Review Of The Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend No 359The Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend No 359 is a true labor of love. The company claims that it took 20 tries to get it right and that this final version of the stick required many hours of effort to produce. It’s no surprise then that it is a well-developed, nuanced stogie that brings a lot of interesting flavors to the fore. It also has that sharp, rustic look that comes with a box press and intentionally rough wrapper design. The idea is to pay homage to traditional stick designs, and it works.



This stick has a San Andreas wrapper and a collection of unique Nicaraguan fillers that are proprietary to the company. The Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend No 359 is available in four vitolas: Robusto (5 1/2 x 52), Toro (6 x 54), Figurado (6 x 58) and XO (6 x 60). The wrapper is dark brown in appearance and has several visible veins and seams. This appears to be intentional and gives the smoke a rustic, rugged look. Due to the box press, it is also square in shape and packed pretty tightly. The band is oversized and features the standard brand look in white, black and gold. 



The pre-light draw consists of some strong earth, hay and cedar notes, leading some reviewers to compare it to the scent of a horse stable.



The first-third of the smoke defies expectations, as it is sweeter than the wrapper would suggest. With a dark San Andreas wrapper, you expect deeper earth and pepper notes, but the strongest flavor right away is sweet chocolate. However, this flavor doesn’t maintain dominance for long and is soon pulled back by a combination of fiery black pepper and deep earth notes. The sweetness remains, though, and lingers through the initial third.



During the second-third of the Gurkha Classic Cigar Havana Blend No 359, the sweetness is still present, though it trails off a bit around the halfway mark. Reviewers also tasted something akin to peppermint, enhancing the sweetness some. The black pepper is particularly strong in this part of the stogie and is powerful enough to challenge the most experienced aficionado. The earth flavor is still present, though it is secondary at this point. It is joined by some spice notes as well, making the smoke a lot to handle at this point.



The final third is gentler, as the black pepper pulls off some, and the spice drops out altogether. The sweetness is still around, as well as the earth and peppermint notes. The smoke finishes off cool and with a slight tingle on the tongue. 



This stick is medium to full bodied and nearly full in strength as well, so it is certainly for experienced smokers. The construction does hold up well, though it requires the occasional touch up to keep burning straight. It’s worth dealing with, though, as the dedication to this smoke comes through clearly.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017

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