For the first time ever, Kaizad Hansotia, owner of Gurkha Cigars has released a Nicaraguan puro in the form of the Gurkha Nicaragua Series. This cigar also marks another first for Gurkha, as the company reached out to the team at Aganorsa Leaf to produce the cigar. The leaf used is 100% Nicaraguan and 100% grown on the Aganorsa farms.
These limited edition cigars were showcased at the PCA show last year and started to show up in shops in October. The bold blend is described by the company as:
- Wrapper – Corojo ’99
- Binder – Corojo ’99 (double binder)
- Filler – Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
The Gurkha Nicaragua Series is expressed in four vitolas, each of which come packaged in 20-count boxes
- Robusto (5 x 52) MSRP $9.75
- Toro (6 x 54) MSRP $9.45
- Belicoso (6 1/8 x 52) MSRP $10.95
- Magnum (6 x 60) MSRP $10.95
For this review, I sampled one Gurkha Nicaragua Series Magnum which I believe I got at a local event here in Florida.
The Gurkha Nicaragua Series Magnum is just that, a large beefy cigar that shows signs of a quality construction from head to foot. Solid in the hand and heavy in weight, the cigar has a dark tan wrapper with a Colorado red tinge to it and a light sheen. There is some very faint marbling running through the leaf and it is expertly finished with a triple cap (actually more like a quad cap). There a just a few veins and bumps running along the otherwise pristine wrapper.
Two bands adorn this cigar. The primary uses a black, gold, and red motif with the Gurkha logo centered in the middle and red and gold swords along the side. The secondary band is just below and declares the cigar as the “Nicaragua Series”
Turning on the aroma sensors, I did not pick up much along the barrel, but the foot made up for that with an enticing butter nut and spice aroma that had me chomping at the bit to cut and light this one.
Speaking of cutting, I used my double blade Xikar cutter to straight cut the cap, right along the shoulder of the cigar. I took in some cold draws that had a decent restriction and offered notes of growing black pepper and a touch of that early butter.
By now it was time to put the flame to the Nicaragua Series and see where it goes. I used a double flame torch lighter to warm the foot and took in the first heavily pepper laden puffs of smoke.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper bomb to start the journey, really opens the nasals
- An immediate cocoa aroma starts to waft off the foot
- Slightly flaky but white ash forms on a fairly thick char line
- Pepper pulls way back and a light citrus note graces the palate
- With all the early notes, there is a very clean finish after each puff
- Burn line is just a bit jagged
- Gentle spice and cocoa notes add to the profile
- Smoke is quite smooth after an inch plus of burn
- Aroma shifts to more floral in nature
- Earthy notes enter
- Long ash falls revealing a pointed burn cone and the foot is a bit crunchy to the touch
- Flavor maintains with mild citrus and buttery notes
- Strength has ratcheted up to medium full by the midway point
- Bitterness enters near end of second third
- Aroma moves to a spice note deep in the second third
- Peppery spice returns to the profile
- Decent oils have grown above the burn line
- The bitter notes grow in the final third which I would describe as more akin to unsweetened grapefruit
- An almond nuance hit the palate almost like tease
- Medium – full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
Overall, the Gurkha Nicaragua Series Magnum was a fairly well performing big ring gauge cigar. The ash fell just once during the 90 minute plus journey and it offered an array of flavors and aromas. It did have a slight jaggedness in the burn and when the ash did fall it exhibited a pointed burn cone that tended not to be burning the outer part of the cigar at an equal rate – as noticed by the crunchy foot. There was also a tad of bitterness starting in the second third that came and went in various spots through the remainder of the burn. I would still say this is worthy of picking up a fiver, I rate this a 90.
Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged Burn; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-2) Crunchy Foot; (-1) Pointed Burn Cone; (-1) Bitter notes come and go in second half
Bonus Points: (+1) Long Ash; (+1) Nice Oil Development