Filler: Esteli Nicaraguan Ometepe
Pairing: Glenlivet Founders Reserve
I would like to preface my review to say that I am very surprised I am reviewing a Gurkha. Don’t get me wrong, I like some Gurkhas, but not enough of them to write a review. When I stopped by the Gurkha booth at Stogiefest 2019 in Jacksonville FL, I heard the rep say Sumatra. That was enough for me to pay attention to this cigar. It was an easy sell for me, so he put one in my bag. I smoked the cigar at the event and liked it a lot. So much so that I ended up buying a box of them. I sat back and enjoyed it where I could pay closer attention to the cigar’s flavor profile. I will enjoy this cigar with some Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve. Now, the review!
When I took the cigar out of the wrapper it was beautifully constructed. The wrapper had a nice dark caramel color. I took a long sniff of the foot and noticed hints of earth and spice. I cut the cigar and took a cold draw. The spice was there, and I tried to think back to remember if the spice was that prevalent the first time I smoked one of these cigars.
I lit the cigar and there was a strong pepper and spice pop to it. I am not a spice fan by any means, but I knew I liked the cigar the first time. The spice started to fade a touch and other flavors and notes started to make themselves known. The draw was awesome and there was a lot of smoke, a common characteristic of Gurkhas (from my experience). Earth, leather, and some mild nut flavors started to show. The spice was more on the back end and left a nice taste on the tongue.
As the second third began, the draw was still fantastic. The flavor profile has not changed much at this point. Notes of cedar started to take the lead, along with the earthy, grassy, and nutty flavors. The spice and pepper were in the back, but still there. The ash was a mix of light and dark grey, but did not hold on strongly. The burn was pretty good. No touch ups thus far.
As I proceed with the final third, the spice started to come back and come back strongly. The draw was consistent through the entire cigar. The smoke volume was awesome as well. The notes of cocoa were very light, but a nice addition to the other flavors. Earth tones were more noticeable and the cedar was equally strong. The leather notes seem to fade away as well.
I did like this cigar and I was pleasantly surprised. To be honest, there are very few Gurkhas that I would recommend. This is one of them for sure. (especially since it has a Sumatra wrapper). To conclude my review, I would gladly tell you to put some of these into your box and gift your friends and fellow cigar smokers as well. They will be glad you did. I look forward to smoking more of these and possibly try different Gurkhas in hopes to find the same complexity as the Marquesa.
Pre-light – 7.5/10 (not too much of a cold draw profile)
Light – 9/10 (easy to light)
Draw – 10/10 (great draw all the way through)
Construction – 8.5/10 (nice vein, cool color)
Flavor – 9/10 (complex flavor profile, tricked me with the spice)
Strength and body – 8/10 (medium body and strength. At times became full)
Average – 8.7/10 (a good cigar and I will definitely smoke more)