This well packed Salomon from Gurkha is part of their new cellar reserve line up which uses a 98 Criollo wrapper, a Dominican Olor binder, and a 15 year old Criollo, Nicaraguan filler.
(Sorry about the washed-out pic, did not know I had the flash on)
This large Salomon looks like one hell of a smoke right off the bat. It’s got a nice pigtail cap and a shiny cocoa colored wrapper, with some medium sized veins running through it. The cigar has a solid feel with a bit of give when squeezed. The wrapper gives of a pleasant smell of baking spices and a bit of hot chocolate. The prelit draw is very tight but has some earthy hints with a nice note of cinnamon.
The first third of the cigar starts off, like many other Salomons, with a very uneven burn and a tight draw. I am getting some decent smoke volume though so I’m not concerned. The flavors consist of toasted oats and earth with a tangy citric acidity on the finish. The smoke has been at about a medium body and has been relatively smooth from the first puff. The aroma is a very pleasant bittersweet chocolate and towards the very end of the first third some wood notes are coming into play.
The draw opens up nicely coming into the second third and provides ample amount of smoke. The burn still requires a lot of touch ups but with a lighter at hand it’s really not a problem. Notes of oak have joined the main profile in this third as well as some mild spices, including vanilla and cinnamon, which play nicely off of the oak notes. The finish is a bit drier in this third but is still very much a citrus acidity. Some elements of spice join the finish but it’s still a mostly smooth medium bodied smoke with a dark gray ash that only holds about an inch at a time.
In the last third the oak notes take the main stage as well as the notes of cinnamon and vanilla. This smoke has reached the lower end of full bodied and at this point I am getting tons smoke with each puff.
All in all this stick had a great flavor progression, a very slow burn, a mouth watering finish, and great aroma. While the burn may have been a bit ugly it was nothing that I couldn’t keep under control. Gurkha is definitely adding a strong new line, which is sure to please any cigar smoker.