Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Gurkha Havana Legend - Cigar Review

There are various and varied depictions of Hell, from Dante's "Divine Comedy" to Twilight Zone's "A Game of Pool." A cigar reviewer's Hades might just feature Gurkha. More accurately, writing an entertaining and non-repetitive take on the thing. This is not to say Gurkha is sub par, per se -- it's simply to say that the brand delivers notes differently than most, features different notes than some, and tends toward a linear approach. Not to mention, but I shall, that your on-line Gurkha is not necessarily my B&M Gurkha and vice-versa.

That stated, let's have a go, gentlepersons -- with the idea that your mileage may will vary. Lettuce go under the caveat that I wish you luck finding this particular label as it was not around very long, and too, it was at the bottom of my local's humi for "a couple years or so." Oy vey, mi amigos.

Havana Legend Torpedo
Nicaraguan Habano wrapper
Cameroon binder
Peruvian fillers
Espresso roasted bean complexion under a densely oiled sheen. No real under-tone, and nearly abysmal in fact. Minimum veins, though one biggie in 2/3 but only according to the eye, not an impediment on the hand-feel. Somewhat loose seams. Medium Charmin squeeze density test results; evenly throughout. Schnoz of sweet spices backed by leather on the shaft -- nuts added to the middling at foot.

Cold draw after nibbling loose the not overly affixed cap are very sweet spices on a medium draw resistance. Some earth notes entwine there and extend to a cold finish with a meeting up of barnyard tobacco.

Spiced leather off toasting foot. First hot pull is a zetz of sweet spices and a stiff almost sudden leather on the end of draw, sweetness from spices stays through and on. Second pull is retro-haled A citrus laced black pepper is there and the lemon drops afterward to the tongue, bypassing the palate. Palate retains a sweetness from a wood note. Next hot one is a reinforced menu of sweet spices,woods, leather, and nuts.

Burn is a slight ribbon, but even. Ash is a white sheath with a flake here and there. No softening of pack. Draw remains an even medium. Smoke out-put is a medium+. Room note is quite leathery and spiced. Mouth-feel is a slight crisp tingle on a perfect moisture level. Ash sheath begins now to divide into wide-ish yet even ladder rungs. A singular crisp citrus note, spiced slightly, extends finish from -medium to medium legged. -Medium profile and strength.
Near tangy citrus is tempered by a soaring leather note which brings up with it, the sweet spices. That lemon loses the black pepper and morphs on its own accord to a sweet yet malt-laced orange zest. This melange finds sweet spice notes and we're full-on mulling spice. Retro-hale is a musky attachment to the primary notes of mulling spice and leather. Secondary notes are seasoned hardwoods. The backing, which as I discussed HERE, is the familiar Gurkha way of over-top the flavor notes is a complex earth which pulls from the mulling spice. Finish is sweet spice and cleansed by orange zest. The finish is carried over-top by a stiff leather.

Very smooth draw and smooth smoke. A kind slight mouth-feel tingle that keeps my interest. Woods and leather swap rolls. Mulling spice is at the forefront. 3/4" of the inch-long ash clumps off unexpectedly. I roll the rest, and take that opportunity to purge and re-touch a slip of top-leaf that wouldn't burn. First post-purge pull is almost completely seasoned woods. Mulling spice and leather wait for the finish. Top note, which again is the Gurkha backing, is still earthy, but highlighting a very dense musky tobacco. Malt notes are lacing the mulling spice a tick more -- rye malt.

As the opening act closes, burn is dead even on a razor-thin line. Primary notes are wood and mulling spice. A close secondary is led by that rye malt which influences the spice, and a still stiff but thinner leather. Finish is a tick sweeter and a notch more mellow. Mouth-feel is a clean hardness, but not at all dry on a account of some newly intro'd thin leather oils. Tingle is now just the cleanliness. Top-note-backing is getting heavier and eliminating a tad more height than prior. Smoke out-put is -full and tinted with yellow-ish brown streaks of white thin clouds.

Smooth, very... with a noticeable uptick to medium strength. Smoothing subdues the profile to a medium, and both are due to the spices being a mere whisper now. They are solely occupying the middling. Primary notes are a very close-knit wood and leather. Leather leaves top-note backing.

I purge, retro-hale, and get a new and very toasted cream from the long-quiet nuts. Almond. This settles on the finish as a sort of almond paste. A tingle comes back on, but differently, stemming from the seasoned wood.

A barley malt note comes in at the mid-point, a chocolate malt the puff next, joins that.

Draw is smooth and even. Very busy smoke off the foot. Room-note is a malty tobacco musk. Chocolate malt is exclusively now on retro-hale. Top note backing is chugging along. Burn ribbons and rights itself. Some sweeter mulling spices return thinly. Very woody, quite leathery. Smooth as billy Dee Williams, yes...but nicotine a la Samuel L. Jackson. Clean cool smoke. Awake if not excited, mouth-feel. toasted cream Almond paste is creating a medium+ profile. Seasoned wood whisks it away to a clean mouth-feel.

I equate the delivery method of a Gurkha with a 'backing' that stays over-top -- a falcon flying with something in its talons. For out purposes, that something is the flavor-note menu. The bird is flying awfully low now. I'm not convinced if its tiring or hunting ground-dwelling prey. What I am convinced of, its the fact there ain't a lot of room for notes underneath. Glass ceiling; thy name is bird. Bird is the word. I purge. Puff. Puff again. Retro-hale. Alls I sees is bird. And the bird is -- as if this whole thing isn't confusing enough -- earth. Tobacco and earth and malts have left. Leather and nuts are loin-cloth close to one another. Oils continue, but inject directly into earth, further enhancing it.

A grapefruit vibe enters here at the closing act's onset. Smoke thickens to dense purely white clouds. Burn is dead even on a still razor-thin burn. Smoke is cool, but rolled off ash is less dense powder and a tad warmer than prior. Burn is a hotter thing than before. Primary flavor is the earth note backing/over-tone. Too, it's a tobacco core of tightly wound wood and leather notes. Nuts ebb and flow. Creamy almond paste mouth-feel and finish are cleansed by a bit of that grapefruit and seasoned wood.

As the band approaches, a smoked note that isn't quite mesquite nor charcoal comes in thinly but overtly. Almost a liquid smoke. Mouth-feel ups a tick in moisture. Strength is pushing its medium+ boundaries and too, the profile is down to a barely holding medium.

Finish is somewhat wiped away and the crisp liquid mouth-feel extends far beyond it. So smooth, it's almost vacant, but for a bit of sharp cleanliness. Uncluttered pure tobacco, come tooth-pick time. A fastidious coded gay bachelor's apartment. Felix must have kicked out Oscar. Good on him. It's nice in here. Although the wardrobe is hideouly garish.
I found this hidden in my drafts about a month later from its start, today. It was fun to revisit, and to edit into a proper post. A nice exercise and too, hopefully a nice read of a nice cigar.

Manischewitz and even Mogen David.


Letter grades are graded on a scale of K A P L O W I T Z.
K being the least, Z the greatest
Appearance W
Construction W
Combustion O
Flavors/Body O
Strength O

Not a lot to add here. How's about checking out some futurings