Gurkha brought back a pre-embargo Cuba brand in 2018 – Marquesa . Gurkha Marquesa blend uses a Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and filler from Ometepe and Esteli in Nicaragua.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
Marquesa comes in three vitolas, Robusto (5×52) – $8/cigar, Toro (6×54) – $9/cigar, and Belicoso (5×54) – $9/cigar. Something interesting about these boxes is that half the cigars in each box with 10 round and 10 box-pressed.
Ring Gauge: 54
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: PDR Cigars
Blender: Kaizad Hansotia
Number of reviewers: 4 – James H. (Keikan Jim) Nate H. (SineQuaNon) Kevin J. (maninblack77) Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Age: 1 year
Release Date: July 2018
Contributed by: Ghurka Cigars
“This beautiful toro sports a medium brown, silky smooth wrapper that has been expertly wrapped with nearly invisible seams and minimal veins. The triple cap is equally as well placed, and holds together expertly even though my v-cutter cuts a swath down to the base of the cap. I generally avoid toros, but if this one smokes as well as it is apparently constructed, then it should be enjoyable.” –Nate H. (SineQuaNon)
“I’m not getting much aroma off of the wrapper, just a slight hint of milk chocolate. What is there smells delicious. The foot is a little more aromatic with more of the chocolate and a little barnyard.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“The first third starts off with pleasant, moderately complex flavor featuring coffee, dark chocolate and raw nuts; it’s rather tasty. Unfortunately, the burn become wonky almost immediately, with one side of the cigar essentially refusing to burn, regardless of attempts to coax it along with my triple-flame torch lighter. Though the smoke it produced was thick and luxurious, by the time the ash was ready to fall towards the end of the first third, the burn problem had progressed to the point where the stubborn section was lagging a full inch behind the rest of the cigar.” –Nate H. (SineQuaNon)
“Toasted the foot and right away I was met with milk chocolate and a slight nutmeg flavor that was very pleasing. Lots of smoke output. From looking at the burn line and the draw, you can tell this was a very well constructed cigar. Very good start. Paired it with some iced tea so the flavors weren’t muted. The cocoa notes prevail throughout the first third. Anxious to see what the second third holds for us.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Not much change other than the smoke output fell off dramatically and a relight was needed to get the sick going again. At this point the cigar became very soft as if there was not enough filler. Flavor profile has remained consistent with the first third. The retrohale has amped up slightly although with an unpleasant char character. The burn has remained consistent since the relight.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“The flavors from the first third continue through the second, and the smoke continues to be prolific and enjoyable, but this is where the positives end. The lopsided burn from the first third became so impossible to rectify with simply a torch that some cigar surgery was necessary. After knocking off the ash, I used a cutter to trim the cigar back a bit. When I did this, I discovered within the burnt ash a section of tobacco that is pitch black and felt very hard between my fingers, unlike the rest of the ash which was soft and a normal grey color. I’m not quite sure what would make tobacco leaf burn like that, but I’m confident that it was the culprit for the reluctant burn on that side of the cigar.” –Nate H. (SineQuaNon)
“As I get to the last third, the char notes I was getting in the second third retro started creeping into the smoke as the dominant flavor and does not blend well with the mineral qualities. At this point I had to put the cigar down.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“Notes of leather, chocolate and dry cocoa continue through to the end. The mixture of flavors were right in my wheelhouse. The salted caramel was a highlight of this and very unexpected.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“The draw was good and consistent, but slightly tighter than I’d prefer.” –Nate H. (SineQuaNon)
“The burn was lopsided almost from the start, likely due to the very thick, charcoal-like section of tobacco leaf that I discovered after performing cigar surgery to try to save it after the first third.” –Nate H. (SineQuaNon)
“This cigar felt good in the hand until lit. At that point it became too soft to my liking as if it had to little filler. The cigar died at one post and needed a relight. Although it remained lit, I had to really work at keeping it going and could not set it down for more than a few minutes at a time.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 88
“This cigar disappointed me in that the there was none of the flavors I expected from the aroma. I generally like a cigar with mineral qualities, however, this was to much. It may suit others but was not in my wheelhouse. I’ll pass on smoking this one again.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“If the burn hadn’t been so impossible to deal with, this would have been quite a decent cigar. The blend had some pleasant flavors, and the smoke output was on point. Unfortunately, the burn just knocked it down several notches for me. I’m hopeful that this was just a fluke, and the other sticks burn perfectly, but mine just did not.” –Nate H. (SineQuaNon)
“As noted before, these flavors were right up my alley. I’d rate this an easy ‘great’. Definitely one I would try again. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Wrapper came completely undone so I was unable to finish it. How unfortunate. I’m going to pour myself a few fingers of high proof bourbon and hope to forget this whole experience ever happened.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 70
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.