|Gurkha Seduction – Toro|
Gurkha has released three new cigars in 2011. These new cigars are the first releases since Gary Hyams (formerly of CAO) has been named President and CEO of Beach Cigar Group (Gurkha’s parent company). There are several things I like about what Gurkha has done with this release cycle. First up, Hyams is emphasizing a commitment to the brick and mortar retailers by making these only available in brick and mortar shops. Secondly, Gurkha has gone back to their luxurious banding and packaging of these cigars on all of these releases. Finally, Gurkha has come up with a 2011 release portfolio to satisfy all pallets: the fuller Cellar Reserve, the milder Royal Challenge, and the medium Seduction. In this assessment, I will explore my experience with the Seduction. Overall, this was a solid release by Gurkha – and one I can say could be a nice daily cigar.
The Gurkha Seduction is an interesting cigar in terms of its composition and smoking experience. Of the three new Gurkha releases for 2011, it is definitely the most impressive looking cigar. Unlike the Royal Challenge, in which Hyams was involved in making, the Seduction was already a work in progress. The cigar was actually completed some time ago. There was not enough inventory to release it last year. The end result is that the cigar was put on the side while some more inventory could be built up.
Let’s take a closer look at the Gurkha Seduction:
The blend for the Gurkha Seduction is as interesting as the appearance. I was especially intrigued with the Columbian filler. The wrapper has a real nice oily texture to it. The tobaccos were aged three years.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Olor
Filler: Corojo, Columbian
One thing I like is how the Seduction is geared more toward the larger ring gauges.
Robusto: 5 x 55
Toro: 6 x 55
Churchill: 7 x 55
XO: 6 x 60
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I sampled Toro sized vitolas. I placed a straight cut into the 55 ring gauge cap and commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided some nice notes on the onset – namely notes of Caramel sweetness, coffee, and some cedar. Overall, I was very pleased with the pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to fire up the Gurkha Seduction and see what was in store.
I’ve seen different results with Columbian tobaccos, but in this case I think the Columbian fillers add some nice spice to the Seduction right on the onset. The initial draws provided a heavy cedar spice to start. There were also some coffee notes that were secondary. In the background, I could also detect some of the caramel sweetness from the pre-light draw. Eventually the cedar spice morphs to more of a classic baker’s spice.
Throughout the smoke, the baker’s spice, coffee, and caramel alternated in intensity – taking turns on which flavor note is in the forefront. I particularly enjoyed how these flavors moved in and out. Toward the end of the smoke, there was actually some sweetness present. I actually found the finish to be quite smooth. The nub would finish on the soft and warm side.
Burn and Draw
I wish I could have captured some photos of the burn of the Gurkha Seduction. Overall, this cigar burned very well. It required minimal touch-ups. It burned at an ideal rate and an ideal temperature. The draw was also excellent – this was a 55 ring gauge cigar that I truly enjoyed smoking.
Strength and Body
I mentioned at the top of this assessment that this was the “medium” offering in the 2011 portfolio. From a strength profile, this is definitely the case. It offers what I would consider the right amount of strength – namely, “not too much, and not too little”. As for the body, the flavor notes definitely are robust. I categorize most of the body as medium, but toward the last third, it did seem to cross into the “medium to full” area of the spectrum for body.
This is a solid offering by Gurkha. It has very good construction, and it does have very good flavor. I particularly like how Gurkha mixed things up with the blend here. I also think the blend combination here delivers. It might be a little higher priced for an everyday cigar (SRP $6.80 – $9.50 depending on size), but it has all of the making of a good everyday cigar. This is the kind of cigar that I can see a novice cigar enthusiast migrating to – especially if they are looking to move into a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke. Experienced cigar enthusiasts who are also looking for that good quality “medium” cigar should appreciate this. I would definitely smoke this again – and look forward to trying some of the other sizes.
Body: Medium (Medium to Full in last third)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars smoked for this assessment was a sample provided by Gurkha Cigars. The sample was initiated by Gurkha Cigars in order to provide feedback. I am appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.