Monday, January 30, 2012

K. Hansotia (Gurkha) "Ancient Warrior"

K. Hansotia “Ancient Warrior”

Fatal Halo Rating

Dimensions: 6” x 58
Price: $11.00
Burn Time: 2+ hours
Tobacco: Dominican & Honduran long-filler blend
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Brazilian

I decided to take a deviation from visiting my usual cigar shop today and popped into another one nearby to see if I might be fortunate enough to find some rare gems – and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. On a friend's recommendation, I stopped into Timba Cigar Company ( in Powell, Ohio and introduced myself to the owner, Thom Barber, who graciously welcomed me into his store.  He ushered me into the humidor so I could begin my search and though the picking were a lot more slim than I am used to at my usual store, I did manage to find this cigar nestled among the Gurkha selections.  As a fan of the Gurkha line, I decided it was worth checking out – and for such an attractive price, I couldn’t turn it down.  Thom even gave a nod to it himself as I was checking out, so before even lighting up, I had high hopes for this monster of a cigar.

Pre-Smoke Analysis
At a 58 gauge, I’d have to say that this is one of the larger cigars I’ve smoked and probably right within my comfort range.  Anything larger and I think it would affect the experience – but this is a perfect size and it sits well in my hand.

The wrapper is dark and oily with a noticeable toothy feel to it.  It doesn’t feel dried out at all and the texture is a bit spongy and soft, but it maintains an overall firm construction feel to it.  The cigar itself is a bit of a paradox.  Oily yet toothy.  Spongy yet firm.  The wrapper gives off a very pleasant thick and woody aroma that blossoms toward the foot, but doesn’t seem to become too overwhelming at any point.  It really has an enticing character to it and found myself eager to clip and light it.  The construction was impeccable despite a noticeably veiny Brazilian wrapper.  I picked up on a bit of chocolate in the aroma as well.  The cap clipped cleanly and the cold draw illuminated the aromas I previously described even more.

The First Third
Despite the complex aromas and the deceivingly dark wrapper, the first hot draw on this cigar produced a very mild and light-bodied bloom of smoke that was simultaneously bolstered with rich, complex flavor.  Truly an odyssey.  The draw was so light in fact that I was really able to pass the smoke over and around my palate to get a deep insight into how the different flavors mingled.  The overall tone was a touch woody, but it had a very robust and rustic aroma behind it.  Though difficult to pin down specifics, it provided a lot of flavor without thick-coating my palate so badly that I’d need a beverage.  The burn was excellent and stayed consistent.  Because of the thickness of the stogie, it definitely burned hot and produced a nice barrel of flaky, white ash but required no adjustment or correction.  This cigar was built to burn like this and I was savoring every moment of it as I puffed big billows of sweet, white smoke from this cigar.

The Second Third
The second-third didn’t really start off with much deviation from what was introduced at the beginning.  The ash was clearly showing remnants of the toothy bumps on the wrapper and I was a little surprised that it didn’t have at least a little more bite to it.  I assumed that would change as it burned down more though.  It was beginning to take on a bit more of a creamy, medium-bodied aroma.

Burning Out
Once this cigar burned down a bit, it started to take on stronger notes – and while the aromas stayed fairly consistent, it peaked in intensity just a little bit and puffed a bit hotter – really allowing it open up.  Still amazingly light on the palate, there was absolutely NO bitterness and produced plumes of thick, white smoke that I enjoyed blowing smoke rings with and inhaling back through my nose to further sample its bountiful complexity.  With this thick cigar between my fingers, the sweet taste on my lip from the wrapper and the hot smoke permeating the air, I felt a lot like a Mafia Don propping his feet up on his desk and finding that moment of contentment in one of life’s finer moments!

Final Thoughts
Judging by the name alone – “Ancient Warrior” – I was really expecting something exotic and spicy.  It was just the opposite though.  Amazingly smooth and while extremely flavorful, it wasn’t really spicy at any point.  It wasn’t a cigar that jumped down from above with a tomahawk and split your skull . . . it was just a very relaxed and enjoyable smoke.  I enjoyed the experience of smoking this one and though it doesn’t rank among my top favorites, I could easily see this being a cigar I’d pick up again when filling up my humidor – maybe giving it some time to mingle with my other cigars just to see how it affects its overall taste next time.

Enjoyed It?:  Immensely.

Buy It Again?:  Most definitely!

Recommend It?: Absolutely – especially to those new to the cigar lifestyle looking for a mild to medium-bodied cigar with complex flavor that isn’t too overwhelming.

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