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Gurkha

Gurkha cigars are considered the Rolls Royce of cigars around the world, which is why many celebrities and even royalty enjoy them daily. With some of their price tags at £25,000 for a box of cigars through to their interesting names and artistic packaging, it is easy to see why they are considered a luxury cigar. However despite making premium high-end cigars, they also make a budget line to work within almost everyone's price mark. 

The founder of Gurkha cigars is Kaizad Hansotia, he was born to a wealthy family of Indian descent but was raised in Hong Kong and London. Kaizad started in the family business of luxury watches and high-end timepieces, when while on holiday in India in 1988, he met a Portuguese vendor selling cigars under the name Gurkha. Amazed by the art of cigar making he bought the entire company from the man for the price of $143!

Kaizads idea was to hand out a cigar as a token of appreciation to each of his customers buying watches, after sharing with duty free suppliers he started getting requests for more cigars. It is at this time when Kaizad realised there was a market for the cigars alone and he quickly recognised there was a place for the high-end cigar. He started to produce high quality cigars that were of superior quality - thus the Gurkha Cigar Company was born and his innovation changed the way smokers thought about purchasing premium cigars.

The Gurkha name can be traced back much before the cigar - Nepalese fighters who carried Khukuri swords were often referred to as Gurkhas and colonial soldiers in the 1880s became captivated with the skill of the Gurkha warriors. To pay tribute to them the colonials started calling the cigars they produced Gurkha. This quickly began to spread throughout the British colonies, making its way to India where the Portuguese man would eventually pass it on to Kaizad. To pay respect to the Nepalese warriors, Kaizad kept the name after acquiring the small cigar company and incorporated their likeness in the logo.

While the brand targeted the lifestyles of the rich and famous, over time Gurkha decided to meet the demands of the everyday cigar smoker who couldn’t afford to break the bank for a cigar, they produced quality cigars made from less expensive tobacco.

As proud as they are with their high end cigars, they became quickly associated with high price tags so when they created the less expensive cigars smokers questioned if the quality would suffer as a result. It took middle class smokers a while until they realised that the quality is still extremely high and now Gurkhas are loved by all smokers in the cigar industry.

The first release was the Grand Reserve which was infused with cognac, this retailed in the USA for $12 at a time when the average cigar cost $2.50 and high-end was $6. Despite the expensive price they all sold which helped create more lines, including the most expensive cigar in the world: His Majesty’s Reserve (HMR) this cigar used 18 year old tobacco and was soaked in an entire bottle of Louis XIII Cognac! A box would sell for $25,000 which would be around $1,000 per cigar!

Today Gurkha cigars are one of the best brands around, reasonably priced but made with high grade tobacco that has a powerful flavour and a thick texture that still honours the tradition of exceptional quality.

Click here to view our range of Gurkha cigars

Written by Oliver Partington

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