The Gurkha Royal Challenge Maduro was introduced this past year so it’s fairly new on the market. The original Gurkha Royal Challenge has been out for a while and seems to be very popular. The Gurkha Royal Challenge Maduro appears to have the same binder and filler as the previous Royal Challenge so I was really looking forward to smoking this girl.
Gurkha Royal Challenge First Impression
The person that designed the packaging for this cigar definitely was looking to present it as a manly smoke. The wrapper was slightly oily with a dark chocolate color and full of veins. The label was broad with a lot of flashy silver on a black background. It had that Harley kick-ass look to it.
The wrapper was Maduro with a Habano Honduran binder and Nicaraguan Dominican filler. The size I had the pleasure of smoking was their 7 x 52 Churchill and it was well constructed with a solid cap. The cigar had a definite smell of sweet hay.
Pre –Light and Post Light Draw
The cigar punched very easily which was surprising noting the solid feel of the cap. The pre-light draw provided a taste of the hay that I smelled earlier and a slight sweet coffee taste. The cigar lit fairly evenly and the taste of the coffee and sweet hay taste was definitely present. First draw was not strong at all. I was expecting to get slapped around some and it was easy and tasty. Not as strong or harsh as I expected based on its appearance. The exhale provided a coffee taste, a very slight hint of cream and a Maduro tingle. The burn developed a mind of its own initially but quickly evened out after about a half an inch.
One Third Point Evaluation
At this point I was somewhat surprised at the mildness of the cigar as compared to what I had expected. It had been a while since I had smoked a Gurkha and I remembered it being a somewhat strong cigar. This one was only slightly above medium strength even with the Maduro wrapper. The coffee taste was still prominent but it was starting to develop more of a cream taste. The exhale left a thick coffee taste that was pleasant. The cigar did not bring forth much of a spice or pepper taste but it was still a good solid cigar.
It just wasn’t an overly exciting cigar at this point. It had a solid taste but not a memorable taste. The burn feathered between being even and mischievous but it was easily brought back under control. The cigar had a fairly solid ash throughout the entire smoke.
Two Thirds Point Breakdown
The coffee taste seemed to have rolled over to a roasted coffee flavor which was nice. The Maduro was beginning to get a little more prominent which is understandable. At this point the cigar was starting to live up a little more to its appearance with the boldness coming on some. The solid construction, which had held up admirably up to this point, was giving away just a little but keep in mind I was well past an hour into it. This was definitely a slow burning cigar and that was fine with me. I was enjoying the adventure.
Finishing Up the Gurkha Royal Challenge Maduro
The cigar got a little spongy and a little strong the last inch or so but I think that is to be expected. I found this to be a very good cigar for the money. It is packaged well and the taste wandered from coffee to cream to roasted coffee and ended up mostly Maduro and every turn was pleasant. It wasn’t overly strong but in the end it was headed that way fast. The burn time was surprising and the construction was solid for most of the way. The aroma did not seem that it would be overly offensive to those who might be around you but probably more than the average cigar would be.
I would not recommend the Gurkha Royal Challenge Maduro to a beginner or someone who really likes mild smokes but it would be a good experience for anyone who likes a bold or slightly strong cigar. I would recommend keeping a couple in your humidor for times when you want a long slightly bold relaxing smoke. For the money it is hard to beat.