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Old 08-05-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Posts: 64
Gurkha Cellar Reserve XO

Size: 6X60
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Binder: Dominican Republic Olor
Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo, Dominican Republic
Price: $7.99 to $12.99

This new offering from Gurkha was announced at this year's IPCPR show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last year, Kaizad Hansotia, personally handed me this cigar and said he wanted me to try something special that not many people had tried or knew about. All he would tell me is it had tobaccos that were aged 15 years and it would be a future release. I figured it would come out late last year but never saw a release. I went home and put this with my mass collection of Gurkha Cigars. I actually have every Gurkha blend aside from the HMR, almost an entire 300 count humidor full. For this review I smoked a sample that has had over 1 year of humidor rest courtesy of Mr. Hansotia. I have no idea if this blend remained the same but I sure hope it is and let me tell you why......

The first thing that sets this Gurkha apart from most of their offerings is the cigar band and packaging. Following the latest trend of marketing cigars like wine, the marketing of these is spot on in my opinion. The boxes are made to look like aging wine barrels while the band reminds me of an expensive and elegant wine bottle label. It has a lot going on yet it remain simplistic to a degree without all the normal Gurkha flash. The oily wrapper is a nice medium brown with an orange tint and a few small veins. Rolling the cigar around between my fingers I can feel it is evenly rolled and full of tobacco with no looseness or soft spots. The foot looks great and the cap is done perfectly. It is really a nice looking cigar and judging by appearance alone it is a high quality cigar. When I first removed the cigar from the cellophane the aroma was rich and noticeable in the air. It faded after a short while but the overall aroma reminded me of a wine cellar - a light mustiness that was pleasing with a distinct oak.

I have heard some information that the final product has a small twist or pig tail cap. Not sure how reliable the information is but this cigar did not have that so I used a punch. The cigar lit quickly and immediately produced a very pleasing aroma. The draw was tight for about the first half inch to one inch and then it opened up so it was just right.

Right from the start I am hit with full flavors and just a little spice. A really nice oak wood flavor seems to be dominate throughout the entire cigar which I really enjoyed. There were moments where there was a smokey flavor that you would experience when drinking a good single malt scotch. It was almost like having a a fine dining experience with expensive liquors. There was an occasional sweetness and many other flavors that seemed to all mingle and keep me guessing. I tried to dissect all of the flavors but this is one complex cigar. It probably didn't help that I was smoking outside in 100 degree temperatures. I really got lost in relaxing and enjoying this cigar.

The burn was perfect and no touch ups were required. The ash was white and held well. Aside from the slightly tight draw at the start, I had no other issues with this cigar. It was a pleasure to smoke. Full flavors are present throughout the cigar but the strength is a solid medium that hits the full mark at the end. I did not experience any harshness or hot burn at the nub.

I have to be honest with you all and say that I have been a huge fan of Gurkha Cigars for a long time. As the seasons change so does my cigar obsession though and Gurkha has not been my current obsession for some time. Going into this review I had a very open mind and unknown expectations. From the first puff to the last I was very impressed. Here is a complex Gurkha Cigar at a reasonable price and I would go as far to say is their best cigar I have ever smoked. I have smoked almost every Gurkha ever made and this is by far the best one I have ever had.

If you spend anytime in cigar forums or social media you know as well as I do Gurkha is a brand that people seem to love or hate to one extreme or the next. Lets just be honest about that. I think some of it has to do with the luxury lifestyle they have promoted with the high MSRP and the extreme packaging. No matter which side of this debate you are on, for whatever reason, I highly recommend you smoke this cigar at least once. This is the cigar to smoke to give Gurkha that second chance if you have walked away from them.

Gurkha seems to be taking a different strategy with their newest release which started last year with Ninja and Viper. Less focus on fancy packaging and more focus on quality made and affordable cigars. They have also said they are taking a stance to be more supportive of their brick and mortar stores which I think is a great move.

Gurkha Cellar Reserve XO started off full of flavor and was full of flavor to the end. The beginning was medium in strength and worked it's way to full with about a third left. The fullness at the end hit me a little hard and was probably enhanced by the extreme temperature I was smoking in. I really wanted to be more specific on the complexities of flavor but I got lost in this cigar which is a wonderful quality to me. My focus became the relaxed enjoyment and I just went with it. With so many new releases hitting the shelves now, I have another contender to decide what to spend my money on. In my opinion these are box worthy and I plan on getting a box as soon as I see them on the shelf. I think Gurkha is headed in a good direction and will be winning some new fans.

The best cigar is a cigar shared with a friend

See the pics here http://cigarcatadore.blogspot.com/20...eserve-xo.html

Can't figure out how to make the pics smaller. When I post they make the screen HUGE
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