I reviewed this fine smoke some time back before we started "formally" reviewing cigars and I have to tell you, it's as good if not better than the very first one I ever tried. After speaking with Kaizad Hansotia (founder and blender behind Gurkha cigars) I was nearly foaming at the mouth to get my hands on one. In fact, the very moment these arrived at our warehouse I was opening boxes to find them and claimed the very first canister I came across as my own! That was nearly 3 years ago and since then I have lost track of how many Gurkha Centurians I have had the pleasure of enjoying.
So, why would I write another review on this cigar after 3 years? I'm glad you asked and better still, I'm going to tell you...
Over the years I've tried many "new releases" that were excellent cigars and I'm sure you feel the same way. The trouble is that often after the lot of tobacco used to create that first batch has been depleted, the factories and blenders are left with the daunting task of producing the cigar again the following year with different tobaccos while maintaining the strength and flavor of the prior year's blend. This often leads to disappointment because subsequent batches lose that something special that was in the blend the first time out. Not so with the Centurian! No way, no how, no doubt about it! Each and every Centurian that I have enjoyed from that very first to today is perfectly consistent in every way, from the burn to the construction to the intense Cuban-esque flavor that each imparts. Mild off the start with a hint of spiciness, the Centurian slowly builds into a full-bodied and full-flavored cigar with a complexity and richness that rivals even the most sought after Cuban cigars. Year over year you won't find that kind of consistency in any Cuban cigar these days. Sure the price isn't anything to sneeze at but if quality, consistency and a superior blend of tobacco is what you’re after, look no further because your search is over!
The Gurkha Centurian is not your every day cigar. Rather, it’s a special cigar for a special day. Let’s be honest, how often do you get the chance to enjoy a $30 cigar that was made exclusively for the Sultan of Brunei? In case you're wondering, Brunei Darussalam is an oil-rich country located in the island of Borneo, and the Sultan is not just the Sultan, he's also the country’s Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Finance Minster, aside from being one of the richest men alive.
To me, The Centurian is a must-have cigar, so I have a canister full of Centurians on hand - each is waiting its turn for a special day. Unless you overslept, last weekend was New Years, a perfect time to break open the canister and enjoy one of my all-time favorites. You can’t say enough about the look of this perfecto - a solid, 60 ring gauge double torpedo that’s packed with aged Cuban-seed Dominican long-fillers and sports a flawless Connecticut wrapper leaf that’s silky to the touch. Upon lighting a full-flavored burst of spice and rich earthiness shifts my palate into overdrive. After my first few puffs my only thought is Cuban Bolivar. The rich Cuban-like earthiness put forth by this cigar is so smooth that I hardly notice the underlying strength that creeps on me. Word to the wise, do not smoke this while operating heavy machinery, on an empty stomach, pregnant or a few drinks over the limit. As the cigar enters its thickest point, it tends to mellow a bit, but continues to deliver a potpourri of flavor. Spicy, woody, earthy, toasty, rich, but always smooth. But give it time. Just as I start to recover from the mild buzz, the cigar begins to taper into a full-bodied finish that’s loaded with creamy spice, giving new meaning to the phrase “go out with a bang”. Eventful from start to finish.
Gurkha’s Centurian is the reason why we become an enthusiast of fine cigars. Enjoying a cigar is a moment we look forward to and make plans for. Because of this, we are often disappointed, making the satisfaction of enjoying a perfect cigar, at the perfect time, much more meaningful. This cigar is an experience that I will continue to make plans for.