Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Cameroon
Binder : Dominican
Price : ~$5.00 each
The Gurkha Legend Robusto looks good enough. A nice band, a matte wrapper with minimal veining and slightly visible seams. The cigar is comprised of Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper of medium brown color with a pale reddish tint. It is a blend of various aged Dominican filler leaves bound with Cameroon leaf. A very bold band covers this cigar.
Construction : (2.75)
The burn was inconsistent. The smoke output was thick but I did find a hollow spot approximately halfway into the cigar that affected the draw, burn and the smoke output. I needed to touch it up a “few” times once I reached the halfway point. The cigar held up nicely to my straight cut and needed a re-light after the halfway point.
Sometimes when writing a review I do so to draw smokers' attention to good cigars that sometimes get overlooked. Unfortunately, honesty rules the roost in my world of cigar reviews and if a cigar deserves to be trashed, I will not hesitate. This is one of those rare reviews that is really meant to inform a smoker to "look away" and "avoid" a cigar.. save your money on better smokes that are out there. This was the first Gurkha I tried and while they may have better smokes in their line-up, this smoke still deserves to be reviewed.
Where to begin?
The pre-light aroma was woodsy and earthy. The pre-light draw emitted some cocoa and hay like flavor.
I toasted the foot and got some woodsy aroma. I took my first puff and was greeted with bitter hay like flavors. No spice, no sweetness, just plain bitter hay. I knew from the start what I was getting myself into but for the purpose of writing a proper review I wasn't going to put the cigar down and made it a point to be fair and smoke the entire cigar. Thankfully, I had a nice scotch with me to help ease the pain of what was to come. Note that in order to ensure a decent enough palate, I always sip ice water after sipping my scotch during a cigar review to ensure no effect on the flavors of the cigar.
There is no need to break down this review into thirds because this entire cigar never changed in flavor profile.
As for flavor, the cigar started woodsy and grassy with a dominating overtone of damp hay. This never changed. I was expecting (desperately hoping) that it would evolve into something more complex but it never did. The cigar remained harshly bitter and quite uninspiring.
It did offer some occasional albeit rare hints of coffee and cocoa but these few moments were quickly overpowered by bitterness. At times I thought I was smoking a cigar with an homogenized wrapper. I can't remember having such a bad tasting cigar in a very long time.
I was not impressed. The Legend Robusto was perhaps one of the most one dimensional cigars that I ever smoked. I know Gurkha has its fans and perhaps others cigars from their line-up are better but I cannot in good conscience recommend this cigar. In fact, scanning their website I noted that this cigar isn't even mentioned as part of their regular line-up so this cigar may just be a regional variety or distributed to select cigar stores. This cigar came to me through a relative who was travelling through the United States and picked up a few cigars for me.
I've never recommended avoiding a cigar outright in a review but there's a first time for everything.
This Gurkha cost my friend $5.00 and running a quick web scan I note that these do retail for as low as $5.00 but at some places as high as $10.00 or $200 for a box of 20. There are countless cigars that are far better for these prices. I cannot recommend anyone spend anywhere close to $10.00 for this poor cigar experience. No matter the price, save your money. If a decent $5.00 cigar is what you are after, try the CAO Osa Sol Robusto. A much better smoke for the money.
Overall Rating :
There are many better cigars. In fact one can probably blindly select any other cigar in this vitola and price range and get a better tasting cigar.