The Art of the Good Cigar

A Matter of Taste

Cigars in review: Gurkha Titan Titan Maduro

Posted by herfergrrl on July 9, 2009

This was a big fat appetizing looking stick wrapped in cedar at the foot, with a satisfying heft. Pre-light aroma was mild and pleasant, a bit earthy.  It took a couple of serious toastings to get this bad boy lit, but once it really got going it stayed going. The first puffs were strongly earthy and peaty, with moss, lichen, wood and wild mushrooms. It tasted like I was smoking the forest floor. Interesting, but not particularly good. Not horribly bad either, just interesting.

An inch or so in, the flavor of wood fire toasted marshmallows started mellowing out the peat and mushrooms with a touch of sweetness. At this point it became mildly enjoyable. I was thinking at that point that this cigar wouldn’t be a bad food pairing with a dish of venison and morel mushrooms in a dark, creamy black truffle sauce.

Another few inches in and the forest floor came back up to hit me in the face, along with the charred ashes of the fire that had toasted the marshmallows. There was still some enjoyment left in the smoke on a slow nose exhale, but the aftertaste had gone a bit sour and ashy. I ditched it at that point as it just didn’t interest me any more.

Verdict: Not a terrible cigar, there is some merit and interest here if you like a strongly earthy/mushroomy and complex flavor profile. A potentially interesting food match with “gamy” meat and dark, rich, earthy flavors (black truffles, morels, trumpet mushrooms, dried porcini, dried cherries, star anise, some intense red wines, etc). Not gonna be my go-to stick. Doubt I’d smoke another one unless I had a specific food and drink pairing in mind.

Sample menu recommendation: Venison medallions crusted in dried porcini and cracked red peppercorns, wrapped in brown sugar cured wild boar bacon on a bed of sauteed morels and wild rice. Demiglace and brandy reduction sauce with black truffles and sun-dried apricots. An intense old vine Zinfandel wine to drink, or possibly a very dark stout beer.

This stick doesn’t get any thumbs up from the Herfergrrl, but it’s not exactly a thumbs-down either.  If you like this taste profile, or if you are planning a food or drink pairing that involves a lot of dark, peaty, earthy, mushroomy flavors, the Gurkha Titan Titan maduro would not be a bad choice.

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