If you live in the British Isles like me and someone mentions Gurkhas, there are good chances you are not thinking about cigars: you might be thinking about the fierce Nepalese soldiers, but even more probably about Joanna Lumley and her fight for the Gurkha’s rights in the UK. Still, if you are interested in cigars the name should sound familiar, if only as the brand that made one of the most expensive cigars, if not THE most expensive cigar ever, going for a whooping 1150$ a pop.
That cigar was the original Black Dragon, released in 2006 as a very limited edition: just 5 hand-carved camel bone boxes of 100 cigars were produced. In 2007 Gurkha released a new more accessible version but after that things become a bit more confusing. The original cigar had the classic Gurkha warrior band as you can see here. The suddenly sometime in 2009 the band changed to show a dragon as you can see above. The band seem not to be the only thing that changed. In its pdf catalogue (caution, huge file) the make up is given as Cameroon wrapper, Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler – but the online catalogue states the Wrapper is now Connecticut broadleaf with Cameroon binder and Dominican filler… so possibly the one I am smoking tonight should be called the Gurkha Black Dragon Robusto v3.0. Continue reading
A while back I received a sampler of Perdomo cigars from a US BOTL. I was pretty curious to try them and had originally planned to smoke them quite soon… which didn’t really happen. As many of my plans, this was diverted as I got interested in other cigars, then some more… and more. In part it also has to do with the slight disappointment in the Lot 23 Maduro I smoked a while back.
Having said that, even the slight Lot 23 disappointment didn’t change my opinion of Perdomo as a brand: solid every day cigars, well made, enjoyable and interesting though not terribly complex. Maybe I am doing a disservice to Perdomo cigars here. I haven’t tested their top end smokes yet (Edicion de Silvio, Patriarch) so maybe there are complex blow-your-head-off cigars in the range. Having said that, I don’t think there is anything wrong in making cigars that are reasonably priced and good, even if they don’t win prizes: so kudos to Perdomo Cigars for what they offer. Continue reading
La Aurora is the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic, going back to 1903. Probably best known today for its Preferidos range, made with barrel aged selected tobacco by its best torcedores, it actually produces a number of different lines. (The well-made company web-site is well worth a visit for more information).
I got a couple of La Aurora cigars with a Dominican sampler and this is the first one I tried, being unable to resist the temptation of another maduro stick. Continue reading
It always feel a bit awkward posting on a new blog from scratch, but everything need a start, so here goes. This first review looks at the Perdomo Lot 23, and specifically the Maduro Robusto stick. Perdomo,which like many other Central American cigar producer has Cuban roots, is a well established brand in the US cigar market which is not commonly sold here in the UK. I got this cigar as part of a sampler from a US BOTL on UK Cigar Forum and I’ll be reviewing these in the next weeks. I have had a few Perdomos in the past and generally always had good experiences, though not great. (but I haven’t tried yet the ESV or Edicion de Silvio, which should be the cream of the crop). One problem that quite a few people mention on US cigar discussion forums is that Perdomo cigars don’t burn great. In my experience that is not the case, but I’ll have a better opinion once I smoke my way through the whole lot of them.
Lot 23 is a cigar made (mainly, more about that in a moment) from tobacco grown on a single farm, not surprisingly called Lot 23 (nothing more poetic available guys?) in Esteli, Nicaragua. According to the Perdomo website all the tobaccos used to make these stogies were bale aged fo four years, rolled then aged a further six months before distribution. The Lot 23 were originally released in 4 vitolas (robusto, toro, churchill and torpedo) with an Ecuadorian wrapper holding the Lot 23 binder and filler, but later included the Maduro I am smoking today; this broadleaf wrapper is also from Nicaragua and although I couldn’t find exact informations, I suppose it might also come from Lot 23. Having dabbled in wine tasting for quite a few years (both professionally and as a hobby) I find the idea of a single farm cigar interesting; the idea is a bit like the one behind a single cru wine, where you expect the flavour of the local climate and earth to shine through, what the French masterly sum up in the word terroir. Will that shine through on this Lot 23 Maduro? Sure hope so. Let’s get smoking! Continue reading