1/8/16

Gurkha War Pig - Cigar Review

PROLOGUE
Mrs. K. and me; we went to the coast today. The left one. The one on the right, the one I was born and raised by, is a boardwalk-bordered thing with Yiddish smatterings blowing in the wind. Ah, Brooklyn. Ah. Coney Island. Ah, where's my wallet?

What I'm saying is, I suppose, is that the ocean shore I know is a tamed thing -- akin to the outdoorsiness of attending the races or a ballgame. The west coast, now? ...

Dear sweet momma. Jagged cliffs constantly falling back into the sea across half-closed highways. And the biggest loudest most endless body of water you ever did see. Threatening! Menacing! Over-whelming! I had to sit down. Then, while sitting -- I got bored. Lit a cigar and finished a cup of joe I picked up en route. I know there's a casino in this town, I thunk -- Mrs. K. wasn't biting.

I got home, kissed my concrete non-awe-inspiring porch and lit up

THE CIGAR
Gurkha War Pig
Maduro wrapper
Connecticut binder
Nicaraguan/Dominican fillers
6 x 54 Belicoso
PRE-LIGHT
Is this kosher? Oy. A foot band. I prefer the added tactile niceness of a foot ribbon. I don't see the real point of a foot band. Oil, well. Foot band is an angry tusked bit of treyf. Scary. Main band is black, red, silver, and is 'big' a color? Nicely embossed guy-with-knife and filigree work.

Veiny but in a non-egregious or performance-threatening manner. Spider web veins? Check. Seams are visible and very so, but...mainly...even. Dark marbling over-top a rich brown hue that ain't the darkest maduro you'll see. Cap is nicely affixed and foot tobacco peeks out at an almost perfect color match to the rich brown of the wrapper -- and vastly monochromatically so. Perhaps a tick of strawberry undertone. Packing there at the foot seems medium 'nuff. Lively complected foot and wrapper, with a nice sheen and hand-slick.

Rest of the hand-feel shows a bit outta-whack balance via the Belicoso vitola. A bit of dry and fine, fine tooth ticks up through the slick. Charmin squeeze is a medium resistance and even at that throughout. The spring-back is a tad lethargic. Schnoz sez ripe (natch) dark fruits with cocoa hints. Nice barnyard underneath. Chocolate and slight cherry added at the foot and a cereal hint. Almost a hops vibe, too. Some musk.

I Old Timer slice off the cap and get on a medium+ draw resistance, notes of cocoa, red to purple fruits, and a touch of grain. That grain picks up as I puff, as does a new coffee note. Remember Postum? I'm not sure I do, but this cereal grain makes me think of it. Sweat wheat, too. Interesting. Cold finish is a creamy butter thing. Wheat almost takes on a maltiness, which I can't recall experiencing on a cold draw. That said, I cannot swear as to what my breakfast consisted of.

LIGHT
7:15pm
I toss on my new black wool overcoat, peel on my grey fingerless gloves, screw on my black knit cap and once on/in my porch/office/study/smoking den -- I toast the foot...grass, paper, leaves. That's the aroma I gets. Earth and hay with a leather backing, carrying into a chocolate finish with dark fruit under-tones. Long finish. At the end, a maltiness clings to the remaining chocolate and offers up a cereal bit. That's the first hot pull. Nice. Lots of body. Second hot one is retro-haled to a crisping up leather and a very barnyard compost taste that almost gags me. This thing is a trip, and only two puffs in. A third shows lots of malt in the chocolate and wheat bread that's now on the draw. Nice buttery mouth-feel and onto the lips with a touch of salt. Chocolate soars on the finish as coffee pushes it skyward. Coffee is fun -- an instant coffee with a kid's amount of sugar. Mid-finish, there's a plum note that fades to a cherry and the ol' cherry-vanilla pairing maybe messes with my senses, but I sense a vanilla vibe on the mouth.

I did not want to like this cigar ("War"). I ain't hating it yet.

Ash is white with trace of medium Grey, few and far between. Burn is even, line is a razor. Smoke out-put is a steady -full volume, but not voluptuously so.
ACT I
Please don't find me crude, but every few puffs, there's a vibe underneath which makes me want to yak. It's in the compost, I believe. It sorta tastes like a vurp. You know, when you burp and a little barf comes up? Other than that, very malty via wheat and chocolate. Fruits are a near that when they mount, almost gone at other times. Leather feels like a hide left in the sun and braces the somewhat dampened, or at least quite ripe, other notes. Coffee plays an interesting role in that it comes in to tighten with a bitter note at the onset of draw. This clears for a predominantly sweet finish. Very long, buttery to creamy with vanilla underneath.

A sweet wood comes on at about an inch in. Ash is holding firm, as is line. Wrapper softens two ticks ahead of the char. Ok, about a half inch. Just had another vurp draw. That's subjective as the day is long, however. too, it's nighttime.

The tobacco picks up a fire-cured essence at the end of the first act. Very cereal, malt, wheat, very bread on draw. Immediately post-draw sweet woods come in and usher fruits and then chocolate. Chocolate hits finish and mixes with a vanilla cream mouth-feel. Nice. All on a leather backing with hints of vurp -- uh -- compost. Salty lips.

ACT II
I start by rolling off all the ash accumulated thus far into my hand. I feel its heft and toss it into my $0.97 Walmart tray. It thunks, don't break. Here's the deal on vurp: the fruits stem from the compost, see? And that salty note on my lips is turning into a mineral note on my palate. My brain translates damp perhaps rotting earth with a sweetness turned sour into, you guessed it -- vomit. This speaks purely to my palate, or more precisely, how this Gurkha misses it. Subjective, subjective, subjective.

Objective is a great burn off of excellent construction and a smooth now medium draw. LOTS of smoke but on the thin side of town. Softening of the packing has ceased.

I'm getting a lot of fire-cured notes that are becoming char notes here at the mid-point. I've lost fruits. A warmly kind red pepper sidles up to the retro-hale. Its warmth much more than flavor. It plays nice on the cream mouth-feel. Vanilla is gone from there. Chocolate holds but loses its malt. Remaining malt gets loaded onto the wheat cereal. Bread be gone. I'm not precisely certain when butter turned cream, but cream continues to grow. Full-bodied. Flavors are medium+. Strength is quite lagging; that ain't no complaint, gentlepersons.

Compost becomes earth and vurp is gone. Yippie. Leather softens. I hear a crack on a pull and the ash drops. I nervously look for cracks, but find none. Here comes the strength, I think to me. Charring is only on the retro-hale now, and I can't see the red pepper there any longer. Woods stay nondescript but sweeten more. Coffee turns to a Red Eye as a double shot of espresso gets poured in. I finger the dropped ash and it's quite powdery. Espresso takes over and it ain't not bitter. The near bite kills the gentle malt. Suddenly there are roasted vegetal notes on the retro-hale and into the start of finish until the cream absorbs them.

Does this count as my veggie serving for today? As sure as this pig ain't treyf, it does!

Smoke out-put remains full and it now thickens a tad. A strong mineral note comes back on and I believe that's the curtain falling on the transition. Too, the second act. Quite a lengthy alteration. Did you read all that? Now read it back to me. Sounds good.

Cereal grains and roasted veggies with a mineral backing -- not what I was expecting, gentlepersons.

ACT III
I start off the final act by walking away. Then coming back a couple minutes later. The War Pig is still pouring smoke. Malt is back on the cereal grain thing. Bad news is the wrapper has peeled a hair and the burn is off a bit -- a tab of wrap has opted to not ignite. Walnut notes are in a new loaf of whole wheat bread. This is really a heckuva stogie as far as both flavors and, until just now, flawless construction. Espresso is a bean now. A good indication of avoiding the too typical pour-water-on-a-campfire Maduro ending. Malt notes linger in the dryness. Chocolate moves to cocoa. Charring re-emerges and it's savory this time. Vegetal ebbs.

Cream is back to butter as the burn evens-out, mostly. Strength is up to a solid medium, then ticks up to medium+ but nicely and expectedly. Body slims. Profile is a medium+. Smoke is continually filling out. A bite begins to threaten off the char as the band approaches. That crack was smoked through without thought -- Bobby Brown musta paid a visit.

I normally stop reviewing halfway through the band, but I'll wait through it. This review is a bit different than most, and I shall explain that in my notes. Why do I do this? Because I can now tell you that bite disappears; forced out by a brown sugar. I reach for a toothpick. Molasses.
NOTES
A funny smoke -- or at least a funny review. Not 'funny haha,' but funny as in peculiar. Allow me to explain:

I seriously almost put this War Pig down at vurp. I was this close || to throwing in my schmatta. Another bit of the aforementioned funny varietal is I ain't grading it. Mostly greatly enjoyed it, sure... but I won't grade this and let me explain:

Gurkhas, some more than others, are created to need time in your humi prior to enjoying. My pals over at Cigars City sent me a bit of their 6 mos old personal stash -- that's a nice, nice chunk of time. I'd recommend at minimum a couple weeks. T a few months, you'll get malt notes. At not enough months, you'll get bite and a tell-tale bad burn.

Look up reviews of this stick -- notes and construction are all over the place. I didn't simply want to add to this confusion sans an explaination.

Go ahead and get a budet-friendly box. Shoot, get it from Cigars City, then save it for a rainy day. You can even be a scientist and note changes from first offering, to last. That's actually something I might do. We'll exchange notes -- please don't send me your notes.

PAIRINGS
Gentlepersons, you can't mess this one up, even a hoppy beer would pair well with this one.

FINAL GRADE
****n/a****

LESS SCHTICK MORE STICK

Mellow: Complicated
Coarse: In charring spots which don't last long
Sweet: A bissell. Not sour, per se
Spicy: Seasoned
Savory: Yes
Strength: Mounts to comfy med+
Draw: Great
Burn: Great
Construction: Great
Primary Note:  Malts: chocolate, wheat. Coffee/espresso/mocha

[note once again: the six mos in the humi]
EPILOGUE
8:35pm
I've decided the ocean is too big and perhaps the pirate's life is not for me.

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