Friday, June 11, 2010

Gurhka - Evil

My Hateful Disclaimer- There are some cigar brands out there that rely on tradition for sales; some that create a few great lines and stick with a simple and successful approach.  There are also companies that see room for new growth and innovation in the cigar industry.  All of these approaches have their own qualities and flaws.  But then there is a company like Gurhka that does something completely different. 
Gurhka is a company built around image and ambiguity.  They produce tons and tons of products, give them aggressively bad-ass cool names, and then package them in an over-the-top fashion that makes their cigar boxes seem like magical treasures more than a box of smokes. 
If you've seen a large assortment of Gurhkas in one shop, you know what I mean.  One shop worker told me he saves the boxes and gives them to his 6 year old son to use as toys. 
All that said, it may be obvious that Gurhka's approach bothers me.  They over-saturate the market with tons of product and package them in fairy dust and magic wands.  Even the most seasoned smokers have trouble telling you anything about their cigars; and I think that is Gurhka's plan.  They thrive on unknowing smokers reaching for the 'coolest' thing they see.  They are the flare-filler in almost every bargain 20-pack sampler online.  They appeal to the smoker who would rather be seen smoking a flashy piece of crap, then a VSG without a label on it. 
Also, some of their pricepoints are just outrageous.  I haven't smoked any of their $20 selections, so I really can't comment; but I doubt their any better then a Padron Anniversary or Liga Privada.

Actual Review
Gurhka Evil - I've smoked a handful of Gurhkas; never finding anything worth writing about.  The brand was almost in my "never smoke again" category.  But then a B&M worker told me the Evil had a Brazilian wrapper leaf.  If you didn't know; I'm a sucker to try any cigar with Brazilian tobacco.  The cigar came in a modest box in cellophane.  The band, while large, had a non-flashy rustic appeal.  To make it better - a Toro size was only $6.  I had to give it a shot


Gurhka Evil Cont..... The Evil has a Dominican binder and is filled with a blend of Nicaraguan tobacco.  The wrapper, as I mentioned before is Brazilian.

Prelight - The cigar looks nice and is heavy in the hand.  The wrapper is a little lighter in color than I come to expect from a Brazilian wrapper, and while the cigar has a slight glisten to it, there doesn't seem to be much oil.  The cigar itself has a cedary aroma and the prelight draw tastes similar while offering slight resistance. 
Overall, my hopes are up for this particular Gurhka.

Sparking it - The Evil lights without issue and provides an adequate amount of smoke with each drag.  Initially, the flavor is a little bland and the body of the smoke harsh.  The blandness turns to a mocha-cedar mixture, and the harshness scales down a bit.  Early on, the cigar burns nice and even, producing a light gray ash.
I'm only about 2 1/2" into the smoke and the flavors I come to expect from a Brazilian-wrapped cigar are apparent.  This cigar has a similar flavor profile to the CAO Brazilia and the Carlos Torano 50 Years Exodus.  While similar in flavor, they are all different cigars and each is worth smoking to compare.

Smoking it - While smoking the Evil, I've been thinking about the Brazilia and 50 Years and using those as my points of reference for rating the Evil.  If you like those cigars, you will probably like the Evil.  The biggest difference is that the Evil has a harsher, dryer bodied smoke.
The main flavors are chocolate, coffee and cedar.  There is a slight sweetness, with a tad more spice than its rivals.  I'm happy with the performance of the cigar, and found it to be pretty complex for a $6 smoke.  The burn and construction qualities were also excellent. 
Overall, I think I'll be smoking the Evil again.  It has that distinctive, Brazilian taste, with something unique in the dry body of it.  I'm not sure which of the 3 (Brazilia, Evil, 50 Years) I prefer,.  Which do you like?

Overall - B

Which Brazilian Wrapped Cigar Do You Like To Smoke?

1 comment:

What do you think? Am I on to something? Am I wrong? Or am I full of shit?