Formerly known as the K. Hansotia Symphony Series, The Gurkha Symphony Series is the same cigar with a new band and name, and it’s a gorgeous cigar, which is to be expected from K. Hansotia, creator of Gurkha Cigars—one of today’s most prestigious and sought after boutique brands. Working side by side with the Toraño family, Mr. Hansotia has ingeniously crafted yet another stunningly beautiful masterpiece that has garnered a 91 point rating from Cigar Aficiondo. Note flawless construction, with a noticeably thick Connecticut shade wrapper. Inside is a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers held tightly together with a Dominican binder. The Symphony opens with a smooth, mellow flavour, with a medium body to start. It gradually builds to a delightful, creamy, rich flavour filled with complexity, presenting a distinct cognac note and leaving a peppery spiciness on the palate. Notice how the pepper is understated, restrained until the finish when it is fully delivered. Enjoy with an Irish whiskey.
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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