Light does not have to lack flavor. The Gurkha Elegance does not overwhelm, as its light wrapper would suggest, but it is an enjoyable smoke from start to finish. The Elegance consists of a Connecticut wrapper, Connecticut binder and Dominican filler. The cigar has a ring gauge of 50 and measures 7 inches long. Only 800 boxes are being made, so few will be able to enjoy this intentionally rare treat.
As with any other Gurkha experience, the Elegance begins with the box. The light wood, hihgly polished masterpiece invites you to open it and extract your first (or next) stick simply through its appearance. This is a cigar box you'd be happy to leave on your desk, and I'm sure someone in your family will steal it from you as soon as it's empty.
The Elegance is quite well-constructed. In the comfort of a controlled environment, it burns evenly from start to finish, even if it is lit by unskilled hands. Of course, this could be said for most cigars. The real test was during my morning walk to the office. Varying temperatures and swift, brutal Manhattan winds were unable disrupt the consistent burn for the entire hour I enjoyed the cigar. The Gurkha Elegance was unbeatable under adverse conditions.
For me, the Elegance was a bit light. I do prefer bolder, heavier cigars, and this one is on the softer side of medium. If you enjoy a milder stick, though, this one is a winner. The first inch is uneventful, but the cigar seems to be gathering momentum, which materializes quickly and persists through the majority of the smoke. The taste is smooth and consistent, which makes it an ideal breakfast cigar for me but may serve other smokers better in the evening.
The Gurkha Elegance is certainly an upscale cigar – it's certainly not entry level. For the smoker who prefers mild but demands taste, it's a great place to start.
If you're in New York, join me at the Gurkha in-store event at De La Concha, my neighborhood haunt. It's on April 23, 2009 from noon to 6 PM.