6 Feb 2013
Before working on this review, I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I fired up a Gurkha. And that’s saying a lot for a guy who needs to smoke a wide variety of cigars.
It’s also saying a lot because of the excessive number of unique blends Gurkha produces. On its website, Gurkha lists no less than 13 “core brands,” 10 “limited edition” blends, and 2 lines under its “East India Trading Company” umbrella. And these listings apparently aren’t even comprehensive. The blend I’m reviewing today, for example, is nowhere to be found on the website. I’m sure it isn’t the only one missing.
No matter. The Gurkha Legend is pretty easy to come across. It features an aged Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper, a Cameroon binder, and eight-year-old Dominican filler tobaccos. The Robusto (6 x 50) retails for about $10 (and can sometimes be found for considerably less when on sale or thrown into a sampler pack).
I found a couple Robustos at the bottom of one of my humidors. No telling how long they had been buried there, but the cellophane on each had started to yellow. Once exposed, the cigars gave off potent pre-light notes of cocoa and hay. Each felt very firm in some spots and soft in others, inconsistencies that often foretell construction issues.
After torching the foot, a profile of dry wood, musty earth, and coffee emerges. Cinnamon and syrup add spice and sweetness, respectively. The texture is coarse and the body is on the lighter end of medium. Each puff leaves a long finish on the palate with a spicy tingle on the tongue.
Moving into the midway point, the flavor stays consistent but the aroma of the resting smoke becomes decidedly sweeter. The final third witnesses a slight increase in intensity with occasional bitter notes. All the while the Robusto’s combustion performs better than I imagined. The draw is smooth, the smoke production is solid, the burn is straight, and the gray ash holds well.
True, the Gurkha Legend Robusto can hold its own. But it’s also a far cry from memorable. While I won’t be forking over $10 for one of these in the future, I won’t mind picking up a few at bargain prices, or as inclusions in sampler packs. This cigar earns three stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys