Cigar Review: Gurkha Shaggy Vintage (2016)

Cigar Review: Gurkha Shaggy Vintage (2016)

Gurkha Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 7” x 48
Strength: full
Price: $9.00

Overall Rating: 8.7

Originally released in 2001, the Gurkha Shaggy Vintage was loved by many a Gurkha fan. Now the Gurkha Shaggy Vintage has returned to store shelves. Returning to the original blend for the cigar, which the Olivas still had on their books, the new Shaggy Vintage is actually the old Shaggy Vintage, being made by Fidel Olivas at his factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. They’ve even brought back the look of the original unbanded packaging for this new production of the Shaggy, which will be limited annually to 4,000 boxes of 25.

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Pre-Light: The 2016 Gurkha Shaggy feature no band, which helps to separate it from previous versions (which can still be found at online retailers) that does. The cigar has actually gone back to its original packaging. Its Dominican Habano wrapper has a medium brown coloring and a few noticeable veins. The cigar is very dry to the touch, as is common among Gurkha cigars. I love the look of the shaggy foot, giving a view of the binder and filler beneath.

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From the cigar’s wrapper there is a mix of leather, earth and cocoa aromas from the wrapper of the Shaggy. The shaggy foot has a strong floral character with background scents of leather and spice. An easy enough cold draw lets through a blend of floral notes, leather, cedar and spice.

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Burn: The Gurkha Shaggy has a great draw, that is not remotely tight, but is also not overly easy. From start to finish the cigar is even burning. Surprisingly, the ash clings tightly to the end of the cigar, which I found interesting due to the shaggy foot of the cigar.

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Flavor: Once the shaggy foot is lit, there is a nice floral flavor that carries over from the cold draw. As the shaggy foot ends and wrapper begins there is a mix of leather, cedar, spice and floral notes. On the retrohale there is a dogwood-like floral cedar mix that is quite nice. There is a mix of floral notes, cedar, spice, leather and subtle pepper to the first third of the 2016 Gurkha Vintage Shaggy. An earthiness creeps into the background of the flavor profile of the Shaggy Churchill as the cigar transitions to the second third. The black pepper note to gets stronger while the floral note fades during the second third of the Gurkha Shaggy. Earth, pepper, cedar, leather and spice all continue during the second third. At the halfway point there is a slight lemon citrus flavor in the background that joins leather, cedar, spice, pepper and earth. During the transition to the final third, spice and pepper dominate while cedar, earth and Arabic coffee notes also occur. The last half of the final third of the Gurkha Vintage Shaggy is very peppery, yet notes of coffee, earth and cedar are all still present.

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Overall: A friend came and asked me if I had smoked the new Gurkha Shaggy, because they’d read a negative review on another site. I’m not a big follower of that site, but I thought I should give it a try so that my friend had an honest opinion. As it turns out, I was able to report that the 2016 Gurkha Shaggy is a very nice cigar. There is a good mix of floral cedar, spice, coffee, earth and pepper note to this full bodied Habano. Gurkha fans will find that the Shaggy is one of the better recent releases from the company. Personally, I found the new Shaggy to be a very good cigar that I may revisit from time to time. It does have a good deal of strength, while not being as strong as the typical Gurkha cigar.

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Pairing: The 2016 Shaggy pairs well with a glass of bourbon. I personally found that the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon pairs very nicely with this cigar.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210

Cigars for this review were provided by my friend Will Jackson of Gurkha Cigars before August 8, 2016. Though the generosity is greatly appreciated, it in no way alters the Overall Rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot LLC we remain committed to providing fair and impartial cigar and product reviews.