This week for a review, we have the Gurkha X-Fuerte. I received this cigar a couple weeks ago from Tim, a Club Stogie Member, who decided to catch me off guard with a little care package.
This particular Gurkha is a monster weighing in at seven inches long with a fifty four ring gauge. While looking over the cigar I found it to be very attractive. The wrapper was a dark Costa Rican Maduro leaf that had a nice oily sheen and toothy appearance. When lightly pinched, I found the cigar to feel packed very well.
After the initial inspection was over I reached for my cutter and got down to business. I clipped about a quarter inch off of the torpedo shaped cap and tested the draw. The draw was a little on the firm side but I decided to press on and get to the lighting process. Toasting and lighting took a little effort due to the sheer size of the foot, but after a few minutes I had things burning nice and even.
The initial puff produced a decent volume of smoke but left me with a dry and intense flavor that I did not enjoy. After a few more puffs things settled out and the body settled down into the medium range. The finish was fairly short and smooth while the draw loosened up just a little and became nice and free with little resistance. The base flavor was a mild black coffee flavor with some peppery notes in the background.
At this point my first impression of this cigar was that it was a slow starter. With a name like “X-Fuerte” I really expected it to pack more of a punch to start things off. I really enjoyed the slow and mild start and hoped it would slowly progress into more of a full bodied and full flavored cigar. Unfortunately the next flavor change was very abrupt and unenjoyable.
The second third of my Gurkha X-Fuerte gave me a bit of a jolt and suddenly got more intense. It seemed to be medium bodied one puff, then medium to full the next. Along with this sudden jump in body, the peppery flavor increased enough to begin to irritate my throat. One a positive note, the cigar was burning very well and had an excellent draw.
A little over an hour later, the peppery flavor finally faded and I began to enjoy the smoke once again. When the peppery flavor faded, a toasty flavor developed and took its place. In addition to this new flavor, the black coffee flavor was rising and becoming more intense. This particular flavor combination I found to be very enjoyable and would have really preferred throughout the stick.
As I made my way to the final third, the toasty flavor began to fade and peppery flavor came back into the picture once again. Just as before, the pepper flavor began to irritate my throat and really dampened my overall experience with the cigar. The body jumped up a notch and was now planted well into the Full spectrum while the finish remained smooth and short.
Overall I think that this cigar was way too big for my taste. The size made it very uncomfortable to smoke and took far more time to smoke than I am normally willing to give. The lingering peppery flavor killed any hope of really getting into this stick.
If you are a person that enjoys a big and strong Maduro, you might find this stick to be right up your alley. For me, I don’t think I’ll spend any time seeking this cigar out in the future.