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At the beginning of every year, we review seven cigars that we consider to be holy grail. Each and ever year it becomes more and more challenging to do our annual holy grail week. There are still plenty of cigars that meet that qualification, but a high percentage of them are either Cubans, Davidoffs, or Fuentes.

One cigar that was destined was the Gurkha Trump Presidente, a cigar made for the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The cigar was said to be limited to 2,017 examples and most importantly for our holy grail week: it wasn’t going to be sold. Or so we thought.

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Come to find out that for $15 you can purchase the cigar from Corona Cigar Co. It’s a massive 8 x 49 cigar with a unique cap that features a slight bump in the center that is covered by the rest of the cap that gives it a pointy look. While we originally were holding off on this review for early January, given that the cigars are for purchase, the review was bumped up, or better bumped out of holy grail week.

To give you some additional background on the Gurkha Trump Presidente, a press release from the company said it “was crafted for President Elect Donald J. Trump to be hand out to friends and colleagues during the Inaugural festivities. The Trump Presidente will not be sold publicly and only 2017 were made to mark such an important year.”

“Cigars are synonymous with celebration and they help mark some of the most special and memorable moments of our lives,” said Kaizad Hansotia, ceo of Gurkha Cigars, in the press release. “It is only fitting that we create Gurkha’s Trump Presidente so that Trump’s closest friends and colleagues can enjoy the best Gurkha has to offer while commemorating the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.”

The company noted that Hansotia was personally invited to the Inaugural Ball, “and is looking forward to enjoying a Trump Presidente to mark the event.”

  • Cigar Reviewed: Gurkha Trump Presidente
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: n/a
  • Wrapper: Ecuador
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 49
  • Vitola: Double Corona
  • Est. Price: $15
  • Release Date: January 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: 2,017 Total Cigars
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

This is a massive cigar and one that has me thankful for the recent string of 70 degree weather we’ve been enjoying in Texas. Whatever your opinions of the nipple cap, it’s a good-looking cigar with an oily wrapper with a fair bit of reds. Aroma off said Ecuadorian wrapper is medium-plus with sweet cocoa. Interestingly, I get two decent whiffs of smell and by the third attempt of the cigar, it’s not very identifiable. From the foot, there’s more sweet cocoa, some cedar and raspberry. The cold draw of the Gurkha is slightly open with cashews, some acidity, cocoa and lots of meaty flavors.

The Gurkha Trump Presidente starts great with cedar over chocolate, acidic leather, and a Pringles-like starchiness. The draw is great, just slightly open for my tastes but probably right where the majority of smokers like it. Flavor-wise, the first third is vibrant with peanuts, woody flavors and a slight pepper on the back. Through the nose there’s orange and lime peel along with some buttermilk creaminess. The only real downside is that the profile is somewhat dry. It’s medium-plus in flavor, full in body and medium in strength.

There are some noticeable changes with the lime and then peanuts taking over the core profile. Underneath that is some saltine crackers, woodiness, and an increased amount of black pepper. While I enjoy the flavors, it’s still dry, albeit not as dry as before. Each of the samples I smoke experience varying burn issues in the second third with the worst being an inch of one side of the cigar left unburnt. Flavor is now medium-full while body remains full and strength remains medium.

Things take a more dramatic turn in the final third with Ritz crackers dominating on top of some creaminess. Behind that is some earthiness, black pepper, creaminess, and green tea. I once again find the profile a bit dry, though if I was smoking the Gurkha alongside a drink, something I do when recreationally smoke cigars, it wouldn’t be an issue. One sample has a burn issue in the final third, but the others smoke fine until the end. It finishes medium-full in flavor, full in body and still medium in strength.

Final Notes

  • The band on the cigar slipped down in the cellophane. Two of the some ten cigars we were sent had bands like this, something I didn’t realize until when I went to go smoke the second sample.
  • Many will wonder how one can review a cigar likes this unblind without political biases getting in the way. That’s a valid concern, but also one that is sort of an issue with every review. We do our best to put away our personal thoughts towards any company, factory, type of tobacco, etc. each and every time.
  • This cigar is also an example of a flaw with blind reviews. If you’ve seen this cigar before, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to pick it out blind. There’s not a ton of eight inch cigars on the market and none with the unique cap. You can review 99 percent of cigars blind, but you really can’t review a Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig or an Andalusian Bull blind unless you are actually smoking the cigar blindfolded, something I don’t think any publication does.
  • Outside of Ted’s President Election Cigar Series, I cannot think of another cigar that has been made for a sitting politician. There is however the Winston Churchill brand and two cigarmakers who were elected to office: José R. Oliva will become the next Speaker of the House in Florida and Nick Perdomo was once vice mayor of Miami Lakes, Fla.
  • For those wondering, President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he does not use tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
  • Also, Gurkha founder Kaizad Hansotia was in invited to and presumably attended an inauguration ball.
  • From a practicality standpoint, this seems like a terrible size for a cigar that was designed to smoke in Washington D.C. in January.
  • Speaking of Washington D.C., I was just there and really regretted not brining a cigar to Jack Rose Dining Saloon. If you are in the area and like whisk(e)y, I highly recommend checking it out.
  • As for said cap, it reminds me of some sort of rare OpusX release, I just cannot think of which one and Moki seems to have taken down his collection at gartrader.com.
  • The draw was slightly open throughout, something that most smokers would probably enjoy, though I prefer a slightly tighter draw. Of note, the cigar didn’t lose any points for the tight draw.
  • Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Gurkha, which advertises on halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was just shy of three hours.
  • Site sponsor Corona Cigar Co. currently sells the cigars.
89 Overall Score

I feel extremely confident in saying that no cigar we’ve ever reviewed has led to more readers making up their minds about the cigar before reading the review than this one. There’s the politics of Trump and the politics of Gurkha. Some will feel naturally inclined to like one band, or perhaps both bands. For others, it’s the complete opposite. Whatever your thoughts are on the bands and the things they are associated with, it’s a decent enough cigar, though I suspect for most, that probably won’t matter.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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