The Gurkha legend originates with colonial soldiers who, at the height of British rule in India, started making their own cigars from local tobacco, some of which was produced in the Portuguese territory of Goa. Expatriates from Britain who were still living in India continued smoking the cigars, but eventually the cigars began to wane into history and legend, as did the rajas’ rule. Today the Gurkha brand stays true to the original essence of those first cigars made so long ago so the legend will live on. This remains especially true with the Gurkha Elegance. This stunning handmade was created using an extremely rare, low-yield, seven-year-aged Connecticut wrapper that is so hard to come by only a mere 800 boxes are made annually. Inside this exceptional wrapper is a core teeming with Dominican long-fillers and a Connecticut binder. Mild to medium bodied, this stogie leads to buttery flavors and creamy finishes with hints of spice. Smooth to the nub, enjoy it anytime of day with a lager.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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