Tonight’s Tasting: Old Scratch Amber Lager and Gurkha Titan

HollyHunter You probably never saw it, but there was a relatively short-lived series on the USA Network called Saving Grace.  It was a cop show starring Holly Hunter as Grace, with the twist that Grace is being visited by an angel, who is attempting to save Grace from her self-destructive ways.  Anyway, in one of the first shows the angel gives her a small, wooden box, presumably from God, and tells her she will know when to open it, and that when she does open it, she should burn whatever she finds inside.

So the series just ended, and in the final episode Grace finally opens the box and finds that it contains Gurkha cigars.  Then in a final battle with evil, Grace is talking to some evil guy, who may or may not be the devil but who is responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, and he comments that Gurkha cigars are the best you can get.

There you have it.  God smokes Gurkhas.  All I could think of is how much did Gurkha pay for that bit of product placement?  I think God could do better, but I did give the Gurkha Titan a 92 back in September of 2008, so I thought I would check to see if I still like them. 

Gurkha Titan 6.2” x 56

The Gurkha Titan is a 6.2 x 56 Honduran cigar with a Maduro wrapper.  The Titan debuted at the 2005 Retail Tobacco Dealers tradeshow, and with only 1,000 boxes made, it was only available to a small number of suppliers. The cigar begins with a combination of five year old Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Columbian fillers that are secured in a five year Nicaraguan binder. It is then finished with a dark 1996 Vintage Costa Rican wrapper.

The Gurkha Titan had a perfect burn and draw and yielded a long ash. Medium to strong the entire length, with lots of flavorful smoke tasting of spice.  The 92 I gave it last time was spot on; I still really like the Titan.  A very tasty smoke.

They run around $30 a stick individually from the discounters when you can find them.  CigarsDirect has them for $24 each in quantities of 16, which is $48 less than what charges for the same quantity.  I don’t like to commit to 16 of any cigar, so I watch for cigar bundle specials that include a Titan.  Cigars International recently offered a Gurkha “Top-Ten Sampler” for 30 bucks that included a Titan.  [Update:  On February 18, 2011, Cigars International was offering a combo called the “Gurkha Cigarnivore III” which includes three Titan cigars and 15 others for less than $70.  That’s less than you’d pay for the three Titans alone most any other time.]

OldScratch Old Scratch Amber Lager

I continue to be a real fan of the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland, and its Old Scratch Amber Lager did not disappoint.

Old Scratch pours deep golden amber with a large, off-white head.  The nose is interesting, with a smell of toasted malts; almost like oatmeal.  The taste is malt and citrus, with a hint of bread and caramel.  The mouthfeel is perfect for a lager, and not at all watery.  Outstanding drinkability.  It’s not my all time favorite from the Flying Dog Brewery, but it warrants a strong 90 on The Morris Scale.

One Response to “Tonight’s Tasting: Old Scratch Amber Lager and Gurkha Titan”

  1. […] never heard anyone describe Gurkha as the “Rolls Royce of Cigars”, although they are apparently God’s cigar of choice. With that said, the second paragraph is spot on in its description of the cigar, with the […]

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