Gurkha, a name much like Rocky Patel in that it can trigger a mixed bag of emotions when said aloud. On the one hand for those who have been around the industry long enough, both brands bring to mind a fond recollection of the yesteryears when some of their first core lines came to the market. In their heyday they were rich and bold exemplars of what a great cigar could be. But much like the Madden curse there is what I like to call the Cigar International curse. Essentially, both of these companies and many others joined forces with CI and produced on a large scale their core lines, and sometimes, like in the case of Gurkha and Rocky produced more than perhaps they should have. This mass production of the lines caused a lot of confusion amongst their consumer base and to many a seeming decline in flavor consistency.
Since then the consistency battle has been waged every year and some years have yielded success while others have brought disappointment. With such a big year for many companies in their rolling out of products one could only guess what the outcome would be. Gurkha released a fair amount of new releases this year and one of their focuses was on their 2010 release of the Seduction line. I received a sample at the IPCPR and Gurkha kindly sent me some more samples not too long ago, so I decided to check it out.
The Gurkha Seduction is a handsome cigar with a rich and dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Inspecting the cigar reveals a toothy wrapper with minimal oils, a tight pack, and a foot that gives off a faintly sweet scent mixed with the traditional barnyard aromas. Upon lighting the cigar I immediately notice that the draw is firm, but smooth and the smoke production for this cigar is excellent. That is one thing I have always loved about Gurkha is their rich smoke production. In most of their cigars smoke comes billowing out and fills up the room with its pleasant aroma.
So how did the cigar taste? Well with an exotic mixture of a Dominican Olor binder and Colombian tobacco filler it was an interesting question to think about. I can say though that it turned out well and it reminded me of the Gurkha’s of old that I used to enjoy. The first quarter of the cigar introduced notes of slightly bitter coffee, birchwood, and a hint of floral. Construction was solid, the smoke production was excellent and the taste profile was flavorful. Transitioning into the midpoint revealed a stronger birchwood presence, a stronger note of leather, and an increase in heat. The last third revealed an increase in the leather profile and a hint of dried fruit on the finish.
Overall the Gurkha Seduction was an interesting cigar and definitely one of the better ones I have had in a while. I am glad to see that they are trying to create stronger blend profiles that have lots of flavor and I have found that their Cellar Reserve line, and Royal Challenge lines are tasty cigar choices in their own rights this year as well. I’m optimistic with Gurkha and would love to see a continuation in the direction they are going. The big key of course will be to see if their new batch of cigars will hold up over time, so for now my friends be seduced by Gurkha and heed the siren’s call of the Seduction!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder/ Filler: Dominican Olor/ Columbian