Doc’s Cigar Corner: A big fail from Gurhka

Doc of Doc’s Cigar Corner

The featured cigar is the Grand Age Churchill Extra (7 1/2″ x 54) by Gurkha.

I don’t like starting the year, and the new decade, with a negative review, but this one popped up in the rotation, and there’s very little I can say about it that is positive. One goal of writing these columns is to warn readers of prospective pitfalls in their cigar-purchasing smorgasbord, and this is definitely one of those.

I obtained these cigars from Thompson Cigar as a five-pack. The initial example showed no obvious defects, except that the band appeared somewhat carelessly applied.

After a V-cut, the cigar had an exceptionally easy draw, but did not seem loosely packed. Pre-light flavor was rich, natural tobacco of medium body, with strong notes of black pepper. After lighting, the flavor, as expected, rested on a substrate of moderately tangy natural tobacco and medium but sharp black pepper, with notes of oak and leather appearing later.

Several construction problems appeared by 1/2 inch, with poor ash integrity, copious shedding of burned ash, and ash separation. Burn was uneven by 1/2 inch and persisted as such, despite frequent touch-up (four in the first 2 inches of the cigar).  The experience was terminated as an act of mercy (to myself) at 4 inches.

The second example was worse!  Pre-light, there was a small wrapper disadhesion about 2 1/2 inches from the foot, which later proved to be hiding a vent that was too close to the burn line to cover with a finger. The extraordinarily easy draw seen in the first example was present, possibly due to the vent, but did not change when the disadhered wrapper was passed. The major problems with ash integrity and shedding were also present, and worse if possible. Having learned my lesson, I terminated smoking at 3 1/2 inches, completely because of construction problems.

In doing a little research, I found a cigar called “Grand Age” referred to on the Gurkha website, but nothing further is said about it. There is also a cigar called “Great Age” which receives high ratings, and unless it is a flat-out lie, could not be this cigar. Is it possible that “Grand Age” is actually “Great Age” of which a large quantity has been exposed to damaging warehouse aging or other conditions, has been rebranded, and is sold at a cut-rate price to get rid of them? Pure speculation. At some point I’ll let readers know what I think of “Great Age” after I find some.

Rating: Unrated (too poorly constructed to be rated accurately)

Enjoy (something else)!


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