Thirty years ago, Kaizad Hansotia bought the Gurkha brand from a small cigar vendor on a beach in Goa, India. His vision was not only to create a high-end cigar, but to package the cigars in an equally high-end box.
Today, in the premium cigar world, Gurkha is synonymous with ornate packaging, and to celebrate three decades in the business, Hansotia will be releasing the Gurkha Treinta, a Nicaraguan cigar made at the Aganorsa Leaf factory.
“This is completely different from anything we’ve done in the past,” Hansotia tells Cigar Aficionado. “It’s the first time we’ve ever worked with Aganorsa.”
The Gurkha Treinta consists of an Ecuadoran wrapper, Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 binder and Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 filler from Estelí and Jalapa. All but the wrapper were grown by Aganorsa, one of Nicaragua’s largest producers of premium tobacco.
The anniversary smokes come in three sizes: Robusto, at 5 inches by 52 ring gauge ($13); Toro, 6 by 54 ($13.50); and Magnum, 6 by 60 ($13.90). They come in boxes of 21, but the Toro size will also be offered in a 5-count tin.
As part of the anniversary celebration, Gurkha is also releasing a limited-edition humidor containing 50 cigars—25 Belicosos (6 1/4 by 52, $14.50) and 25 Figurados (6 3/4 by 52, $15). With its black lacquer design and gold accents, the humidor will certainly be decorative, but according to Hansotia, it won’t be over-the-top in ornamentation. Only 1,000 Treinta humidors will be released, each with a suggested retail price of $800. Though the shapes within the humidor differ from the core line, the Aganorsa blend is the same.
Hansotia expects the Gurkha Treinta cigars to ship in late August or early September. They will be showcased at the upcoming IPCPR trade show.
“In 1990, I released a $14 cigar,” remarks Hansotia. “People thought I was crazy. After 30 years in the business, it’s been so much fun.”