Posts Tagged With: Gurkha

Gurkha Treinta Toro

Gurkha Treinta Toro. This cigar was released late 2019 to commemorate the 30th year since Kaizad Hansotia bought the Gurkha brand for $300 while on vacation. He noticed a man rolling cigars under the Gurkha name and selling them. He bought a few, loved them and offered to buy the brand. For just 300 US dollars he got the name and the rest is history. From that, he built a brand that is loved and hated in equal parts. Some swear by Gurkha, others hate the brand with a passion. But everybody has an opinion about Gurkha cigars, there is no in-between.

For the Gurkha Treinta, Hansotia worked with Aganorsa Leaf and the cigars are rolled at Aganorsa’s TABSA factory. That factory produces a lot of great private labels and is highly respected in the cigar community. The cigar utilizes an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper. The fillers and the binder are from Nicaragua. The binder is an Aganorsa Corojo 99. The fillers come from Esteli and Jalapa and include Criollo 98 and Corojo 99. The Toro is 6×54 in size.

The cigar looks good. The Habano Rosado wrapper doesn’t look oily but has a nice deep color with a reddish glow to it. There are a few thin veins. The cigar feels well packed. The white and gold ring features the Gurkha logo on the ring but is quite modest for a Gurkha cigar. The aroma is deep, manure and dark wood. It’s medium-strong in smell.

The cold draw is on the loose side. The cigar has a dry and slightly spicy tobacco flavor. From the start, the cigar has grass, coffee, leather, wood, and pepper. But all nicely balanced, although there is a little harshness on the back of the throat. But not unpleasant though. There is some nutmeg too. The cigar then turns smooth with lots of spices and a little wood and leather. Slowly some cocoa flavor shows up on the background as well. The flavors are smooth, it’s easy to retrohale this cigar. The second third starts with that beautiful mix of spices, some sweetness, hay, leather, and soil. The mouthfeel is creamy. Slowly there’s a toasted flavor that starts to emerge underneath the spices. The toast is becoming stronger, with more wood and still those nice, balanced mix of spices, pepper, and sweetness. In the final third, the flavors intensify. Still leather, wood, spices, and pepper but stronger. The finale is a little darker in flavor, more soil, wood and leather, fewer spices.

The draw is a little loose, but still within margins. The ash is white, dense and firm. It’s a stack of dimes. The smoke is good in volume and thickness. The burn is razor-sharp. This cigar is well balanced, smooth, and very pleasant. The cigar is medium-bodied, yet full-flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

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Categories: 91, Gurkha, Nicaraguan cigars, TABSA | Tags: , , , , ,

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow

Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow. Gurkha is a controversial brand. For most people, it is a ‘love it or hate it’ brand. And when you have to believe the social media, most cigar smokers are in the hate it section. Yet, the sales numbers don’t seem to show that, as the brand is selling like hotcakes. Our personal experience is more negative than positive. Yet, as cigar geeks with an open mind, we give each new blend a try. The regular Gurkha Ghost is a good cigar, so maybe this follow-up Gurkha Ghost Gold is good too.


The cigars are made at PDR in the Dominican Republic. It has the same filler and binder as the regular Gurkha Ghost. The fillers are from the Dominican, Nicaragua, and the United States. The wrapper is replaced. Instead of the dark Brazilian Arapiraca, Gurkha uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper for the Ghost Gold blend. And as it turns out, it’s an updated version of an old blend. That means it will be grandfathered in if the FDA gets their way. The FDA is currently trying to regulate premium cigars and it will be close to impossible to have new blends on the market. Since this is an old blend, it would be grandfathered.


The cigar looks great. The foot is closed. The ring is the same as the regular Ghost line, yet with gold instead of silver. The wrapper is dark and very oily. It’s almost glossy. The cigar has the right sponginess. The triple cap is beautiful. The aroma is dark, hay with charred wood.


The wrapper is quite salty. And the cold draw is a bit tights because of the closed foot. The flavors are raw tobacco and salt. Once lit the draw is fine. The flavors are wood, salt, leather, earthy and coffee from the start. There is some sweetness at the background as well. The sweetness becomes stronger, and a little creamy. There’s a mild chocolate flavor to the sweetness too. There’s some pepper as well. So far, this cigar hits almost every section of the flavor wheel in the diagram below. And all within the first ten minutes. Then it turns to nuts and wood, with spices. This cigar has a very dynamic start. The chocolate sweetness remains while the cigar gets more peppery and spicy, with some hay flavors as well. The wood is still there, with leather. After a third, it’s nutty and woody with leather and pepper. The pepper is growing. The mouthfeel is dry. The final third starts out with nuts, salt, spices, pepper, and leather.


The draw is great. The smoke is good but could be a little thicker. The burn needs corrections every now and then. The dark gray ash isn’t really firm. This cigar is medium-full, both in body and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and thirty minutes. Is it better than the regular Gurkha Ghost? Not in my book, but this is still an enjoyable cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Every once in a while

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Categories: 90, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month July

July was a month of 21 published reviews, here’s the list from best to worst, with a surprising winner

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Gurkha Havana Blend Toro with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Gurkha Havana Blend Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Don Pepin Garcia series JJ Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Maduro Corona Gorda (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco OR Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) El Centurion Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Bucanero Z Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
7) Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) Quesada Reserva Privada Oscuro Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
9) Wilson Adams Mr. Wilson Lancero (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Mbombay Vintage Reserve Salomon (Costa Rica) 91 points
11) Bucanero Z Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) El Criolito Half Corona (Dominican Republic) 91 points
13) Don Pepin Garcia Blue Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
14) La Antiguedad Toro (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Punch LE 2013 (Cuba) 90 points
16) Alec Bradley Tempus Naturel Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
17) Don Payo El Baron Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
18) E.P. Carrillo Encore Robusto (Dominican Republic) 89 points
19) Royal Danish Havana Blend Robusto (Nicaragua) 88 points
20) Vegas de Santiago Gran Reserva Gordo (Costa Rica) 84 points
21) Navarre Petit Robusto (France) 82 points

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Gurkha East India Classic Havana Blend Toro

This is another gift from Juan Lopez, sales director at Gurkha cigars, at the intertabac trade show and I had to google some information for this review. I don’t read other reviews before writing mine, but I do read technical information like blend and factory. I couldn’t find what factory this cigar is made at but I do know that it’s made in Nicaragua with a blend that contains Nicaraguan tobacco and a Mexican San Andres wrapper.

 

 


The cigar is box pressed, some people like that, others hate it, I don’t care as long as it’s a good cigar. The pro of a box pressed cigar is that it doesn’t roll off the table or ashtray when you have to put it down. Box pressing the cigar also means a little less tobacco is used making the material costs a little cheaper but it takes more time to press the cigars making the production costs a little higher so costs wise it doesn’t make a difference for the manufacturer.

 

 


Anyhow, back to the cigar. The wrapper on this 6×54 cigar is dark, very dark and it’s beautiful, flawless. Too bad the top is a little wrinkled and the triple cap is placed a bit sloppy. The ring is gorgeous, off white with black writings and the Gurkha name in gold, the Havana blend in white with a gold background, clean, simple, stylish and well printed. The aroma is medium strong and ‘dry’ like in dried grasses, quite pleasant. Halfway some toasted bread joins the flavors.

 

 


I used my Xikar to cut the cigar. The cold draw, with a mild acidic woody flavor, is great. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and immediately I taste a beautiful, well balanced, mix of chocolate, coffee, sweetness, nutmeg, cinnamon and oak. After an inch the nutmeg and cinnamon remain with a bit of pepper, still well balanced. The pepper grows in strength and a dry chocolate joins the cinnamon. Just before the final third a fresh minty flavor shows up in the aftertaste and the pepper mellows out. Near the end the pepper is back full strength, ground black pepper.

 

 


The draw is great. The light colored ash is dense, firm and pretty. The smoke is thick and white. The cigar starts out medium bodied but grows to full bodied but the balance remains perfect. The flavors are full and clean. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Now I’ve had plenty of Gurkha Cigars that I didn’t like but this one hit the spot. Great cigar!

Score: 93
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Categories: 93, Gurkha, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Cigar of the month May

In may I published 19 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lonsdale with a 96 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Jas Sum Kral Red Knight Lonsdale (Nicaragua) 96 points
2) Goviado Lancero (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Jas Sum Kral Zlatno Sonce Soloman (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Viaje Platino Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
5) Goviado Torpedo (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull (Dominican Republic) 91 points
7) Eiroa the first 20 years Prensado (Honduras) 91 points
8) Alec Bradley Post Embargo Robusto (Honduras) 91 points
9) Mayimbe Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) La Sirena Merloin Robusto (Dominican Republic) 90 points
11) Aging Room Solera Fantastico (Dominican Republic) 89 points
12) Brick House Connecticut Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
13) C.A.O. Pilon Robusto (Nicaragua) 89 points
14) La Gloria Cuban Duke (Cuba) 87 points
15) Don Ibarra Natural Belicoso (Dominican Republic) 86 points
16) Don Ibarra Natural Robusto (Dominican Republic) 86 points
17) Undercrown Shade Gordito (Nicaragua) 86 points
18) Don Ibarra Natural Gordo(Dominican Republic) 85 points
19) Gurkha 125h anniversary Rothschild (Dominican Republic) 79 points

 

 

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Gurkha 125th Anniversary Rothchild

Back in early 2014 I visited Nicaragua and on my way back I spend a week in Florida, a few days in Miami and a few days in Orlando. In Miami I visited Miami Cigar & Co to hang out with Barry Stein and after work we went to a cigar bar downtown. Barry introduced me to Juan Lopez from Gurkha Cigars, a brand that just came to the Dutch market. Since I was working in the industry Juan asked me what my expectations were for Gurkha on th Dutch market and I told him that the prices were insane, three times MSRP and I showed him the prices on a Dutch webshop (prices are fixed, set by the distributer). That was something that said distributer did with all of his brands, he marked it up crazy thinking the end consumer was stupid and would buy it anyway. I have to say, he learned from his mistakes and his prices are now up to par. But it shocked Juan, so he invited me to come over to the office the next day.

 


I called my employer what to do, I mean, I was there on vacation and I wasn’t about the steal a brand from a competitor, especially not a brand I’m not a big fan off, but we decided that I should hear them out and let them know that if they weren’t happy with their distributer we would be open for talks. The Gurkha offices don’t look anything special from outside, just a boring office building but once you enter, wow, especially their lounge with bar in colonial style blows your mind, and the hidden room with all the blends is a nice feature too. Juan hooked me up with a nice backpack, that I still use, a Gurkha knife that has fallen to pieces after I forgot to take it out of my pocket while doing laundry and a whole lot of cigars. I had smoked several Gurkha’s before and I was, and still am, reluctant to light them due to previous experiences. But heck, here we go, maybe it surprises me.

 


Now this cigar, 6×54, is made on the Dominican Republic by a factory called Tabacos Don Leoncio, a factory I had never heard of before. I don’t know what else they produce, so I have no idea. And that’s also the problem with Gurkha, they have so many different factories make their cigars that it’s hard to find DNA in their lines. The blend consists of Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobacco, an Ecuadorean Habano binder and a Cubra Habano wrapper from Brazil. The wrapper had a mild reddish shine to it but looks a bit bumpy. The construction is good and it has, what it looks like, a quadruple cap but that could just be an error from the roller. The ring is typically Gurkha with a drawing of a Gurkha, a black banner with white letters saying the name of the company and a lot of gold, detailed decorations and of course “by K. Hansotia”. The aroma is mild to medium strong and has a mild acidic barnyard smell to it. So far its all good, lets hope the cigar tastes as good as it looks and especially the ring.

 


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is a little on the tight side. I taste a little floral raisin with a little bite. I lit the cigar with a soft flame. The first puff is cedar with some pepper but with a weird milky chocolate flavor. Soon it changes to rotting leaves with a little chocolate. The chocolate gets stronger after a third. Halfway I taste some honey, that cheap milky chocolate and some bitter spices and pepper. Near the two thirds mark I taste some cedar again.

 


The smoke is medium thick but I get a decent amount of it. The draw is good, not great but still good. The burn is a bit off. The ash is dark but firm. This is a medium bodied, medium flavored cigar. The smoke time is about an hour and 45 minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No! This cigar confirmed my previous experiences with Gurkha.

Score: 79

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Categories: 79, Dominican cigars, Gurkha | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Cigar of the month April

In April I published 16 reviews and this is the the list, ranking from best to worst.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Guayacan Corona Gorda with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Guayacan Corona Gorda(Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Xiphos NR Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Espinosa Habano Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Reserva Miraflor Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Alec Bradley Pryme Torpedo (Honduras) 92 points
6) Kristoff San Andres Robusto (Dominican Republic) 92 points
7) Alec Bradley Nica Puro Churchill (Nicaragua) 91 points
8) A.J. Fernandez New World Puro Especial Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
9) Perla Del Mar Maduro Toro (Nicaragua) 91 points
10) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Toro (Costa Rica) 90 points
11) Casa Pineda Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
12) Vegas de Santiago Don Luis Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
13) Cohiba Lancero (Cuba) 89 points
14) Cavalier de Geneve Toro (Honduras) 88 points
15) Gurkha Reserva Edición Especial Koi (Dominican Republic) 87 points
16) Kings Cigars King of Kings Habano Cuadrado (Nicaragua) 84 points

 

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Gurkha Celler Reserve Edicion Especial Koi

At the intertabac trade show, Juan Lopez from Gurkha cigars, gave me this small and fat perfecto, 4×58, from the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial blend and after a quick glimpse on the Gurkha website I learned that it’s made with an eighteen year old corojo wrapper of which only a 1000 boxes were made for each of the four vitolas, a pretty small release.

 


The Cellar Reserve Edicion Especial is a follow up for the Cellar Reserve Limitada, a limited edition version of the regular Cellar Reserve with a 15 year old wrapper. This Edicion Especial was released in 2014 and was followed by the Cellar Reserve Platinum and the Cellar Reserve 21 years. So if I like this one, I will have to start looking for the other blends too.

 


I love the shape, a shape made famous or popular again by Drew Estate with their flying pigs and if this was a Drew Estate cigar it would be a flying piglet due to the size. The wrapper has a nice latte color and a little shine from the oil in the leaf. The ring is huge, copper colored with golden and black text, very detailed, including batch number and I like it. The shape is great, including a small pigtail and the cigar is evenly packed. The cigar has a medium aroma of manure and barnyard.

 


I cut the cap off, the cold draw is tight so just to be sure I grab my draw poker but I hope the tight cold draw only is because of the shape. I taste pepper and some citrus.  I lit the small foot, i taste some mild coffee. The draw opens up right after I pass the tip. The cigar changes to pepper, sweet wood and herbs. Halfway I taste sweetness and a mild harsh leather and wood combination. The flavor doesn’t change much from there.

 


The draw is great passed the small pointy tip. The smoke is medium thick and full. The ash is firm and light gray. The burn is pretty straight. There isn’t much evolution. This is a medium bodied and medium full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? No

Score: 87
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Categories: 87, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, Tabacalera Las Lavas | Tags: , , , , ,

Cigar of the month January

In 2018 I will do a cigar of the month again and here’s the list for january, 15 cigars, in order from most liked to least liked.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Drew Estate Undergrown Sun Grown Flying Pig with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Drew Estate Undercrown Sun Grown Flying Pig (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) C.A.O. Fuma em Gorda Toro (Nicaragua) 93 points
3) Balmoral Añejo XO Gran Magnifico (Dominican Republic) 93 points
4) Plasencia Alma del Campo Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Quesada 40th Anniversary Toro (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Gurkha Ghost Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
7) Kristoff CG Robusto (Dominican Republic) 91 points
8) Epic Maduro Lancero (Dominican Republic) 90 points
9) Vegas de Santiago D8 Corona (Costa Rica) 90 points
10) Micallef Gomez Sanchez Esperiencia Prominente (Nicaragua) 89 points
11) Vegas de Santiago D8 Short Robusto (Costa Rica) 89 points
12) Vegas de Santiago D8 Corto (Costa Rica) 89 points
13) Vegas de Santiago D8 Toro (Costa Rica) 88 points
14) Xiphos Connecticut Robusto (Costa Rica) 88 points
15) Romeo Y Julieta EL 2016 (Cuba) 86 points

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Gurkha Ghost Shadow

I have done a handful of Gurkha reviews and to be honest, most weren’t that impressive to me. I think the problem with the brand is that they don’t have DNA, their cigars are all made in different factories, the brand focusses on marketing and does crazy stuff with super expensive cigars dropped in super expensive alcohol and other marketing tricks. That doesn’t help the reputation of the brand amongst serious cigar smokers like me. But this Gurkja Ghost, I always thought that one was quite enjoyable, maybe because it’s made at PDR, a factory I like.


Now, even though most of the cigars are a miss, I can’t say the same about their sales manager Juan Lopez, I met him years ago in Miami in a cigar bar, the next day me and my friend went to the Gurkha office and that’s beautiful. From the outside its a boring office building, the first floor is just cubicles but then upstairs a beautiful lounge, like you’re back in 1800’s Asia, with a huge bar full of expensive liquor and a secret room where all the blends are kept. And Juan hooked us up with cigars, backpacks, knives and all sorts of cool items. So it was cool to see Juan at Intertabac this year, where he handed me a few cigars to smoke.


The wrapper is typical Brazilian arapiraca, a bit rough to look at with sturdy veins, not thick but sturdy. The color is dark and even though, so that makes up for it and the ring fits the wrapper. It is black and silver, with the Gurkha logo and scary lettering saying ghost. The ring is different than what you usually find in humidors. The construction is great, the triple cap is straight. The cigar has a strong earthy smell, earthy as if you’re walking in nature, early in the morning after a good rainfall.


I cut the cigar with a butterfly cutter from Xikar. The cold draw is good. I taste tobacco and some pepper. I taste a strong coffee after lighting the cigar with my soft flame lighter. A few puffs later I taste a mild acidic oak with cocoa bean. Halfway I taste a mild pepper with some lime and wood. A little later some honey sweetness shows up too. The final third I taste a nice, mildly sweet, wood with some spices, all balanced though. The flavors become very nice, wood, mocha, sugar, chocolate all in a creamy way.


The draw is great, the light ash has beautiful rings and it’s firm. The smoke is medium thick, medium full. The burn is close to perfect. I would call this cigar medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a pleasant cigar, not the best I had but enjoyable.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Dominican cigars, Gurkha, PDR Cigars | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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