Gurkha Empire I

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Gurkha Empire I

Gurkha Empire I - main.jpg

Origin : Unknown
Wrapper : Honduran Habano
Binder : Unknown
Filler : Long-leaf Ligero from Peru and Nicaragua
Source : Purchased from Cigars International with my own funds

Today I have for you the Gurkha Empire I. This is a cigar that there is not much information floating around on except what is on the Cigar’s International website. To sum it up, there are six blends available that vary in construction, strength and flavor. Over the next six reviews, we shall see if i get those same results.

This cigar comes in one size, a 5.5 x 52.


My Gurkha Empire I had a nice firm feel to it, with no excessive veins nor any soft spots. I do notice that the band and footband take up quite a bit of real estate, so I hope there are no problems under them.

Removing the footband was very simple as it pulled right off the end of the cigar. I noticed nothing underneath the band that will cause problems.

I sparked this cigar up with ease and was greeted with a very open draw with a bit of chocolate and earth.

First Third

We started off with a nice chocolate and earth taste with spice on the backend, with this Gurkha Empire I. When sending the smoke through your sinus’ I got a bit of spice but nothing irritating. I do take note of the ligero in this cigar, but I am a mild-medium smoker, so ligero is pretty noticable for me. Right now this cigar is in the medium range, with very full flavors that almost overwhelm at points. I should not say overwhelm, but they tend to drown one another out very quickly.

Second Third

Starting off in the second third of my Gurkha Empire I, we are at about a medium body and full flavor smoke.

I can still taste the spice and roasted nut flavor, but can not place what type of nut it is. I guess I am not nutty enough to know, hah. I can feel the spice n the back of my throat and back of the tongue, but as the aftertaste hits it seems that the spice flavor moves forward and ends up coating my entire tongue.

I would say the body is in the upper medium to low full for me, but I no not have any nicotine effects at all. I also will say the flavor is full due to the spice that just coats your palette

Final Third

Started the final third of my Gurkha Empire I after about an hour of smoking. We started off at a high medium to low full, for my tastes.

I have noticed a bit of nicotine in this third but nothing that will overwhelm you or make you start heading for the bathroom. Spice and the ligero taste have taken over the cigar but the smooth and creamy texture is still there.


I have had no burn issues with this Gurkha Empire I, but with others I have smoked, I did have to relight here and there, which I put off to me smoking slower and the ligero in the cigar.

I believe there will be a lot of people out there that would enjoy this smoke and I recommend giving them a shot if you are ever in the mood to try something new.

Burn time for this smoke was around an hour and 45 minutes for about $3 a stick, I really think that is great.

Look for my reviews on the rest of the series in the coming weeks.

AUDIO -> Right-Click: Save As

Purchase this album – Queensrÿche – Empire

As promised, here is the link to our good friends at with Chris’s take on the Gurkha Empire I

I am just me.

16 thoughts on “Gurkha Empire I

  1. Mike- typically I have no desire to try Gurkah…….i truly have never smoked a Gurkah I like and I’m one of those guys that appreciates someone putting an effort into making a better cigar than the container it comes in. With all that said, I think I’ll have to tr y this at some point……..

  2. LOL @ that little jab “I’m not a preembargo cuban cigar smoker or anything…”

    Nice review, I’ve had a few Gurkhas that I have enjoyed,but haven’t smoked one in about a year.

  3. Mike,
    Are you Toms You guys should do a review together.
    Gurkha, cant do it. Met the Gurkha rep one day and he got pissed at me because I never had a Gurkha. So I have never looked at them again.

  4. Nice Job!!

    I haven’t liked every Gurkha I’m tried, but these sound worth a shot…
    Looking forward to the rest of he series. Are you going to mention your favorite of the bunch when you are done?

  5. Nicely done Mike.

    I’ve only ever had one Gurkha that I would ever smoke again…

    Its amazing that K.A. buys some of the worlds rarest, and most expensive tobacco’s, but yet… won’t spend any money to have someone blend that fine tobacco it into a decent cigar.

    AJ Fernandez’ Sherpa is the only exception (and its decent at best)

  6. Don’t forget to mention 5 Vegas, Rich! 🙂 But I don’t think we’re missing out on a whole lot by not having those readily on-hand at our local B&M’s.

    Good and informative review Mike! I’ve never been much of a Gurkha guy, but I guess if someone was going to get into them, this would make a good introductory cigar considering the price-point. I understand your point of how the manufacturers selling their product to the B&M’s for cheaper than selling to us can seem unfair; but that’s just simple business for you I guess. I mean that’s how B&M’s make their money. Even if a B&M gets a box of cigars for the same price as we do, they’re still going to mark up the price on each single cigar to make a profit.

    I just see B&M’s as a catalyst to try out cigars before making an online purchase of a box/sampler. And if I see a cigar while shopping online that looks good and my B&M doesn’t have it; then I just consult!

  7. Nice review Mike. Gurkas are like all the other brands of sticks out there. Some good and some bad. This one looks pretty good and I have had the Empire # 3 that was also a pretty good cigar. Much like the Park Avenue line, some of the best Gurkas are the cheapest of their offerings.

  8. I just did a review on all six and pairing them up with a beer. I’ll be posting it in March under the title March Matching. The #1 had draw problems. One stogie was plugged and one other was just firm. Ok, medium bodied smoke. Earthy quality, some peppery notes. None of the others in the Empire Series had draw issues. Nothing complex but, look at the price. Not bad for the price. Looking forward to your other reviews on this line up.

  9. Hey Chris… Spot on with your view on the prices of B & M’s.. They are way too much.. I love walking in a tobacconist and looking around and trying singles of stuff I havent tried yet… Whether they are new or something I just havent gotten around to yet, but regardless even if I like it, I’m going to buy boxes of cigars online where its way cheaper. And about the bands, my favorite band on all cigars is the My Father. I think it’s so classy and elegant. It’s thick. Kind of matte and not shiny which is nice.. Also, one of the best cigars Ive had…

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