Gurkha 125th Anniversary

Gurkha 125th Anniversary 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 9AM to 11AM. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week


We’ve selected the Gurkha 125th Anniversary for our ‘Premium Cigars of Georgia’ cigar review of the week.


In 1887, India was under British colonial rule. During that era, colonial soldiers began smoking and enjoying cigars made from local tobacco. The British called these cigars Gurkhas, naming them after legendary Nepalese fighters who used the khukuri – a forward curving Nepalese knife.

Fast forward to 1989, when Kaizad Hansotia (while in India) bought a Portuguese cigar roller’s entire stock and resurrected the name Gurkha. At the 2012 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, the Gurkha 125th Anniversary was introduced. Note that the 125th Anniversary designation does not represent the company’s 125 years in business; it simply recognizes the attachment the firm’s cigars have to the name Gurkha (going back to 1887).

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The 125th Anniversary is produced in the Dominican Republic at the Tabacos Don Leoncio factory. It is a regular production cigar, and features an oily Cubra Habano wrapper. The binder is Ecuadorian Habano leaf, and the filler is a complex combination of Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican tobaccos.

The cigar is available in four sizes – Robusto, Rothschild, Torpedo and a 6 inch x 60 ring gauge version called the XO. All the vitolas come in boxes of 20 cigars.

And talk about the boxes. Gurkha is known for its packaging and design. The 125th box is hand carved from mango wood, and finished with exquisite brass fittings. As a matter of fact, at the 2013 IPCPR, Gurkha won the Golden Label Award for the printing, design, innovation and technical execution of this cigar brand.

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The 125th Anniversary delivered a perfect draw with just a slight resistance. It produced an ample volume of tasty and vibrant smoke, which made our note taking easy.

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Our 125th Anniversary was medium-bodied and displayed a very smooth, complex and balanced profile. We tasted woody oak and cedar flavors along with a light black pepper nuance and the spiciness of red chili peppers. We noted almonds, chestnuts, and even touches of sweet natural tobacco and cocoa. As well, there were hints of cinnamon, leather, earth, vanilla and orange zest. A creaminess then emerged as a hint of mint played with our senses.

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The Gurkha 125th Anniversary delivered a very solid smoking experience, both enjoyable and satisfying. It’s no wonder that Cigar Aficionado rated this cigar a 94, and named it the number 9 cigar of the year in 2013.

The cigar is simply stellar, and wonderfully complex to boot. This would be a perfect cigar for anyone at any time. And that’s why we award the Gurkha 125th Anniversary a Smooth Draws Radio Show buy recommendation!


Alan "Cigar Savant" Friedman


Gary "Doc" Laden

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