Thursday, December 27, 2007

Gurkha Grand Age

Gurkha Grand Age perfecto
$3 (CBid), Size: 6", Ring: 60
Cameroon wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, Nicaraguan and Peruvian fillers

The Grand Age is proclaimed as Gurkha's first cigar with a Cameroon wrapper, and this wrapper's a beauty: Dark, glossy, and some veins, with an aroma of wood and coffee. While smoking, the burn needed fixing a couple times, but the ash was solid and silvery, dropping after 2 inches. The smoke was thick and lush.

The cigar sprang to life immediately, with warm and spicy wood flavors at the start, similar to a Cusano CC. After the first inch, a leathery undertone arrived and stayed for the rest of the smoke. Hints of roast red peppers came in mid-cigar, then mellowed again to the basic wood-leather flavor (similar to an Indian Tabac Cameroon Legend). The last third brought a spicy ligero flavor to the fore. This was a tasty cigar.

Alas, there were some problems from the outset, mainly dealing with the aforementioned Cameroon wrapper. My cigar was split near the cap before cutting, and the problems got worse. After cutting, a section of wrapper, near the cap, split off, leaving the binder showing. I was able to position my lips enough while drawing on the cigar to alleviate some of the problems.

Then, one-third into the cigar, the wrapper started splitting and flaking in other areas. I tried to moisten the wrapper more around those areas to keep the wrapper from completely flaking off. As the smoke went on, the cigar's wrapper gradually deteriorated, splitting and cracking, until, in the final third, I had sizable fissures in the cigar, enough to kill the draw and end the smoke. I had to give it up almost an inch earlier than I would have liked.

Sometimes, bad things happen to good cigars. It's doubly hard when it happens to an expensive cigar, even if you get it cheap. It may have been comical to watch me struggle to keep this cigar together long enough to smoke it, but the flavors were well worth the effort. I'd love to try this one again, if it will have me.

Update, 1/13/08 : The next Grand Age I smoked was fine, construction-wise. I believe the difference was dry-boxing it for a couple days prior to smoking. And it was still delicious!

Velvet Cigar smoked a Grand Age in May 2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just smoked my first one and it was great. An 80-minute pleasure with a full body that wasn't overwhelming. I want more.