Gurkha 15 Year Old Koi Perfecto: Could this cigar be the one?
For me, the Gurkha cigar brand has always seemed to be style over substance. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t smoked many of them, and those that I have, including the Gurkha Ghost Gold Shadow, did nothing to alter my opinion. When I was gifted a Gurkha 15 Year Old Koi Perfecto I wondered if this cigar would be the one to convince me to smoke more from the Gurkha brand.
I make no secret of the fact that I like perfecto cigars. There is something about the shape of them and the craftsmanship that goes into rolling them that makes them a very satisfying smoke for me so it was a certain amount of optimism that I took the Gurkha 15 Year Koi Perfecto out of my humidor.
The band, which gave a lot of information about the cigar, covered a good portion on the cigar making a proper inspection of the wrapper tricky. What I could see was a small but well packed foot that smelt of cocoa, cinnamon and cedar, and a cute little pigtail on the cap. To my eye the shape of the Koi Perfecto was more rounded off than your usual perfecto, so I used my straight cut at 90 degrees.
Giving the cut a gentle rub with my thumb, I could feel a few slightly sharp prickles of tobacco but nothing too large. The cold draw was easy but very plain with barely any flavour to it and definitely nothing that I’d smelt from the foot.
Upon lighting, I finally got a mouthful of flavour, the first of which was liquorice. The smoke was voluminous and creamy, filling the air with aromas of honey bourbon. With every other draw the Koi Perfecto revealed another flavour. The most prominent were pomelo, smoked oak, sweet orange and charred walnuts. Right the way through the first third the burn was even but the ash was a little bit raggy. With the sweeter whisky notes present in the cigar, I chose a simple glass of Glayva as my pairing.
About a half way through my Gurkha cigar, one of the veins that I’d notice in the wrapper started to run. It didn’t get very far but from that point onwards the cigar started to canoe and my enjoyment started to wane. Alongside the burn issue, the draw started to get tighter and a bitterness characteristic of unwanted large veins in the filler. Remembering that I had felt a couple of spikes on the head when I first cut the Gurkha 15 Year Old Koi Perfecto I took a look and sure enough, there were a couple of very prominent veins starting to protrude from the cut.
I spent the next few minutes pulling out a few veins – not big ones, but enough to make a difference to both the draw and flavour. Having conducted minor surgery on the cigar the draw eased up and the taste cleaned up, returning to the sweeter toasted notes that had been the mainstay of the flavour, but it was joined by a subtle undercurrent of juniper.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the last issue I had with the cigar. I noticed that the wrapper wasn’t burning. Looking more carefully at the cigar, I saw that it wasn’t unravelling, rather the wrapper was actually slipping off! I thought about trying to slip it back on, but decided that with about an inch to go, I might as well take it off. Underneith the wrapper, the binder looked even but not as aesthetically pleasing as the wrapper. I was though able to smoke it for a little bit longer before calling it quits.
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Gurkha 15 Year Old Koi Perfecto Cigar Details
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Aged Dominican Olor
- Filler: 15-Year Aged Dominican
- Wrapper: Dominican Criollo 98
Gurkha 15 Year Old Koi Perfecto Review Summary
If you don’t mind the thought of conducting minor surgery on a cigar then this is an okay cigar. It could have been a great cigar had more care been taken with the quality control of the leaves pre roll.
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