After a dog day afternoon with my brother and his dogs along with “Ziggy” the Stogie Press guardian I settled into the Stogie Press lounge for a Gurkha biggie – the Warlord – which is a big 7×55 stick with some noticeable veins running along its reddish-brown shiny Nicaraguan wrapper. This is one of Gurkha’s strongest blends and in addition to the Nicaraguan wrapper the construction is completed with Nicaraguan and Dominican filler bound with a Nicaraguan leaf. I picked the Warlord up along with some other Gurkha cigars at the Mancave Cigar Lounge in Fort Lauderdale FL. The Mancave is the first and only Gurkha Lounge in the Florida, so if you are a Gurkha fan you can find all your favorites there.
The Warlord is double banded with the primary band being the standard Gurkha band with the secondary black band signifying that it is the “Warlord” emblazoned in gold.
The pre-light draw had a slight restriction to it indicative of a long smoke. There was a pepper note on both the draw and scent. Once fired up, the Warlord delivered on that pepper with a some early blasts that lit up the senses. There was a slight mineral tingle in the flavor profile during the early burn and the aroma was immediately wafting sweet cocoa.
The burn is wavy with a bright white toothy ash. The smoke volume is fuller than I expected, considering the draw restriction noted earlier. The burn is pleasantly slow making for a long smoking experience.
After a touch up, I got the wave fixed and the flavor started to develop. The ash is still a bit flaky though. A third into the burn and the Warlord is delivering a wet leather flavor with an oak background. The pepper is only slightly noticeable on the retro-hale at this point.
The wrapper is showing a brighter sheen as the Warlord warms up and there is a quite a bit of warming up considering the size of this cigar. Moving through the second third there is a dried fruit note that develops, but does not last long. The ash broke in half at this point, I would say if I it did not have to touch it up earlier I think it would still be holding strong. So far the burn has been better and the flavor has blended well. The smoke is increasingly smoother as the Warlord works itself through he second third.. The aroma has shifted to more of sweet floral scent – kind of like honeysuckle. The strength of the Warlord ratchets up at this point and it continues through the burn.
The wrapper is getting a sticky oily wax feeling to it at this stage. The wave has started again and required another touch up. The ash finally fell after the touch up. Too bad because it was going strong but it held on for a decent amount of the burn.
As the Gurkha Warlord progressed into the final third, there was a reemergence of black pepper along with a spice note I am not able to distinguish. Beads of sweat are forming on my brow. Yes this is a strong cigar and not one I would recommend for the uninitiated. As the Warlord finished there was a toasty nut aroma filling the air around me.
Overall the Gurkha Warlord is a full body cigar with a solid strength component. It took about 2 hours to complete the enjoyment. The burn issues were disturbing though, as it makes for less than a fully enjoyable smoking experience and the full flavor of the cigar is not being delivered when the burn is off. With that said the flavor was decent but the transitions could have lasted a tad longer as they were teasing my palate.