Gurkha Empire VI Cigar Review

by Bryan Glynn, April 6, 2013
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Gurkha Empire VI Cigar Review

This 5.5×54 stick features a very dark brown, oily, slick, slightly tooth firm wrapper with minimal veins, tight invisible seams, double cap and rich barnyard aroma. First light reveals a very snug draw with minimal smoke output bug medium-full body flavor showing a peppery, deep damp earth with a bitter long finish. The first third burns well, takes it’s time and opens up the draw nicely. Flavors are fairly smooth, adding a chocolate to compliment the pepper and the bitterness fades way down. Ash only holds on less than an inch but the burn is perfect. 30 minutes in at the 1/2 way point, flavors are largely unchanged, just bringing the body down to medium, completely losing the bitterness and the pepper zing lasts longer through the finish. Ending at the hour mark, the last third shifted to a big nuttiness with some metallic-minty like zing especially on the finish. Body remained at medium while a bit of strength crept in just for the last inch. Thank you very much to viewer Dexter Hicks for sending this in for review!

  • stevenknisley

    They have all 6 on cigar.com and they have a bunch of different empire series samplers. This was a great review. I have been thinking about trying Gurkha’s empire series but didn’t know what they would be like but now I just might order some.

  • Boucher207

    I recently subscribed to Cigar International and i believe they have a nice grab bag of 10 of these for $30, not sure if this one is in the mix but ill have to try it!

    • neocigaro

      Sounds like a good deal.

      • smokethis

        I really dislike the Empire series..very boring. IMO.

        • louiez

          I’ve never had any Gurkha cigars. I’ve only been smoking cigars for the last 6 months and tend to like maduros. Any recommendations? It seems like I always see ads online and specials for Gurkha’s everywhere.

          • Lalla

            Try the Black Beauty, Double Maduro, or the Park Avenue Maduro.

            You might also like the Avenger G5, with the oscuro wrapper.

  • neocigaro

    Haha don’t like that aftertaste.

  • Jason Isbaner

    Never had a Gurkha, never knew where to start they have so many.

    • Freddy62

      I seem to only care for Gurkha’s Ghost in the smaller ring gauge’s they offer in it, however when you approach the band point prepare for full strength in my opinion.

      • Jason Isbaner

        Thanks

        • Rico

          No his middle name is. Lol

  • gajuju

    You lost some of my respect. Stop smoking Gurkha!

    • Boucher207

      Absolutely the most rediculous comment ive seen on here so far. He is reviewing a cigar sent to him from a viewer who obviously likes Gurkha and wants to see what Bryan thinks of the stick. I bet you like some smokes that others despise but hey, not everyones tastes are the same. Thats what makes the world go round, it takes all kinds.

      • Freddy62

        Boucher207, thank-you for saying this before I did lol. Bryan is a good guy, and his reviews are very helpful and informative when it comes to any premium cigar.

        • neocigaro

          haha this dude, are you serious? He is just reviewing it, he is smoking it, he is giving his opinion on it. It doesn’t matter what kind of cigar it is that he is smoking, it doesn’t hurt you in any way. So your “respect” isn’t something that matter anyways.

          • Walshy

            I think you are a jack ass so how about that. Boucher207 said it right that there are probably cigars that you like that are probably garbage sticks also. So keep smoking your Swisher Sweets and leave those types of comments out. And stop being a complete idiot. Thats not what the cigar Brotherhood and Sisterhood is all about.

      • vscarpine

        are u kidding man..Bryan does these reviews to help us and he is very honest about what he thinks about the cigars and isnt trying to BS us. So sorry if that offends you

      • USA2ndAmendment

        Exactly what I was thinking. Very well put. @gajuju-I as well as a lot of others enjoy Gurkha’s, they are one of my top 2 brands that I enjoy, the other is Drew Estate.

    • Kace

      Sir is your last name Gurkha? Lol

    • gumby_130

      What’s with the Gurkha haters.

      • Craig

        I think its just the inconsistency really. A Gurkha is probably one of the top 3 cigars I’ve ever smoked and also a Gurkha is probably one of the worst cigars I’ve ever smoked. But I know that going in now. That’s one of the reasons I wait until Byran has reviewed it to try it.

    • MaxDuo

      If you don’t want to see him reviewing Gurkhas, you should send him 20-30 non Gurkha cigars! 😉

      I’m surprised though. This is the 3rd Gurkha review I’ve seen in a row from Bryan with NO burn issues. I still have little faith in them, but it’s slightly shaking my once firm belief that almost all Gurkha’s were horrible in how they burned.

      • Candyman

        I just tried Gurkha for the first time the other day. My local B&M had a Gurkha event and so far 3 out of the 14 i bought have had zero burn issues. now i have seen one or 2 construction issues but nothing that will hinder the smoking of the cigar. Also the shop did just start to carry them so maybe they brought the best to impress lol

    • playersrun1

      then stop watching the vids and dont visit the site..problem solved.

    • Dale

      Maybe he forgot to add the 😉 at the end?

    • MorganGeo

      Unbelievable how some people are. Go smoke your black and mild. Ha

  • Boucher207

    Bryan Which lighter are you using here?

    • Boucher207

      Never mind, im not sure how i missed that. haha

    • Derek

      Hahaha. Some people.

  • Derek

    I’ve heard some bad things about Gurkha, I’ve only had a hand full or so of different ones but I must have gotten lucky because they were all good.

    • Boucher207

      For the most part, they make a decent stick.

      • Walshy

        The only issue ive had are burn problems and maybe a few that just didnt taste good at all. They have a ridiculous amount of cigars. I believe Bryan talked about their quality control in a previous video saying they are more concerned on mass production so the quality is taking a back seat. Not in those exact words though. The Ghost is my favorite Gurkha though. Never had an issue.

        • Pjhosler

          I have been smoking cigars now since 1992 and I haven’t met a Gurkha I didn’t like yet. They are not worth their msrp but then many cigars are not. at the prices they sell for they are nice smokes,a little less packed then most but the blends are nice. As for the immature comment, unfortunately in a public forum that’s what you get sometimes.
          I will say to Bryan are you happy with the points thing on posts…my unsolicited opinion is although you have increased responses,a lot of them are on past posts or just yeah that’s nice crap. And I feel that the posts are not thoughtfully put out there. Some of the numbers suggest to me a limit is in order. I like to feel my posts have been timely and informative, but how many can a person compose in a day that way. I reviewed some of these 60 plus posters and I really don’t see many that are really all that .
          That said I really like your site, following your reviews has helped me identify my own flavor profile.so even if you don’t like it I know if I do! I just smoked with you to taste what you tasted.

          • MaxDuo

            “They are not worth their msrp”

            I think this is the main thing with Gurkha. They have a few sticks that aren’t very good, and you can get the same / better for $1-3 while spending $7-10 on that stick.

            Bryan does have one of the Spec Ops listed as a favorite, and a friend that works at a local B&M lists *1* Gurkha (he doesn’t like any others he’s tried) as one of his top cigars.

            Gurkha’s biggest issue is partly like Walshy said… They make SO many cigars and seem to just try to put out as many as possible. And despite many of their sticks not being THAT great… they charge premium and high premium prices for pretty much all of them.

            (It’s pretty telling when Groupon has a BIG MEGA DEAL of 5 low end Gurkha’s for $25 for 5 and $50 for 5 higher end ones, and at least 1 or 2 of those sticks I’ve seen Bryan review saying they were plain and not that great – in his opinion).

          • Pjhosler

            I have never seen a Gurkha online anyways at msrp.just like a graycliff which msrp for 300 plus and you can get them for 99 to 150 a box. When I say I never met one I didn’t like doesn’t mean they great although a few are nice. The jade a blend for smoke inn is a good example of a good one. Park ave is real nice mild cigar.

          • Walshy

            I agree with you regarding the point system for posts. I guess ive come to the realization that im not going to win anything so ill just post when i feel a post is warranted. Not just post something like “I hate this aftertaste” and get points for it. There is no way a person should be over 100 pts already in less then a week unless they are posting things that are pointless. So I’m going to keep watching Bryan’s reviews and enjoying the site. And no i’m not criticizing what Bryan is trying to accomplish here. I’m glad he is trying to increase usership. Bryan, love your reviews and the site. Keep doing what you are doing.

          • The system is going to be tweaked this weekend.

          • Pjhosler

            Yeah when I saw the 60 pluses up to over 100 I felt the exact same way

    • playersrun1

      for the price and variety, i think i can suffer through a few burn issues when they happen. only smoked a Beast so far, with no issues, and looking forward to trying some others.

      • smokethis

        Gurkha makes like a billion lines of cigars, so naturally there will be hits and misses.

      • MaxDuo

        “For the price and variety” but they charge premium cigar prices for some that are still just bland and poor burning too. It’s not just some of them or just the cheap ones, it’s a lot of them.

        The point still stands for me that I’ve never had more burn troubles than I was given by a Gurkha a long time again, or have I seen worse ones than what my friends were getting either. These were cigars that cost $8-12 at the time.

  • garlar10

    hmmm… not sure this one if for me. Almost sounds like its menthol flavored the way you describe it. I am not a big Gurkha guy but the Black Dragon looks like a pretty cool stick.

  • vscarpine

    I have just started trying the Gurkha lines and so far I have enjoyed them…this one sounds good but im not sure about the metallic taste towards the end

  • Freddy62

    This is a Gurkha stick that I actually have not smoked. I think I will have to pick one up, it sounds decent. Thanks again for always providing great reviews Bryan!

  • AngSolo

    I had one of these a couple years ago wasn’t bad but I guess it wasn’t great since I haven’t had one since. With huge amount of different lines Gurkha makes I’m sure theres something for eveyone…and a bunch of no so great as well,

  • Shargard

    I had this one couple months ago. Mine was without the metalic taste. Decent smoke overall. I realy love Park Avenue and Blue Steel from Gurkha

    • AngSolo

      Yes the I agree with you on the Park Avenue. More of a mild cigar great anytime of day. The construction was excellent on mine as well. The price is low too but don’t let that turn you off its worth checking out. Has anyone tried the maduro version??

      • Shargard

        I did. Good classic maduro stick, but not as great as natural. Worth to try anyway. Almost forgot on Gurkha Evil. Truly memorable smoke. I had Gurkha Black Dragon Fury Nublizer recently and it was delicious maduro delight. Not huge fan of big ring gauge cigars, but this one was an exception

        • AngSolo

          Yeah I’ve been meaning to try the maduro. I’ll give it a go one of these days. The last gurkha I smoked was an assassin and it was a bit strong for me.

      • Pjhosler

        I just received 2 boxes last week of the 44 from CI . These are my favorite mild cigar with cinnamon cream flavors and a flawless wrapper. To me the joy I get from finding gems in the rubble is worth trolling through the crap to get there. And the Gurkha park ave 44 is one of those gems.

    • vscarpine

      well thats good cause I was a little worried about a metallic taste haha maybe he just got a rare bad cigar from the batch

  • OBdrum81

    I have a mixed bag when it comes to Gurkha But for the price they are worth trying to find a gem.

  • TimB

    Yes Gurkhas are hit or miss had some that are nice and some that are just overpowering, and I like full body cigars.Cigar.com has a ton of them get a sampler and try some.

  • Walshy

    Great review Bryan. Very pleased to see you do a few back to back days of reviews. Thats always a welcomed surprise. Cant wait to see the reviews of some of the sticks I sent in. Really respect your opinion.

  • yosef5

    Your mouth movements do not match the sound
    Otherwise another good review

    • You keep posting that but it’s not true. It’s something on your end, sorry.

      • gumby_130

        Your Internet most be slow Yosef.

    • MaxDuo

      Do you play any flash games or facebook games? I’ve found that if I leave them open for a while after working all day, youtube starts acting weird. It could be something like that for you.

      Agree in the good review though!

    • Rob

      The only way I have noticed it not in sync is when I am watching from my phone and I zoom in on the built in youtube player, rather than just using my youtube app. I don’t normally view that way, it was just to recreate the issue.

  • suitcasejon

    Was on CI and they had a gurkha empire sale. Really wanted to try the gurkha empire V and the III. But those two sold out first. Anyways thanks for the review and hopefully not all the gurkha empires start with a snug draw… Kind of sets the tone for me. Cheer and lookin forward to the next review

    • vscarpine

      I feel like CI always has Gurkha sales so im sure it will be up again in no time or maybe even in a sampler

      • gumby_130

        CI had a sale of a ton of Gurkha worth 1000 dollars for 99. I think it maybe little over priced from the get go.

        • Pjhosler

          Yes I know they sold out in less then 8 hours. It was a weekly special and they didn’t last a day. At that price I clicked on to buy and was shut out. Although the msrp est was high at 99 for 40 torpedoes was a great price.

  • I’ve stayed away from Gurkha’s since I had two or three bad experiences with their sticks. Just couldn’t find a flavor profile from them that I truly enjoyed.

    • gumby_130

      Try more Gurkhas, there are some really good ones out there.

    • JJO

      I have to agree with you, Chris. When you put out 5,000 lines, most of them geared toward the online trade, you’re asking for trouble. Then on top of that, you alienate your B&M base by selling the same luxury lines that you charge an arm and a leg for, but tweaked with lower grade tobacco and construction, to the onliners at a ridiculously lower price, and what do you think the results will be? Asking your customers to shell out the money to sift through the dross to get anything they will like is flouting the bounds of smart business.

      I haven’t written off Gurka entirely, and actually liked the one Evil I had, but personal taste preferences aside, they have a long way to go to convince a lot of us thay they’re in this for more than just the money. There are way too many other companies who are making an honest effort to bring a quality product of value to the public that need and deserve out support.

  • Wucioswong

    i like most gukhas. keep reviewing them. thanks.

  • mrdaveii

    As always, you do a great job at articulating the flavors as you smoke. A metallic & mint flavor does not sound like something I would want from a cigar…. Although based on your tone as you describe it, you seemed to enjoy it.

  • Chaz

    “Inconsistent” is a kind word. This sounds decent though. I think I have some empires buried somewhere, not sure which. Maybe I’ll break one out 🙂

  • samgiroux42

    It really seems that you either love or hate Gurkhas. Someday I will need to try one just to see.

    • gumby_130

      You better try a few, there are some good one, the fun part is finding them. You can get a sampler at a good price.

      • Dale

        I haven’t found a Gurkha that I like yet, and I have been smoking cigars since…let see…about 2012 🙂 I still keep trying different ones though and eventually I will find them. I typically only buy two at a time of a new cigar I want to try. I learned my lesson the hard way one time by seeing a review, thought it sounded good, and bought a box of cigars that were just OK. I smoke one every now and then to just get rid of them.

        • gtclark

          There’s a lot to be said for samplers and five-packs – I’ve been smoking cigars for years, but rarely buy boxes, even when I find cigars I love. There are so many awesome cigars out there to try, I can’t stand to miss out on new things – plus, it keeps things interesting.

          Regarding Gurka, I’m yet to find one that’s tempted me to consider purchasing a box – as others have noted, the flavor profiles, construction, and price points don’t converge at the point where I would purchase more than a few singles

  • rgmenke

    One thing about Gurkha’s that I find unique, is that the foot smoke usually smells good/mild. Anyway, thanks Bryan for the review. As others have stated here, the bias against everything Gurkha is stupid! If you get past the marketing, they have some pretty good cigars.

  • gumby_130

    Bryan are you doing the whole empire series.

  • eric.hanson

    I think Gurkha is one of the most wide ranging bands out there. They have some really good sticks (Spec Ops, Ghost, Cellar Reserve, Crest), some decent but not amazing sticks (Park Avenue, Micro Batch, Regent, Evil), and some really awful stuff (lots of the cheap stuff you see in the Thompson samplers).

  • MaxDuo

    What a bad sounding start, then the the middle sounds really good, while the ending sounds interesting and decent to good.

    I’ll have to attempt to remember this the next time I want to give Gurkha another chance. I kept staring at the burn line in the video expecting to see it go completely nuts.

  • swj045

    has anyone ever tried gurkha assassin? had this one for awhile but dont know if it will knock me down.

  • playersrun1

    bitterness with a bad aftertaste seem like rare and unusual tastes. only had a Beast from their line-up, which wasnt anything special, but it burned nice and long with no issues, so im looking forward to trying some more of theirs…

  • yosef5

    I love Padron .Thanks for the review

  • Romel

    Hi Bryan, this review has changed my mind about gurkhas. Im definitely buying a box of these. Thanks, yet again Bryan.

  • Cliff

    Haven’t tried this stick. Sounds like several Gurkhas though. May try one in a sample pack.

  • Joseph Szeremet

    Another Gurkha! I do not understand this company. They have so many different cigars that just come and go, usually failing to leave a lasting impression. Save for the over-ornate packaging and awkward price points. This probably why there always on sale! I did like the Widow Maker Maduro. However with much disappointment I admit I am very reluctant to spend any money on Gurkha’s anymore. More times than not if the aftertaste doesn’t turn me off toward the middle there cigars the tendency for them to unravel usually will. Now that my Gurkha rant is over, great review as usual Bryan!

  • Sounds pretty good. That metallic/minty taste in the last third sounds quite interesting. I’ll keep a lookout for this one!

  • kurngar

    I cannot possibly follow all the Gurkha out there, I guess I am one of the few who will always try a new stick from them. I have had issues with them but then again I have had issues with Alec Bradley’s as well. The Gurkha Empire seems right up my alley as far as flavor profile goes.

    I see that Bryan has had an issue with necro bumping. This a common tactic of people trying to game the system for whatever reason.

  • Rob

    I actually really enjoy Gurkha…mostly because when I smoke them, I do not think of them as a “insert $ amount” cigar. I just look at it as a cigar…period. Is it good or not? If it is good then buy more.

    Most Gurkha opposition complain about the MSRP price which not many actually pay since there are constant sales and they can be had for anywhere between $1-$5 a stick on CBID and other sites.

    I guess I’m trying to say who cares what the MSRP cost is…its a marketing tactic. Buy a sampler and try them out.

  • sparkmark

    Like my fellow BOTL, I enjoy smoking many different cigars and it is always a joy when I find a new one that is delicious. One brand I really enjoy is Gurkha and I am still on a Gurkha journey of discovery. I like that there are many different ones to try. I have smoked about 30 different Gurkhas and they are all different from each other. Some I like, some I don’t but in my opinion their cigars are made with special quality tobaccos and are blended very well. I think their prices in the B&M’s are way too high but I also think that other cigar company prices are as well. I do not buy Gurkhas in the B&M’s.

    I am a NOT a cigar expert by any means, but for what it’s worth, the following are a few Gurkhas I really do enjoy lighting up time after time:

    1) The multi-colored band of Ancient warrior in Churchill,(not the burgundy colored band)
    2) Regent box press
    3) Special Ops in Churchill
    4) 2001 Anniversary in Perfecto
    5) Royal Brigade in Robusto
    6) Master Select (varying sizes)
    7) Maduro in Robusto
    8) Legend (varying sizes)
    9) Archive 1887 in box press Churchill

    Also, if the label has a brown background behind the Gurkha soldier, I can trust that it’s a high quality Gurkha.

    BOTL

    • I’d really like to try the Special Ops and Maduros. I’m really digging the Ghost and Evil. I have a Blue Steel in the humi I have yet to try.

      • mrl4889

        When I first go into cigars I was convinced that ghurka was the only brand worth smoking. Suffice it to say I was wrong but they do make some quality smokes, despite their rep for pumping out line and after of cigar as a money making machine and not necessarily putting a lot of passion in their lines. That being said they make plenty of quality smokes one you look past the hype and the INSANE MSRP. Personally I like the Widow Maker, Beauty/Beast, Evil and Crest. I have also heard tons of good things about the Ghost and Spec Ops lines. Just don’t believe the hype (positive or negative for that matter) and keep an open mind. Oh and as for the review doesn’t really sound like my kind of cigar. Didn’t care for the Series IV empire either. Way to earthy for my tastes. Great review though B

    • gumby_130

      Regent , maduro and master select are good one not crazy about 2001 anniversary.

  • ggman1023

    This is a cigar i would like to try after viewing this video. i love the beauty from gurkha now. havent had many of the other lines.

    • I hear both the Beauty and Beast are great. I highly recommend the Ghost. The torpedos come in metal tubos and are pretty cool looking collectibles. I think I’ve smoked 4 or 5 of them in the past few weeks. #GurkhaWhore

  • MR_EXPRESS

    Might as well give it a shot. Could be worse.

  • kb9311

    I personally have never tried a gurkha because of all the bad things I have heard over the years, but I’d be willing to try this one.

    • gumby_130

      I think it the best of the empire series.

  • david121

    I just had a Gurkha earlier today, and it was actually very nice! I had the triple ligero in toro. This is one I’ll try too. Good review Bryan 🙂

  • Bosoxlaxcarl

    This was a really good review for me as my really good smoking buddy absolutely loves the Gurkha brand and swears by them, because of his love for them I have really wanted to try them but sadly the cigar shops in my area are out of stock of them and I don’t really want to order any online. I really enjoy reviews like these because until I can try my first one and start a love for them myself, it helps garner interest and excitement

    • rynie27

      i cant seem to find a decently priced gurkha that burns properly, the brand seems to be wayyy too hyped and the quality not great. Of course thats just my opinion.

      • puffrey

        I tend to agree with you rynie27. I had a few Gurkhas when I first started smoking cigars. Bought them online and some sample thinking I was getting a killer deal in expesnive sticks. Most of them had burn issues but I have had a few that were decent. The Titan is a good smoke and I enjoyed the Vintage 2001 also if you wanna give those a try!

        If I could find the Ninja in a smaller ring gauge other than the 60gauage I had I would give that one a shot again too.

  • morpi167

    Hahaha I love that smoking bands has become a major issue for you now Bryan. I don’t think I have ever come close to smoking one.

  • Lalla

    I keep wondering if it’s a regional thing, like whether the climate makes a difference and certain brands just smoke better in certain parts of the country.

    I read online about problems with Gurkhas – but here in Dallas, it’s a favorite brand, at least among my circle of friends. Once in a while we get construction issues, but not generally flavor issues.

  • Pokesfan

    I’ve got five Gurkas in my humidor. Been soaking for awhile. Guess I need to break one out and see what it’s like. Not sure I would like the mint aftertaste on this one though.

  • Pokesfan

    Also, I don’t understand why people want to argue and name call. Let’s keep it positive people. Bryan does great reviews here and I for one would like to see positive input. Let’s not turn this into a YouTube moron fest.

  • mantisdgaf

    am I the only one that notices the amount of videos you have posted that have lizards crawling on your fence lol

    • Pjhosler

      I can answer that one for I also live here in sunny Florida. We have lizards and geckos running around here everywhere. Billions of them. So many in fact we don’t notice them much.

      • MaxDuo

        Actually, very often in the youtube comments, a comment about a lizard on his fence at some time will usually always be in the top comments!

  • derek_straus

    I have always liked Gurkha’s but the one thing that always bothered me was that they cover up the beauty of the cigar with large bands. Make them smaller and I will be very happy!

    • Lalla

      Yeah, I agree. Most of my friends like the big, foil-printed fancy bands – but I prefer something much simpler. Both so I can see the cigar better and for general aesthetics. Like the Warlock, Cohiba, and Padron…

  • Bpope31

    There are so many Gurkha’s out there it’s hard to now where to start. I’ve tried a few but nothing has really stood out. Il definitively try more in the future and it sounds like I might have to start with this one. Maybe even try the whole series.

  • PAG

    “…with some metallic-minty like zing especially on the finish.”

    I have to admit, that’s the first time I’ve read a description like that on a cigar review.

    • Lalla

      I knew exactly what he meant. I got that from an Esteban Carreras Covenant on the last third. It was more sensation than taste, like the sensation of breathing in after eating an Altoids. Like the cool version of that pepper-hot sensation on the lips that’s pretty common in stronger cigars.

  • As I’ve stated before I am not a big Gurkha fan, I’ve had a few I like, but based off your review I think I would like this. I am not going to run out and actively seek this, but if it was given to me I would def smoke it with no reservations. Thanks for the review.

  • lazyboy

    Just to vent. I hate f**king knots in a cigar. Twice in a matter of days I’ve gotten an unsmokable “premium” cigar. Cigars are way to expensive to be so knotted that its trash. First a cohiba and now a Gurkha. This is unacceptable! These are not cheap ass Ron Mexico bullshit smokes. Not a cohiba fan so whatever. But come on Gurkha. Thought you were the “rolls royce” of cigars. Do a better job. That’s all. That’s my vent.

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