not quite as smooth.
But once over the hump the flavor declined, and it began to burn a bit hot. At that point my 30 minutes was just about up, and I had to go finish some chores anyway. This is a great short smoke, highly recommended as a medium bodied mid-day cigar.