This past weekend, I took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge creating the trifecta of people from the show taking part. In the past week David Garofalo and Mr. Jonathan took part as well. One of my nominees was the Director of Sales from Gurkha which leads me to today’s review.
According to the Press Release, the Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend is available in 4 sizes; Robusto (5.5 x 52), Toro (6 x 54), XO (6 x 60), and Figurado (6 x 58) and carries an MSRP of $7.99 to $9.99
Cigar: Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend
Size: XO (6 x 60)
Wrapper: San Andreas Mexico
The Look: It feels like this is the year of the San Andreas wrapper, and this box press has a stereotypical San Andreas appearance. There is a rough feel to the wrapper under the finger tips and some ultra thin veins. The sides of the cigar are spongy for a box pressed smoke and in the hand it feels a little light for its size. The oversized band features the classic look of the East India Co. line.
The Notes: The nose of the cigar prior to clipping the cap reminds me of a stable. The nose is very earthy with notes of dry hay and cedar. There is also a slight nose of manure, which if you ask many cigar manufacturers it is the ultimate compliment. Many Cubans have this aroma on the foot. The cold draw of the cigar has a similar taste that is very earthy. Once the cigar is lit, there is a harsh pepper that you instantly feel on the back of your throat before it dissipates quickly.
In the first third there are subtle notes of chocolate over earth and a lot of pepper through the nose. Despite the cigar having the quintessential San Andreas notes on the first half-inch, the rest of the third was sweet which isn’t expected considering the wrapper.
The second third continued with some sweetness, but as it came to a close it got a little harsh with some burning on the back of the throat. I really enjoyed the spice through the nose however and was hopeful the sweetness would return in the last part of the Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend.
The last third begins to lose some of the harshness experienced toward the end of the second third, but the sweetness fails to return. The earthy notes of the prelight return with the slightest wisp of peppermint.
The Burn: After the cut on the cold draw I was a bit concerned as the cigar felt very loose. Sadly, once the cigar was lit the draw remained very loose and the cigar burned very fast. The ash was flaky and I had trouble keeping it on for more than a half inch at a time. The burn was pretty irregular too, with a couple of touch ups needed.
Overall: I will be the first to admit the East India line from Gurkha isn’t amongst my favorite. The notes of the cigar were enjoyable in sections, but there was too much inconsistency in the burn of the cigar and at times the taste became a little harsh.