I've been attempting to make a commitment to myself to do more cigar reviews. I also have a few cheap smokes with over a year of age on them, so I thought I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone and do a couple of reviews on cheap cigars with some age on them. First up is one of the few Gurkha cigars that doesn't seem to have an awful reputation. Perhaps it's because it doesn't have a ridiculously overpriced MSRP or perhaps it's because the band isn't overdone. Perhaps it's because it's actually a good smoke, let's find out!
I smoked a couple of these soon after I got them in early 2011 and while I didn't hate them, I wasn't blown away either. I was curious to see what over a year of rest would do to the cigar.
Prelight: This cigar has a very thin wrapper that's a bit splotchy, looks as cheap as it is. Cutting the cigar causes some wrapper damage just above the cut reminding me that the wrapper is delicate and that my Cuban Crafters Perfect Cutter isn't as sharp as I wish it was. Prelight draw is perfect and I taste a bit of cream and cashew.
A view of the cigar precut and a look at the wrapper damage early on.
First draw after lighting reveals very mild flavors of a slightly bitter wood. When I retrohale I get a bit of pepper and cream. An inch in the bitterness has faded but otherwise no change in flavors. 2 inches in the bitterness is completely gone and the body has increased to mild\medium, giving a nice tobacco core flavor mixed with the wood and cream. The woody flavor has gotten sweeter and the retrohale is smoother. The cigar stays the same the rest of the way until the bitterness returns in the last third. A purge helped for a few draws but otherwise the flavors remain the same. Smoke time on the cigar is about an hour and 45 minutes, surprising for such a cheap cigar.
Overall impression: Too mild for my tastes but if you like mild cigars, this one is good for the price. The burn was excellent and the flavors, while not as pronounced as I'd like, were good. Age smoothed the cigar out considerably but my guess is it would be good to go after 6 months and the extra 9 months probably aren't needed. Here's the rest of the cigar pr0n.