K. Hansotia “Signature 101” Robusto

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Information about this line from Kaizad Hansotia is sparse and conflicting. Cigars International says it has a Costa Rican wrapper surrounding a blend of Honduran, Dominican and Jamaican filler. The Ghurka site says its a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, a Costa Rican binder, and Dominican filler. I guess I'll go with the manufacturer, because this wrapper neither looks nor tastes like the Costa Rican maduros I've sampled.

Hansotia is the maker of the Ghurka line of cigars. He bought the Ghurka brand name for 143 dollars in the late 80's from an obviously struggling company in Goa, India. The brand fought its way to the top through the boom years and today claims many fans who are willing to pay top dollar for Hansotia's boutique stogies.

The band says "A Century of Tradition" but it's not a century of cigar making. He comes from a tradition of watch making, which is perhaps why all the Hansotia cigars are packaged so elegantly. The boxes of some of the Gurkhas are works of art all on their own. Even the low to moderately priced cigars have very nicely designed bands that make the cigars appear far more dear than they are.

It isn't clear exactly who makes the Signature 101, but Toraño is a likely suspect. The blend is reportedly Hansotia's personal favorite, hence the "signature" moniker. But this is one of those mysterious cigars that refuses to be categorized, no matter how I try. Even the size is an enigma: at 6 x 50 it's a toro, but it calls itself a robusto. Trust in nothing but your own senses here. The truth is in the smokin'.

Prelight it smells like a well-tended old boot. It starts out with some harshness that lessens and evens out after an inch or so. This is a dry tasting maduro, lip smackingly tart. The wrapper burns unevenly and requires a touch up now and again. The draw is excellent with plenty of spicy smoke. The primary flavors are earth and char; a good smoke to clear a room with. I'd read this was a medium bodied stick, but once again the information is wrong– this is a full bodied cigar, akin to the Romeo y Julieta Reserve Maduro without the funkiness. The ash is flaky, and aside from the uneven burn the construction is good.

All in all, it's a good cigar. Not my favorite flavor profile, but a quality cigar nevertheless.

 

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7 thoughts on “K. Hansotia “Signature 101” Robusto

  1. Update: After a couple of months in the humidor these have evened out. Much improved burn. The flavor remains the same, though the tartness I found on first review has diminished somewhat, and the weight of the smoke has fallen to a solid medium. Just a couple months in the box have made a big difference with these cigars.

  2. I purchased some of these from CI recently and have to agree that early on I had some uneven burn with these but after several months in the humidor I enjoyed one the other day and it was perfectly smooth burning. I’m becomming a big fan of the Gurkha line, particularly the ancient warrior and the regent. I did notice recently that some of the K Hansotia cigars are now wearing Gurkha labels in addition to the K Hansotia bands.

  3. Interesting. I haven’t seen the double banded cigars, but Hansotia is the King of Packaging so it doesn’t surprise me. He also makes a damn fine smoke. I’m planning on a review of the Master Select perfecto in the near future.

    Thanks for stopping by, James.

  4. I’m also new to internet blogs, so can just anyone leave a comment? If so, I was wondering if anyone had tried a Sig 101 that wasn’t from CI. I just had one, and then found this site looking for information about this cigar. I was glad to see someone else with the same opinion. This cigar didn’t seem to live up to Kaizad’s “Signature” blend. I’ve tried about 10 different cigars from Gurkha, all outstanding, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I’m not accusing CI of selling a counterfeit, I just was curious if mavbe they got a bad batch or something. If someone had tried one from somewhere else, I won’t bother buying anymore.

  5. CI has caused a little confusion recently by adding a Gurkha band to the K. Hansotia band on the Sig 101 and Symphony cigars. CI claims the blend is exactly the same, and I have no reason to doubt them. On the other hand, I haven’t smoked one of the new ones.

    I’m not a huge fan of this blend to begin with, so I don’t think I’ll be testing any of the new ones. I think I’ll be sticking with the Master’s Select for now.

    Thanks for the comment, newtocigars. Feel free to chime in any time.

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