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Gurkha Widow Maker Natural Churchill Cigar Review

by Bryan Glynn, April 10, 2013
  • Cigar And Pipes Smokin' Deals

Gurkha Widow Maker Natural Churchill Cigar Review

This 7×52 stick features a 10 year aged tan wrapper with a few stretch marks, a thin soft paper bag like feel, firm dense pack, minimal veins, tight invisible seams, double cap and rich hay aroma. First light reveals a smooth slick oily bitter grass on the draw with the same through the short clean finish, and a big foot smoke that smells like pot. The first third quickly drops the bitterness and most of the body to boot. Going down to a mild, the body just shows a smooth slightly sweet wood with a short clean finish. Construction is excellent with a perfect draw, good burn and great smoke output. Hitting the 1/2 way point at 45 minutes, the ash held on for the first third, performance is flawless but the profile is still mild and one dimensional. Winding down the 2nd third flavors finally take on a bit more action adding a smooth nuttiness to the draw, bringing the body up to a medium and growing the finish longer and fuller. Ending at a very long 1:35 the last third showed no further changes. Thank you very much to viewer Jonathan Bishop for sending in this one for review!

  • jablaze

    Great review Bryan. I don’t have much experience with Gurkha but in the 3-4 I’ve had i have never ran into burn or construction issues although I know a lot of people on CO has, including yourself. This sounds like a good early morning stick or around lunchtime, just wish it had a few more transitions in it, thanks again for all you do.

  • garlar10

    HAHA, gotta love the pot comparison! I find these aged lighter bodied cigars to almost be a waste. Still I may be interested in picking one of these up in a smaller size. Thanks for the review!

    • With my tastes, I kind of agree with that statement. But as it’s a Gurkha, I’d probably pick up one or two to try and hold onto.

      • cigarhobby85

        I picked up one of these on line for $3 becasue it was a $50 msrp. I really didn’t care for it, I felt it was like smoking hay.

        • garlar10

          wow! I can’t believe this cigar would cost that much msrp. Although for $3 a stick I would certainly give it a shot. Where did you get it form online cigarhobby85?


    Lol @ the foot smoke.

  • TimB

    Yep sounds like another Gurkha average stick good for a quick smoke. I like some of the full body ones a good buy when you get a deal.

  • rgmenke

    I like the regular (dark) Widow Maker but haven’t tried the natural.

  • Camshaft83

    Great review. Think I might try one of these. But I think I might go with the XO maduro gordo in the 6×60 in hope of getting a little more flavor.

    • Rob

      In theory, with a larger ring gauge you would get less flavor. Most of the flavor comes from the wrapper. The larger the ring gauge the more filler you will be tasting.

  • JJO

    Kinda sounds like that widow’s poor husband got bored to death. I can never make sense of the way Gurkha names so many of their cigars.

    • Sinsandman

      It’s catchy…it gets the people moving 😉

      • JJO

        It’s also highly inaccurate. A selling point, sure, but a deceit nonetheless.

  • Gaminghalb

    Nice review Brian.
    It seems if it was cut down to a toro size it would be a lot better.

  • Zombieno1

    I stay away from Gurkha unless someone gives me one.. then OF COURSE! i’ll have it 🙂 I don’t understand why they gave it that name. Doesn’t have any strength. Good cigar but nothing impressive. I was hoping to be knocked on my butt with the name “widow maker”  but didn’t get anything.

  • Luckynumbear9

    The stick ‘sounded’ real confusing when you were describing the 1st third. Especially with that 10 yrs aged wrapper. good to hear it came back around. Would like to try if I could get it! ( I live in the Netherlands and Gurka is not a cigar you see in shops, even good tabacco shops )

  • Sinsandman

    I have seen a MSRP on these for $50 a stick. Granted no one will ever have to pay that due to specials and such. I have been looking at getting a few of these, and now I know if I do that it will be for smokes where I just don’t care to get anything from it…a social smoker.

  • Cigaruss

    The name of this particular Gurkha, Widow Maker, made me shy away from it, because I thought it was going to be a powerhouse in regards to the nicotine content, which I’m glad to hear does not seem to be the case. I like nutty flavors, looks like one to try. Thanks for the review.

    • NeverTwoOld

      I was thinking the same thing. With a name like Widiwmaker I would be pretty disappointed to end up with a fairly bland smoke in terms of strength and flavor.

      • Sinsandman

        I am thinking they named it off the price. MSRP of $50 a stick…that will end relationships and people lol

  • puffrey

    I like when you said “very typical Connecticut” especially considering the MSRP on these things.
    This sounds similar to a Mark Twain.

    • JJO

      Hmm, one of these at MSRP or a box of Mark Twains. Decisions, decisions… Of course, the “MSRP” is irrelevant, since these seem to be CI exclusives, and they can make up any list price they want in order to rush them out the door.

      • Sinsandman

        They can be found on other sites as well…welllll below msrp

        • JJO

          Yes, if you mean CigarBid, Cigar.com, and CheapHumidors, that’s true. But CigarBid is the auction arm of CI; Cigar.com is a separate company (but have the same parent company), but ships out of the same warehouse; and CheapHumidors sells a lot of stuff from CI, since CI is also a distributor. I haven’t seen them anywhere else worth noting.

          The point is that the MSRP on these is just a figment of CI’s marketing imagination.

  • yosef5

    So not much flavor.It is a expensive stick.Too smooth for my tastes

  • MorganGeo

    I was wondering about the name too. From the name I was thinking it was going to be strong as well.

  • chief791

    I just smoked one of these the other day. It was a great morning smoke with a Cup-O-Joe. I really liked the taste of roasted nuts and cedar. I enjoyed it.

  • SsgtJerikUSMC

    Not to long ago I bought a Ghurka mild sampler and this was the flavor profile of atleast 3 of the sticks. Makes me wonder why they get away with charging so much for their sticks. I mean I wanted variety in my Humidor for friends that come over but I wasn’t necessarily aiming for flavorless. I guess some people maybe enjoy it? Who knows?

    • MaxDuo

      This, combined with Sinsandman saying that their MSRP being $50 is reason why I don’t feel a huge urge to try any Gurkhas.

      It is nice that this stick lasted so long with an absolutely perfect burn, but it sounds like such a boring smoke. It really seems only like something you’d want if you absolutely needed 2-3 cigars a day and just wanted a light stick to smoke for the sake of smoking, rather than enjoy tons of flavors.

      I guess part of Gurkha’s business strategy is to have a ton of sticks to make everyone have to try them out, even if many of them aren’t very different at all. Now if you love the line and their tastes, it’s great for you. But for me it makes me literally not want to spend any money ever on them. I will be trying the one Bryan has listed as a favorite though, as it sounds fantastic. Any coffee/espresso flavor in anything will get me interested and tug on my heart strings.

      • Sinsandman

        Gurkha isn’t really an impressive smoker. They have a couple decent sticks but in general…blah. However, where I am caught by them, and I mentioned this is this week’s contest, marketing. They know how to market their mediocracy. Beautiful labels and boxes.

        • JJO

          Absolutely! So many people don’t understand that some of the homeliest cigars and plainest(is that a word?) presentations can provide some of the most enjoyable experiences.

    • Rob

      Did the sampler have the Gurkha Beauty? That is actually one of my favorite mild cigars. Creamy in flavor and texture with a little nuttiness. I personally enjoy Gurkha for what they are…I don’t focus on MSRP.

  • dbfr181

    I’ll have to give this one a shot

    • smokethis

      Guys! Don’t smoke this if you are married! 😉 lol

  • vscarpine

    Like the Gurkhas I have tried so far so if they have this in non churchill I will give it a try

  • ctigers15

    Not for me, I’m really not into mild cigars.

  • PAG

    I’ve had mixed experiences with Gurkha cigars but, like many commenters I’ve read across the web, I just don’t have the desire to try to track their vast number of releases. Anybody know if somebody’s done this work and put it up on the web?

    • CigarStrawn

      I’ve wondered the same thing but I’ve never been able to find such a site. With the thousands of Gurkha lines out there perhaps they are still making up the list… :-p

  • mrl4889

    Got a 5-er of these a while back right when CI first introduced them and I of course was sold on the hype (I have since learned my lesson) but they arent bad sticks by any means. I got the exact same flavors/performance Bryan did and I think they are a good smoke to pass the time. I would avoid any strong drinks or big meals that might mask the flavor of them though. I found them best smoked during a lazy afternoon with nothing else to do but smoke a cigar and read!

    • david121

      yeah that’s all it seems this cigar would be good for! nothing to really pay attention to

  • Craig

    I feel like Gurkha’s are hit and miss. Some really good sticks and some “not as really good” sticks! lol
    As always, Thanks for the review Bryan.

  • stevenknisley

    I really thought this would be a strong cigar “widow maker” but I guess the name has nothing to do with it. great review

    • Jason Isbaner

      I agree, by the name I thought it would have been stronger. Great review anyway

    • zanlamb

      I was the same, if I saw this in the store I would leave it expecting it to blow my sox off

  • juf100

    One thing about Gurkha, they just dont release a lot of different cigars,said nobody ever…

  • gumby_130

    I like Gurkha but not a big fan of this one. Knowing the price of it may have little something to do with it.going it to this cigar had high expectations.

  • towboat Joe

    Just re-tried the Gurkha seduction the flavors have improved you may want to revisit this one

  • Pokesfan

    I think I might have this one in my humidor. One thing about it, I do enjoy a mild cigar, because I am somewhat of a light weight. However, I do enjoy some transitions in flavor. Hope this one won’t disappoint…

    • MaxDuo

      I think you may be confusing strength with body. It sounds like there is no strength but also only a small amount of one dimensional flavor until the end.

  • Jared

    I have had exactly one Gurkha, the Doble Maduro (nice taste, medium strength), but with the reviews I read, they tend to be WAY overhyped and therefore overpriced (though CI’s ~$7 a stick for this one isn’t TOO bad). Question is then, since I’m new to them, IS there a Gurkha that lives up to hype? Either now, or in the past? Or should I just pick up a brick of Joya del Jefe and save my cash?

    • Jared

      And yes, I did actually already buy a brick of Joya del Jefe, but only because my son-in-law, Jeff, is finishing his Master’s in May and I thought they would be funny, and they review reasonably well. I gravitate to Torano, myself.

    • PAG

      I’ve had a couple of special edition Gurkhas that I liked, the 125th Anniversay and the 15 Year Cellar Reserve. I remember liking the Red Witch well enough. Still, none of these have bubbled up to the level of “gotta’ keep a stash in my humidor.”

      • Jared

        I’m not quite yet at the “gotta” stage. I’m still at the “try lots of different ones to see what I like” stage. I’m also, however, in the “there isn’t a decent B&M within 2 hours, so I have to rely on reviews and sampler packs, or otherwise I’ll blow too much money paying retail when I finally make it to the shop” stage, so I take what reviewers say to heart.

        • PAG

          Sounds like I’m all of 6 months ahead of you. My humidors (yes, it’s plural now) have what I think is an overly high percentage of future experiments, but there’s a handful of things that hit me so well that I always want to have them on hand. Casa Magna, Genesis, A-B Tempus & Tempus Maduro, La Aurora 107, CAO Italia, and Liga Undercrown just have to be there. 5 Vegas Cask are my current cheapy of choice.

          I recently smoked an A-B Family Blend my brother gave me. Crap! Another “must stock”.

        • PAG

          I feel for your distance from a good cigar shop with lots of variety. In addition to having dozens of good cigar shops within an hour, I can make it to Cigars International in Hamburg in under an hour. The CIs and Famous shops in the Allentown-Bethlehem are even closer.

          • Jared

            Luckily (again, a bit of distance to travel), I have the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic the first week of June, and La Aurora is on my list of “need to try” (and anything else I can get my hands on). Lots of little shops that roll their own and give out freebies, and I’ll hit as many as my wife will tolerate!

    • Jefferson

      The Gurkha Ghost Shadow has got to be one of the best sticks I’ve ever set fire to.

  • neocigaro

    It looks good but too pricey.


    If only they lowered their prices to reflect on some of their sticks.

  • superdutyal

    sounds a bit to mild for me but a great review

  • Freddy62

    Once again thankful for the review before I spent the money on this stick. I do not care much for an almost flavorless or in-complex smoke.

  • eric.hanson

    I see these all of the times in daily deals for super cheap, but Gurkha’s so hit or miss for me that I don’t like to take chances even on the cheap ones. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some great Gurkha cigars, but I’ve had some really bad ones too. After watching your review, it seems like I have a few sticks in my humidor that are similar in flavor profile so I’ll pass on these.

  • weimerad

    Never been much of a Gurkha fan and that includes the Widow Maker. I barely finished half of the cigar when I smoked it, at it was bitter and sour. Not a good smoking experience.

  • david121

    I’ve always wanted to try this one, but now i dont think I will lol too mild and boring for me! The gurkha triple ligero is nice if anyone wants a recommendation. Great review Bryan

  • curtpick

    Name is a bit Misleading. Was thinking it would be a fuller more complex smoke. Thanks for letting me know not to buy this one. And what is Pot ? 😉

  • Great review as always, not really a Gurkha fan, and this one doesn’t sound like it would be in flavor profile (I prefer more stronger smokes) I would try this if it was given to me though….thanks again for the review.

    • JJO

      irratebass!- I’ll try anything if it was given to me. That damned Mike@stogiereview sent me a Swisher in an otherwise great bomb he sent me (as a joke, of course), and yeah, I will smoke it sometime just so I can say I did smoke one. After several disappointments and a couple of decent experiences (I would definitely smoke the Evil again), I would have to say the same thing about Gurkha.

  • Dirk

    You have to hand it to Gurkah’s advertising.. cigars.. some are great.. .most are average.. I have tried this in a trade with a friend.. I gave him a RP Vintage 92 second.. He is a big fan of mild sticks complaining of the “strength” of the RP.. I complained of the mildness.. I call it a draw.. everyone has their tastes.. great review.. very accurate as usual Byran

  • smokethis

    Nice review B. I got a 5 pack of these in Maduro . I had to use a drawpoker on 2 of them but the flavor was ok, tasted like a typical maduro.

  • Kace

    Looks like you were trying really hard to stay non biased about this one. Seems a bit if a shame that they would put all that in into aging the wrapper just to put it on a such a plan blend. I’m sure these will find a good home. Lol.

  • samgiroux42

    With the name Widowmaker, I would have expected a stronger, more full bodied stick. How did cigar companies decide on their names?

  • pclose93

    just smoked this one last night, i have to agree that it was very one dimensional, i found myself almost forgetting i was smoking a cigar.

  • Sinsandman

    So I had a bid on these that I had forgotten about until they arrived out here. Though your review of them was less than great, I feel you may have given them too much credit still. This cigar is gross. There is no other words I can use for it…just gross.

  • Ole

    Just smoked one during a quick round of golf. Decent smoke but I was too worried about my golf game to think about it.

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