Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gurkha Royal Challenge Toro Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Price: $7.00

As some of you may remember, Gurkha sent me a couple samples of their newer lines to try out and review. The first one I reviewed for them was the Seduction. I have reviewed several Gurkha cigars, and the majority of them have been pretty full-bodied. So when I got the chance to review a Connecticut shade cigar by them, I was very interested. I figured this would be a good cigar for me to try out in the morning.

Like most Connecticut shade wrappers, this one was very light brown and very smooth. There were a couple thin veins throughout the wrapper, but they were not a worry to me. There were also a couple thin cracks in the very thin wrapper. The cracks tended to be more towards the cap, so the huge, ornate, bands helped to prevent the wrapper from peeling off. Other than that, this stick appears to be constructed great. It is a very solid stick with a flush cap that cut clean. There is also a sweetness to the earthy smell coming off of this stick.

As soon as I lit this cigar up, I knew it wasn’t like some of the other Gurkha cigars I have had. There wasn’t a strong spice, in fact the spice was very mild and was more of an accent to the earthy and woody notes. There was also a nice nutty flavor that was coming through the creamy smoke.

About an inch or so into this cigar, the mild spiciness actually mellowed out even more. This was now easily the mildest Gurkha I have ever smoked. Throughout the remainder of the first third, there was still a very strong earthiness, but now with a slight bitterness.

By the start of the second third the creaminess takes over. The nuttiness is now a very light background flavor. Along with nuttiness, I started to pick up some light spice as well again. The spiciness is about the same magnitude it was when I first lit the cigar.

By halfway the earthiness picks up much more. The earthiness caused some of the other flavors to disappear, like the bitterness. But now that the earthiness was very strong, some of the earthy tones became much more distinct. There was some leather notes that started to build on the palate.

The last couple inches of this cigar were very flavorful. The creaminess and earthiness are the two biggest factors. The spice also comes back a little bit more, as does the bitterness. These flavors all combined very nicely to create a very enjoyable finish on a cold morning.

The ash was a nicely layers, medium gray shade that held on for about two inches at a time. The burn could have been a little more even, but I feel that the wind may have caused a little bit of the canoeing. The draw was very easy and produced a good amount of thick white smoke. There was also a very earthy aroma from the abundant smoke.

If you tend to stay away from Gurkha cigar because of their strength, I ask you to try this one. This was a medium bodied cigar. Not mild, but the mildest Gurkha I have ever smoked. Would I smoke this cigar again? Yes I would, because I think it would go great with some coffee or hot chocolate on a cold winter morning. I give it a 8 out of 10.


Zack the Stogie Man


  1. I'm a new cigar smoker. This was recommended to me. I'm in the first third and it is very pleasant . Plenty of smoke.

  2. This is my go to Gurkha. One of my favorite cigars since early on in my smoking history. I try to keep at least one of these on hand at all times. People always seem to down Gurkha because of their strength, but this is an awesome mild/medium cigar. I would definitely put this into a "New Smoker Sampler" as a recommendation.