Since 1989, Gurkha Cigars have been providing high-quality smokes to discerning gentlemen. In our first cigar review, we decided to take a closer look at the Gurkha Typhoon, a 4″ gordito with a 60 gauge that is reminiscent of Nub Cigars.
- Brand: Gurkha Cigars
- Range: Typhoon
- Length: 4″ (10 cm)
- Gauge: 60
- Filler: Dominican Long Leaf
- Binder: Dominican
- Wrapper: Connecticut
- Handmade? Yes
- Body: Mild-Medium
- Estimated Smoking Time: 30-40 Minutes
- Pricing: $5 (single) $4.15 (bundle)
Gurkha Cigars was founded in 1989 by Kaizad Hansotia when he stumbled upon a Portuguese man rolling and selling cigars in India under the name of Gurkha. Captivated by his work, Hansotia purchased his inventory with the initial intention to offer them as gifts to clients of his family’s timepiece business.
His cigars proved to be enormously popular and Gurkha Cigars soon became an internationally-acclaimed brand. The company often associates itself with the year 1887, which pays homage to how long cigars were referred to as “Gurkhas”.
In the late 1880s, British colonial soldiers began making their own cigars from local tobacco. The British were so captivated by the Nepalese fighters that all cigars made by them were named Gurkhas. With the term becoming so popular, it eventually spread throughout the colonies including India where the Portuguese man was found by Kaizad Hansotia.
With premium offerings including the 15-year old Cellar Reserve, the Typhoon is a lesser-known and more affordable option. Its short 4″ length and 60 ring gauge is constructed from from Dominican long-leaf filler, a Dominican binder as well as a creamy Connecticut wrapper. The cigar is handmade and promises a mild to medium smoking experience.
The size, shape and choice of wrapper is quite reminiscent of the Connecticut from Oliva’s Nub Cigar range. Being quite fond of this smoke, it’ll be interesting to test the Gurkha as an alternative.
Gurkha Typhoon Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Latte Coffee
- Rolling Consistency: Even
- Spring: Mild
- Aromas: Ammonia, Dark Chocolate & Straw
Featuring a mild brown hue with a consistent colour, the wrapper shows no signs of any blemishes or stains. Similarly, there are no accentuated veins, suggesting an overall respected maturation process. Meanwhile, there are no cracks or signs of dryness with a slight spring when pinched.
Additionally, the rolling consistency seems even throughout the cigar with no soft spots and a solid build. Therefore, we can expect a strong ash with an even burn during the smoke.
The wrapper gives a fine sheen under the light with a mild oiliness in its texture. Finally, the aromas detected from smelling the wrapper feature a touch of ammonia followed by notes of dark chocolate and freshly-dried straw.
Gurkha Typhoon Cigar Review
As every handmade cigar is different with its own nuances and variations, a total of 3 Gurkha Typhoons were smoked for the purposes of this review. This provided balanced and educated results in case of any variations or abnormalities.
- Draw: Mildly Loose
- Aromas: Straw, Dark Chocolate, Autumn Leaves
After cutting, a quick pre-light draw revealed a few more notes and hinted towards the complexity that would follow. Aromas of straw and dark chocolate experienced in the smell were still present with the addition of autumn leaves.
As for the draw, it felt consistent and more-or-less ideal with a mild looseness that should tighten during smoking.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Dark Chocolate, Oak, Hazelnut & Basil
Firstly, the Gurkha Typhoon opens with a surprisingly punchy burst of aforementioned dark chocolate as well as oak. The opening notes are surprisingly rounded with gourmand overtones. However, the burn soon finds balance and the aromas settle to a milder flavour.
As a small amount of ash begins to build up and the temperature cools, the notes become fresher and more aromatic. The overall texture smooths over to provide silky yet full aromas of basil and hazelnut. There were occasional signs of uneven burn on the second cigar during the first third. However, it soon corrected itself and the first was perfectly perpendicular throughout.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Hay, Mint, Cedar, Pine, Pine
Once well into the 2nd third, the Typhoon becomes a much fresher and more aromatic cigar. The full-body opening has reduced entirely into a mild smoke with overt notes of fresh hay and refreshing cedar.
Retrohaling provided overt notes of mint as well as revealing surprising yet subtle notes of vanilla. Towards the end of the 2nd third, the cedar transitioned from oak and into a more pine flavour.
Finally, the draw provided and thick and full smoke thanks to the wide gauge but remained mild and silky in flavour.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Mint, Coriander
Towards the its nub, the cigar built up in intensity without developing any bitterness or heat. Furthermore, the smoke remained cool even after an accidental ash to the cherry.
In terms of notes, there were notable flavours of mint and coriander but despite these refreshingly aromatic aromas, it never became peppery. In the final moments of a cigar’s life, you’d usually expect a build up of tar and nicotine. However, there were few signs of bitter pepper flavours.
- Ash Backbone: Strong
- Burn Angle: Generally Even
- Temperature: Cool
- Draw: Mild
- Final Smoking Time: 35 Minutes
Overall, the Gurkha Typhoon’s burn was strikingly evocative of the Oliva Nub range. Featuring a strong ash backbone, the it was possible to smoke to whole cigar without ashing. In fact, the first cigar stubbornly refused to de-stack with the ash clinging on for dear life.
Similarly, the burn was largely even with an overall whitened ash. Whilst the first cigar showed occasional signs of slight irregularity, it soon corrected itself before the 2nd third. Additionally, even without a long ash, the burn temperature remained cool and never piqued. This is particularly interesting given that its wide gauge and short length would usually suggest the contrary.
Furthermore, the mildly loose draw before lighting tightened up satisfyingly as expected. This ensured an enjoyable smoke, which also helped in preserving a comfortable burning temperature.
Finally, the smoking time lined up quite nicely with expectations. Even with a draw every 30 to 40 seconds, it was enjoyed for a total 35 minutes before being left to go out.
Presented with not one but two stylish bands, the Gurkha Typhoon is a thoroughly decorated cigar. The main bad was of a modern design with reflective silver and blue colours framing the classic Gurkha logo. It was quite large and stretched over a third of the cigar.
Meanwhile, the second, smaller band was a small strip near the foot with the word “Typhoon” written across in the same silver colour.
Whilst it was attractive and decorative, it made smoking somewhat awkward. Although it can be lit with both bands, it’s recommended that the first is soon removed. Those who believe in the etiquette that a cigar should be smoked up to the band wouldn’t be able to get much from one of these!
Unfortunately, the Gurkha Typhoons aren’t supplied in boxes but can only be bought as singles or in cellophane bundles. Retailers offering these cigars usually provide bundles of 5 or 12 cigars with the latter providing better value for money.
On the subject, the value for money is very good. Given the high quality smoke that can be enjoyed in a short time, its $5 RRP is quite attractive. This is even better when bought as a 12-cigar bundle for $49.95, which brings their individual price to $4.16 each.
When Should You Smoke A Gurkha Typhoon?
Given its unconventional size and flashy band, the Gurkha Typhoon isn’t a cigar that would be reserved in a formal environment. However, it’s an excellent casual smoke to be enjoyed either alone or with friends.
Dog owners would find the size ideal as it would be perfectly during a gentle stroll. With its strong ash and solid burn, it would also hold up well against high winds. However, being quite stubby, it wouldn’t last very long during a round of golf.
Nevertheless, it’s a great option for both indoor and outdoor smoking as either a social or private experience.
Even disregarding its price tag, the Gurkha Typhoon is a thoroughly enjoyable cigar with a refreshing palette of flavours. Its aromatic notes are both unusual and enticing, which makes it a perfect choice for those who prefer a milder smoke.
Furthermore, its price point makes it a very attractively inexpensive cigar, which is perfect for the modern man with little time to spare. Although it’s similar to the offerings by Oliva’s Nub range, it offers a different experience. Rather than being something better or worse, it instead increases the options of gorditos on the market.
Want to see more? Watch our video below to discover our first impressions!
I bought Gurkhas for our 1st grandson from Thompson Cigars; just arrived today. His Uncle and Aunt had Partagas and Patron, respectively, at each of their celebrations. The Typhoon was part of a sampler. I’m smoking an Enforcer currently. Love it!!!
Gurkha is often hit and miss. Some of their cigars can be quite good whereas others are somewhat mediocre. Nevertheless, the Typhoon was a very successful cigar! Unfortunately, the brand is currently the subject of a lot of controversy following some of the comments made by its founder, Kaizad Hansotia, who eventually resigned. It’s just something worth knowing if you like the brand.
All the best,