Cigar Review: Gurkha Black Dragon
The box alone suggests that the contents are fascinating. Slick black with orange trim, the only reason you disturb the presentation is because you know what's inside. The Gurkha Black Dragon Tubo cigars sit within, each encased in a frosted glass tube. Slide the metal cap from the case, and extract the cedar-wrapped cigar ... the ritual itself shapes the smoking experience that follows.
The Black Dragon is far more powerful than most of the Gurkha cigars you've smoked. The dark wrapper belies its fuller taste, which is just a bit north of medium-bodied. Like any sophisticated cigar, the flavor does evolve from one end to the other, as the cigar gains momentum especially after the first two inches. The fullness stays with you to the end, maintaining its potency to the end rather than receding to a disappointing mildness.
Unlike most fuller-bodied cigars, the Black Dragon is able to bring in a touch of the sharpness that is only found in some lighter-wrapper sticks. To call it acidic evokes the wrong emotion – this sensation is noticeable without being harsh. What results is a touch of character that makes this cigar distinctly Ghurka, the sort of personality you expect from an expensive cigar.
The Black Dragon, like every Ghurka, distinguishes itself in construction. I gave this cigar my usual battery of tests, smoking it outside on the windy Manhattan streets and even in the rain. It survived without even the slightest sign of unevenness. I smoked several Black Dragons in a variety of conditions, and they all burned the same way. The consistency was impressive ... and increasingly rare.
Of course, quality – and design – comes with a price. Ghurka cigars tend to be pricey, and the Black Dragon is no exception. But, investing in this experience will reward you with the convergence of taste, structure and style. The Black Dragon is a lifestyle cigar: enjoy every aspect of smoking it.