Gurkha Cigars: When Only the World’s Finest Will Do

JSilva_073012_3566Gurkha Cigars, around since 1887, were named after the fearless Nepalese warriors by British soldiers. Today, Gurkha is one of the most famous brands of luxury hand-made cigars available in the world. The company is also known for its limited release and rare tobacco products with unique, artistic packaging.

Recently Gurkha released its latest Cellar Reserve Platinum Edition cigar, which features prized, 12-year-old Nicaraguan tobacco in its blend and is hand rolled with an Ecuadoran wrapper. The medium-bodied cigar has rich coffee and dark chocolate tones in its flavor.

“A true aficionado will not be disappointed with the collaboration of flavors in this cigar,” Gurkha CEO Kaizad Hansotia boasts. He enjoyed his first cigar at 15, while playing poker with friends in Miami.

Hansotia purchased Gurkha Cigars while he was vacationing in Goa, India, back in 1989. At the time, Hansotia was in his family’s custom watch design business, and he had only planned to buy a couple of cigars as gifts for his clients.

The tasty cigars he discovered were a huge hit, and Hansotia managed to buy the company for a song. He spent the next 27 years making Gurkha one of the world’s most recognized and respected luxury cigar brands.

“I would attribute the secret of my success to persistence and innovation,” Hansotia says when asked for advice. “By constantly metamorphosing my brand and staying one step ahead, I’ve been successful with innovative packaging and branding. I’ve never been satisfied, so I’m constantly striving for more.”

Today, the ultra-high-end cigar business is smoking hot.

“When we were introducing our ‘brick and mortar’ brands, we wanted something that was going to stand out in the marketplace,” says Hansotia about his most recent release.

“This year, we decided to bring the blend to Nicaragua, created our first 12-year-aged Cellar Reserve from that country and launched the Cellar Reserve Platinum.”

It is the fourth installment of the Gurkha Cellar Reserve Series and the first of the series to incorporate Nicaraguan tobacco. Hansotia is a very hands-on CEO and is also responsible for the ultra-high-quality, attractive packaging and designs of many of his company’s products. The handmade cigars themselves are crafted from the finest tobaccos available, and some are packaged in frosted glass tubes inside unique carved boxes lined with leather, suede and other design elements.

Gurkha sells cigar blends for all types of connoisseurs but also has a very high-end client base that includes world leaders like former President Bill Clinton and even the Maharajahs of India. Hollywood celebrities like Matthew McConaughey and Arnold Schwarzenegger are also known to puff on them, as well as countless CEOs and international movers and shakers.

The company produces over 8 million cigars a year that are sold in more than 28 countries worldwide. The Tamarac, Florida-based company currently offers 48 distinct brands of premium cigars that sell between $6 and over $2,000 a piece.

The most expensive cigar is the Maharaja at $20,000 for a box of 10; while the exclusive His Majesty’s Reserve cigars sell for $1,500 each. The Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac-soaked stogies are certainly among the top echelon of the premium cigar world. If that’s too rich for your tastes or if you are new to cigars, Hansotia has a few recommendations.

“I would advise newbies to pick up a mild cigar such as the Royal Challenge or Grand Reserve. Depending on the flavor profiles that you like, you can find a brand that suits you.  Just don’t go too heavy the first time. In the beginning, milder is always better.”

Over the past three decades, Hansotia has turned Gurkha Cigars into a multi-million dollar operation that is known in the business as the Ferrari or Rolls-Royce of cigars. The robust company shows no signs of slowing down.

For more information or to purchase Gurkha Cigars, visit

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