Welcome to the second edition of Brian‘s video-challenged review on the Stogie Review. I know I promised to get on top of that video gear, but as you’ll quickly learn, I’m just a big liar. OK, I’m kidding, I was actually busy schmoozing at RTDA (I have proof!), and still have every intention of getting that going. 🙂
And on to the cigar. But before we get into the specifics, I’ll admit it, this was an impulse buy. I saw the flashy bands on this cigar, saw a very low price, scanned the impossibly good sales pitch and pulled the trigger on it. What remains to be seen is whether I made a good call or not. That’s where the review comes in.
Size: 6 x 52
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $4 – $10 (I’ll explain later.)
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
In looking the cigar over, my eyes keep being drawn to the bright red band on the cigar with the words “Nepalese Warrior” written out elaborate black calligraphy (or gangsta script, as it strikes me). After a bit of thought, I’ve decided I don’t care for it. The good news is that I opted not to smoke that band, so in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal.
The cigar itself is pretty attractive. It’s box-pressed and mostly smooth with a somewhat prominent vein or two. (In earlier smokes I found a light spot and some wrinkling in the wrapper.) The wrapper had the slightest of sheens, appearing a bit drier than those previous.
Overall the cigar appeared to be pretty firm, but in all cases was noticeably less firm toward the foot. In squeezing it, I felt as though leaf had gone missing there. Of course I’m sure that’s not the case, but it was noticeably less packed toward the foot than elsewhere in the cigar. That may account for some of the quick flavor transitions and interesting burn in the first third.
After noting the cigar’s rich barnyard smell, I clipped the head with a freebie RTDA cutter (the only one I could find just then) and took a cold taste. I detected a surprisingly strong blueberry flavor.
In the three cigars I smoked for this review, I got three different burns. The worst of the three was the one I smoked on the floor the first day of RTDA. At one point it was burning at about a 45 degree angle (think forward-slash (‘/’), except with a more of a sharp point at the top).
Tunnel at foot
This most recent cigar had its own quirks, including a strange little tunnel at the foot. (This time I got a picture of the flaw in question!) Though overall, it was probably the most behaved of all the smokes, requiring the fewest touch-ups and relights of the group. The ash was a nice, light shade of gray, and in spite of a flaking problem, it achieved a sizable first ash that weighed in at 2 1/2 inches.
Quirky, flaky ash
One other characteristic I noted about the Nepalese Warrior is that it sports a much thicker “mascara line” than some cigars. Unfortunately the image above is a little blurry, so it’s harder to see the thicker black line at the burn.
The cigar opens up with a small burst of spice and makes a number of transitions of flavor in the first third. I detected a nutty flavor, a creamy cappuccino and then a richer, darker coffee flavor in the first third.
As the cigar moved into the second third, the blueberry flavor I detected in the cold draw made occasional, brief appearances and I started to get some cinnamon and some cedar. These flavors continued to appear and reappear throughout the second third.
In the final third, I started to get a drier, nutmeg flavor and all hints of blueberries disappeared. (I wasn’t getting them all that often to begin with.) The cinnamon was still present, and more pronounced as the cigar started to be more dominated by spiciness, with the occasional pocket of the creamy coffee flavor. While these flavors were mostly pleasant, a chemical flavor that I detected every so slightly toward the end of the second third was more pronounced by the the time I put the cigar down. It was this flavor that made be decide against going for that last little bit.
When it comes to price, I have to be honest. I really don’t know what you’re going to pay for these in a local B&M, I bought mine in a special deal online, and I haven’t seen them for sale locally. (The rumor is it retails for around $10 a cigar.) A quick survey online shows that you can get these guys for as little as $4 a stick online and up to $7 if you go for a fiver. And at that price, I’d say they’re worth trying out, if you’re a fan of Cameroon wrappers, or Gurkha cigars in general.
The Nepalese Warrior is a quirky cigar. I had assumed my palate was skewed when during my first smoked I picked up a strong blueberry flavor, but it kept showing up in each one I smoked. And I think I like that about this cigar. In fact, I really like the first half of the Nepalese Warrior. It has a great set of flavors it switches between like a kid with ADD. The thing that sours my opinion of this cigar the most is the unpleasant chemical flavor I got toward the end. I guess I could upgrade my rating if I decided to be one of those guys that only smokes a cigar down to the band! 🙂
Liked It: Yes, but with some reservations.
Buy It Again: Undecided. Probably.
Recommend It: Yes- To fans of Gurkha cigars and Cameroon wrappers.
The Cigar In Action