Before I get into the Gurkha tin, Sunday evening I felt compelled to smoke the Piramide from the Buena Vista Reserva 2008 sampler I recently received. At the risk of repeating myself, the presentation of this sampler was pretty outstanding, and I was quite impressed with the Prominente, or double corona, size I smoked. The Piramide size was just as impressive. I really enjoyed the clean, refreshing and almost minty sensation I got while smoking this cigar. I’m told that these should be shipping to shops soon, but I’ve seen these online for under $25, and even more reasonable in boxes of ten. I’d like to keep these around because I really enjoy them from time to time and they are a nice cigar to share. I remain impressed, especially over the Buena Vistas I sampled three years ago. This is a really nice smoke, and I now have a really nice three cigar travel humidor too!
Monday I was digging through one of the coolerdors and came across a Gurkha Crest Metal Sampler that my wife had gotten me through a Groupon or Living Social deal, I seem to remember it being around $50, which puts the cigars at $10 each. I must have had this for two or three years, I see that Famous has this same or similar sampler on their website. I decided now was as good a time as any to dig in, and I may as well smoke all five cigars in succession over the course of this week. Maybe I should have waited and put them all in one post, but I don’t have that kind of patience. I started with the Gurkha Shaggy toro. I felt like these were all 6″ x 50, but the description at Famous says they are 6″ x 53, who am I to argue (and I was too lazy to measure them!). The Shaggy is characterize by about ¾” of the foot of the cigar left without wrapper and binder. It smoked really well and was enjoyable, with lots of smoke. I didn’t really sense a huge change when the wrapper started burning, but it was smooth and rich. I don’t even know if these are still produced, but I know they’ve been around a while, and this is the first one I’ve smoked. I’ll admit that I was attracted to the copper colored band, not sure why that appealed to me so much. Nice cigar.
Tuesday I chose the Gurkha Beast, which was a dark chocolate brown wrapped cigar. This is the counterpoint to the Gurkha Beauty, with a Connecticut shade wrapped cigar which I’ll get to later in the week. Since I love maduros, I was excited about this one. The flavor was nice, it was chocolaty and smooth, with a hint of spice. About half way through there must have been a void in the filler because it got a bit stingy with the smoke, much unlike the Shaggy which almost smoked itself. then the wrapper started to split and at about the two-thirds mark the wrapper started coming off. At that point it started smoking better, and the flavor was fine, but I was a little miffed that a $10 cigar would behave this way. All in all, a less than satisfying experience.
Tonight I went with the last maduro in the collection, the Gurkha Titan. This has a similar Costa Rican maduro wrapper to the Beast, and, honestly, I didn’t really taste a lot of difference, except that the Titan didn’t explode on me. Perhaps it was a bit smoother, it didn’t seem to have the spice that the Beast had. It burned very well, and had a smooth chocolaty flavor. Of the first three I smoked, I think the Shaggy was my favorite, but none of them were really up to the price point, and while the tin case is nice, and potentially usable as a five finger carry case, I don’t count packaging into the price. They were all good cigars for a couple bucks each, and I apologize to my friends at Gurkha for saying that. Despite the reputation they’ve had in the past for making tons of cigars for the catalogs with a lot of hype, lately they’ve really been making some great smokes, the Cellar Reserves, the Seduction, the 125th anniversary are all very high quality smokes, and their lower priced East India trading Company lines are also pretty enjoyable.
I’ll finish out the week with the Crest and the Beauty, then see what I can scrounge up for the weekend. I’ll be in Chicago next weekend, so if anyone is available to meet for a smoke, please let me know. Also, Friday is the last day to comment on the FDA deeming document, so get to it! Go HERE to link to the regulations.gov site to let them know you don’t want premium cigars regulated out of existence! Also, go to Gran Habano’s website and help them fight the US Trademark Office, who have decided that using “Habano” in the name (which they’ve had for how many years?) is confusing to the public. Another case of a government office sticking their noses in where it doesn’t belong. Morons.
That’s it for now, until the next time,