Gurkha is a company that I’ve had a bit of a hard time getting behind. The first cigar I had from them was lackluster (don’t worry, we don’t carry it), and while I have smoked a couple of good ones since then, I’m always a bit skeptical of manufacturers who use extravagant packaging. All I can think is, what is this company really spending their money on—a pretty cigar box, or a good cigar? Anyway, I got a bunch of samples of new Gurkha cigars from a coworker who went to this year’s IPCPR trade show (and, go figure, they were packaged in a beautiful suede carrying case). Having heard good things about the Gurkha Seduction, I decided to break out my solitary Toro and give it a try.
All preconceived notions aside, this was one of the best-looking sticks I’d ever seen. The wrapper was a beautiful reddish-brown with very fine veins and a slight oily sheen, and as you can see from the picture, the band was stunning. From head to foot, the cigar was consistently rolled, and the cap was well applied. After snipping the tip with a double-blade cutter, the pre-light draw was easy and revealed flavors of mellow tobacco, leather, coffee, and a little bit of cinnamon. Feeling as if I was about to eat (or smoke) my words, I picked up my trusty soft-flame lighter and went to work on the foot.
Judging from the first few puffs, this cigar was mellower than most of the Gurkhas I’ve tried. Initial flavors were dark cocoa, leather, and a subtle hint of mellow pepper. About an inch in, I started picking up some dried fruit sweetness, like raisins or dates, along with some floral character on the draw. The retrohale was smooth-as-can-be with lingering flavors of dark chocolate and black pepper.
As I got to the midpoint of the cigar, the pepper ramped up slightly, bringing the smoke to manageable medium-bodied strength. From here on out, this stogie just got sweeter and sweeter with notes of chocolate, raisins, coffee, molasses, a little bit of white pepper, and some caramel sweetness that weaved in and out from the halfway point until he end of the smoke. I even got a bit of creaminess on the draw just past the halfway point. Anyway, though the cigar never really soured, its flavors got a bit muddled with an inch or so left, so that’s when I decided to put it down.
It seems as though some of the cigars I’ve had lately were trying too hard either to be mellow or incredibly powerful, and that push for either extreme sometimes leaves something to be desired as far as flavors go. The Gurkha Seduction, on the other hand, was all flavor and no gimmick. This thing brought delicious dessert-like smoke from start to finish, and its construction was superlative. It was a brisk 35 degrees out on my front porch, and even after abandoning the cigar several times to get another glass of water, get the mail, or grab another sweatshirt, it stayed lit. The burn was perfectly, and I mean perfectly straight throughout the entire smoke, and I didn’t have to so much as pick up my lighter a second time after the initial light.
The Gurkha Seduction Toro was the best Gurkha cigar I’ve had so far, and I recommend it to anybody who’s looking for a sweet, mellow, and incredibly well-made after-dinner smoke. And for price of around $5-6 per stick for all sizes, I’d even venture to call it a bargain cigar. Thanks to my coworker Meg for parting with her only sample of this stogie; given how good this one was, I am now really looking forward to trying the rest of Gurkha’s 2011 releases.