June 23, 2011

Gurkha Signature '101' Maduro - Robusto No. 4

Signature '101' Maduro
 When thinking of opposites I think of Manchester United and Liverpool, New York and Los Angeles and Gurkha Symphony and Signature ‘101’ Maduro. Two are completely different but in my opinion go head to head. I would say Gurkha Cigars has that as well with Beauty and Beast, but this is the original match. Symphony and Signature ‘101’ Maduro were both released in 2004 and at the time were K. Hansotia’s two cigars of choice.  Both cigars are made incredibly well and if I had to choose between the two I would choose Symphony, but I am here to review this cigar and not tell you which I prefer. I have been told that the cigar bears the name of Signature because this is the preferred cigar of Kaizad, and it would not surprise me giving the smoke. The Signature ‘101’ Maduro begins with a maduro wrapper from Costa Rica that is very oily and toothy to the touch. The binder is Nicaraguan with fillers from Honduras, Jamaica and Nicaragua. The cigar has aromas of coffee, rich earth and spices. The only size that is really still in production is the Robusto No. 4 which measures 6” with a 50 ring gauge. I haven’t had a cigar with Jamaican tobacco other than this cigar and I would really be interested in trying it on its own to see what the flavor profile it offers truly is but I can tell you that this cigar is very nice. 

The cigar begins very rich showing lots of earth, chocolate and spice notes. The cigar is medium in body and producing a thick amount of smoke. The spices are really balanced in this third by the natural sweetness from the maduro wrapper and thus leaving the smoker with wonderful flavors circling on their palate. When I get into the second third of the cigar more flavors begin to emerge and I begin picking up lots of leather, coffee and malt notes. There is still a presence of spices and chocolate but with all the flavors playing off one another the cigar becomes very complex. The strength has increased somewhat in this part of the cigar and the smoke is much thicker than the first third. 

I am really enjoying this cigar, it definitely has a nice body to it with great flavors but it is blended so well that it smokes very smoothly. Looking at my progress in the cigar so far the burn is still perfect and the ash is staying strong on the cigar. If you are halfway into a cigar and having an ash that is still staying there you are smoking a well-constructed cigar. I am the final third now and the flavors really have grown in strength and I am picking up bits of everything from before. The cigar still is showing lovely spices but with the sweetness as well it is incredibly balanced. This was a well-constructed cigar that was never disappointing in flavor and strength leaving me craving another one afterwards.

I would give this cigar a 92 and really consider it my favorite among Costa Rican wrappers. I am not a gigantic maduro fan to begin with and I know Costa Rican maduro wrappers are well made but they are typically not my cup of tea. This cigar however shows all the flavors you could look for in a maduro and at the same time remain balanced and nor overwhelming from the maduro wrapper. This is a cigar that definitely gets better with age and I think in five years will be much better and even better in 10.  
Signature '101' Maduro Robusto No. 4