Gurkha Crest - Revisited

“If money is no object, then these cigars are for you. Nothing in life comes cheap. Aged for 8 years, very limited in supply, Extra strength, triple ligero.”

– Excerpt from Gurkhacigars.com

 Sometime late last year, I reviewed the Gurkha Crest Churchill and was hugely disappointed. I originally bought two and was rearranging my humidor and came across the remaining one.

Rather than tossing it out of spite, I decided to fire it up and perhaps give it a chance to redeem itself, so here we go.

The Gurkha Crest Churchill is 7 x 52, with Nicaraguan Ligero binder and fillers and a Connecticut Maduro wrapper.

It says it has a Connecticut Maduro wrapper, but it’s mottled and looks more like an Indonesian or Sumatran wrapper. It looks more like a Rolando Reyes cigar than a Gurkha.

The cigar seems solidly rolled with no soft spots.

The pre-light smell is like freshly baked bread with just a hint of pepper.

It fires right up and the initial notes are woody with a slight peppery bite on the front of the palate. The burn is straightforward and the draw is very loose.

About a ½ inch in and the hints of pepper disappear.

 About a ½ inch later and the all hell breaks loose, and not in a good way. Some sour notes appear along with a metallic aftertaste. Sort of like when you bite a piece of aluminum foil.

But wait, it gets worse.

Back in 2005-06, Baghdad was even worse than it is now. The Sunnis hated the Shiites and vice-versa. Plus they both hated Americans. Anyway, there’d be bombings, shootings and general mayhem. We’d be on patrol and turn a corner and see dozens of bodies lined up, executed with their hands tied behind their backs.

One of the most offensive and distinctive odors in the world is a dead human. Once you’ve smelled it, it lingers with you forever.

Another smell that stands out in a bad way is South Korea. As soon as you step off the plane, your senses are assaulted. They use human waste to fertilize their rice paddies. Yes, really.

The South Koreans have Porta-johns all over the place. Once they’re full, a truck comes by and sucks it up, then goes straight out to a rice paddy and unloads it into the water.

The entire country smells like a sun-baked outhouse.

Now that you have those two images in your mind, combine them and you know what the Gurkha Crest smells and tastes like: Dead Iraqis and South Korean rice paddies.

Seriously, 1 inch into a 7 inch cigar, and I was forced to toss it into the desert.

When a cigar is listed as having a Nicaraguan filler and binder, I expect a bit of oomph and flavor.  This one is oomph-less.

I have no idea where they got the idea that these can be touted as “extra strength, triple ligero”.  The only thing “extra strength” about the Gurkha Crest is its offensive odor and foul taste.

Listerine barely helped. I think I may rinse my mouth out with gasoline. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a place in my heart for a few Gurkhas…just not this one.

The worst part? Singles can be had for $25+ and boxes of 30 sell for over $500.

Hindsight's 20/20 and in hindsight, I should have just tossed it before even lighting it up.

Comments

  • CAcigarguy007CAcigarguy007 Posts: 333 ✭✭✭
    This guy is a solid BOTL and a all around good dude! I had a bad experience with the one Paka sent me and it had that mottled wrapper as well. Funny thing is though that the ones I got in my Gurkha Cigarnivore No. 3 sampler appear to have a much smoother wrapper, through the cello anyway. I seen some positive reviews so I'm hoping that there are just some bunk sticks out there and hopefully the new ones I got will be better. I did very much enjoy your review, quite funny and I must concur that the one I smoked was terrible. Fingers crossed for the new ones.
  • Steve2010Steve2010 Posts: 1,036
    Thanks Shaun! Once is bad enough, twice is my fault. I'm not going for a 3rd strike. However, when you burn yours, let me know if it's any sort of improvement.
  • jj20030jj20030 galveston islandPosts: 5,772 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Steve2010:
    Thanks Shaun! Once is bad enough, twice is my fault. I'm not going for a 3rd strike. However, when you burn yours, let me know if it's any sort of improvement.
    if you get homesick for another i think i have 1 or 2 i can send you,lol , i havent even tried one of them yet,lol
  • Duke2Duke2 Posts: 393
    I will have to agree with Steve2010. The only one I had was in a sample pack. The taste and aroma were nasty and I too pitched it. I used to like some Gurkha's but it seems like they are going down hill.
  • AJGARLETTAJGARLETT Posts: 648
    that dose of reality (i.e. the smell/description of executed Iraqi's on the side of the road) was tucked so neatly in the middle of your review. I've never seen such an extreme description of how a cigar smells before but the point was made.....no doubt about that.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Steve2010:
    The Gurkha Crest Churchill is 7 x 52, with Nicaraguan Ligero binder and fillers and a Connecticut Maduro wrapper.

    It says it has a Connecticut Maduro wrapper, but it’s mottled and looks more like an Indonesian or Sumatran wrapper.

    a true un-dyed maduro will have variation in the wrapper. i wish you had a picture of this particular cigar so i could see the color variation. some color variation is ok, other color variation is not. a great example of what i am talking about is this picture that amz1301 took a few days ago:

    image


    this picture shows how splotchy fermentation can make a cigar. (especially the way LFD does it) that cigar IS a sumatra wrapper with heavy fermentation. im not sure they call it a maduro but it is as dark as some maduros.

    the problem comes in if there are spots that are to light or greenish or to dark and the wrapper thins.

    you experience with this cigar does not surprise me though. the ones i had were a giant disappointment.

  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    The crest wasn't my most favorite gurkha but I thought it was okay. However your right it isn't worth the price. I have one left that is sitting in my dome humi. Might have to light it up soon.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    Good to have you posting over here and a great review of a bad stick. Thanks for the warning. I am not a big fan of Gurkha but there are a few I like
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    I had my other crest on sunday, and the OP was right. Funny thing I think I liked this cigar way back when but man was I wrong. I put this guy out after a little past the first third. It had a tight draw, lack of flavor and well FLAT. I do have to say the band is really nice. Maybe my tastes have changed but I don't see how I could if ever liked this cigar. Maybe I had a good cigar b4 I lit the crest up, I dont remember...
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    phobicsquirrel:
    I had my other crest on sunday, and the OP was right. Funny thing I think I liked this cigar way back when but man was I wrong. I put this guy out after a little past the first third. It had a tight draw, lack of flavor and well FLAT. I do have to say the band is really nice. Maybe my tastes have changed but I don't see how I could if ever liked this cigar. Maybe I had a good cigar b4 I lit the crest up, I dont remember...
    it could be that you had a different beverage or that your mouth was at a different pH.
    could be a bunch of things.
    it could also be the inconsistency that is Gurkha.
  • Was the Crest's original size the torpedo?  I ask because I have smoked a few of the Crest torpedos and they were quite awesome.  I have tried other Gurkhas and was less than impressed but the Crest torpedo was so good I bought a 10 pack from cigar.com.

  • Steve2010Steve2010 Posts: 1,036
    fury556:
    Was the Crest's original size the torpedo?  I ask because I have smoked a few of the Crest torpedos and they were quite awesome.  I have tried other Gurkhas and was less than impressed but the Crest torpedo was so good I bought a 10 pack from cigar.com.

    ////Churchill. Glad someone had a good experience with them. I tried to burn two, but they were terrible. Again, I'm not anti-Gurkha...I'm just anti-Crest.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,100 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe it's just me bieng new and still a novice. But I wonder why some of these companies like Gurkah and RP put out so many different brands a lot of which I notice most people seem to hate instead of concentrating on the quality of the ones that people love. I mean how many brands does Gurkah make anyway?
  • KingoftheCoveKingoftheCove Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    Rhamlin:
    Maybe it's just me bieng new and still a novice. But I wonder why some of these companies like Gurkah and RP put out so many different brands a lot of which I notice most people seem to hate instead of concentrating on the quality of the ones that people love. I mean how many brands does Gurkah make anyway?
    +1......I kind of understand the marketing strategy behind it.............for potato chips.....but not cigars.

  • Rhamlin:
    Maybe it's just me bieng new and still a novice. But I wonder why some of these companies like Gurkah and RP put out so many different brands a lot of which I notice most people seem to hate instead of concentrating on the quality of the ones that people love. I mean how many brands does Gurkah make anyway?


    That is what kept me from trying anything from Gurkah for so long.  I figured that they make a ton of different cigars because they can't make one good one.

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