Do Gurkha Cigars Come From Nepal?
Since the Gurkhas (sometimes referred to as the Gorkhas) are an indigenous people from the Himalayan area we call Nepal; one would think that Gurkha Cigars are some sort of rough and ready cigar like tobacco product produced in tribal villages within Nepal for the locals to smoke.
Nepal lies to the north of India and India is a tobacco growing country so it is hardly surprising that tobacco smoking is popular in Nepal; but, whatever it is that the Gurkha people smoke; it has nothing to do with the production and marketing of Gurkha Cigars – one of which (the His Majesty’s Reserve) is, reportedly the world’s most expensive cigar; at $15,000 per box of 20; these would certainly be beyond the purchasing power of virtually all Gurkhas.
Gurkhas are better known for their fighting prowess and regiments of the British and other armies have been formed from recruitment amongst the Gurkha clans in Nepal. No doubt many of these soldiers smoked; but almost certainly, they never tasted any Gurkha Cigars.
Kaizad Hansotia And The Gurkha Cigar Company
Although Kaizad Hansotia was born in India; he had no birth connection with Nepal and the Gurkhas; but, he was a successful entrepreneur who, while on vacation in Goa, India came across a local cigar that took his fancy. This was in 1989 and, at that time Kaizad’s family ran a business that manufactured custom made, luxury timepieces. Kaizad decided to buy up all the cigars he found in Goa and take them back to use as gifts to customers of his family’s business. One of the recipients of the gifts ran a duty-free shop and was so impressed with it that he enquired of Kaizad if more could be purchased. Seeing the business opportunity Kaizad contacted Charlie Toraño (the president of both Toraño Cigars and Central America Tobacco) to see if the Goan cigars could be duplicated.
The answer was that they could and, wanting something different and eye catching; Kaizad set up the Gurkha Cigar Company to market the new products; which were aimed at the high end of the cigar market; using only the best tobaccos and hand rolling techniques. Not satisfied with only an unusual name for the company; the Gurkha Cigar Company went on to produce some 50 different styles and flavors of cigar – each with a brand name that broke away from the staid traditions of the cigar industry (names like Assassin, Ninja Knife; or, Evil). This marketing ploy worked and the cigars are now smoked by many amongst the world’s rich and famous – including president Clinton.