When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put its Deeming Regulations into effect, the concept of predicate cigars was introduced. Predicate cigars are ones that were first introduced to the market prior to February 15th, 2007 and anything introduced after that would require the FDA pre-market approval. This gave companies with predicate cigars a considerable financial advantage in that they would not have to go through a costly pre-market approval process. It’s still unclear whether this will come to fruition, but it doesn’t change the fact that companies with predicate cigars have an advantage. One such company with a considerable amount of predicate cigars is Gurkha. Last year Gurkha Cigars would bring to back a predicate cigar that it released in 2006 called Pure Evil. Today we take a look at the 2022 edition of the Pure Evil in the Toro size.
I’ve heard an interesting reaction from several retailers to this cigar. They simply do not like the fact that Gurkha has a cigar called Pure Evil in their portfolio. It’s not the first cigar Gurkha has had with the name “Evil” in it as there has been a line for several years known as the Gurkha Evil. I’m the first to admit Pure Evil or Evil are not ideal names for a cigar; but it doesn’t market to children, and it has no effect on the way the cigar will perform and score.
For now, let’s turn our attention to the tobacco and take a closer look at the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro.
Blend and Origin
The blend of the Gurkha Pure Evil features a Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. The cigars are produced at the American Caribbean Cigars factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. This is a factory Gurkha has worked with for a long time for many of the cigars it produces.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: American Caribbean Cigars
The Gurkha Pure Evil is available in three sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 x 54
XO: 6 x 60
The Habano wrapper of the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro had a cinnamon/rosado tint to it. There wasn’t much in the way of oils on the surface of the cigars. The cigar had some visible veins. In addition, there were some visible wrapper seams. Overall, this cigar still had a relatively smooth surface.
Prior to lighting up the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered notes of cedar, leather, and baker’s spice. This wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but given the pre-light draw is not scored, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to toast up the footer of the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro and move on to the smoking phase.
The Gurkha Pure Evil Toro opened with notes of earth, cedar, baker’s spice, natural tobacco, and black pepper. There was a fruit sweetness component that was tied to the natural tobacco. The earth notes moved to the forefront early, and this was followed by the natural tobacco/fruit component. The cedar, baker’s spice, and black pepper settled in the background. Meanwhile, there was a combination of cedar and a (not overpowering) pepper component on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro, the earth notes took control as the sole primary note. The natural tobacco receded into the background and shed many of the fruit sweetness qualities. There was an increase in the cedar and pepper notes. Meanwhile, the baker’s spice remained in the more distant background.
The final third saw the natural tobacco notes rejoin the earth notes in the forefront. There was a little more in the way of bitterness coming from the natural tobacco. Meanwhile, there were notes of cedar and pepper in the background. By this point the baker’s spice was minimal. Tha’ts how the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
While the Gurkha Pure Evil Toro had a straight burn line and straight burn path, it required multiple touch-ups to maintain this. The touch-ups kept things on track, but there were more touch-ups required than I preferred. The resulting ash was mostly a light gray. This was an ash that was skewed toward the firmer side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Gurkha Pure Evil had a touch of resistance to it. This is something that I consider to be ideal when it comes to the cigar experience. At the same time, this was still a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Gurkha Pure Evil opened up with both medium-strength and medium-bodied flavors. During the first third, the flavors progressed to medium to full-bodied. The flavors pretty much stayed medium to full-bodied for the duration of the cigar experience. Along the way, the strength had a slight increase, but remained in the medium range of the spectrum until the close of the experience.
In terms of strength versus body, the body had a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Gurkha has always been known for its elaborate and ornate packaging, but in the past few years the company has simplified its packaging. In a lot of ways, I’ve liked what Gurkha has done. With the Gurkha Pure Evil, the company goes for traditional wrap boxes, the silver, red, and black – combined with a white skull give the packaging a very contemporary look.
Both the bands and boxes are some of the few Gurkha releases to not feature the Gurkha warrior on them. The bands are mostly black with red and silver accents. The bands are highlighted by a holographic skull. The holographic skull is only on the band and is not on the box.
The Gurkha Pure Evil Toro is what I would term a classic case of a “tale of two cigars”. During the first two-thirds of the smoking experience, the Gurkha Pure Evil delivered some nice flavors. The final third is where things changed as the Pure Evil Toro developed some bitterness. While bitterness isn’t necessarily bad, the problem was with the Pure Evil Toro the cigar became more unbalanced. It should be noted that Pure Evil had good construction and a satisfactory amount of complexity. The cigar is priced nicely at under $10.00. While it scored nicely for the first two thirds; because the last third wasn’t satisfactory, I’m inclined to recommend one to try a sample first. There was enough for me to come back to this cigar, but I probably would try another size.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural Tobacco/Fruit, Cedar, Baker’s Spice, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium (Start), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on June 11, 2023 @ 11:19 am