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Cigar.com: While many cigar makers have a narrow portfolio, your philosophy is quite different. You have tons of trademarks and market some pretty special items. Can you explain your philosophy to our readers?
Kaizad Hansotia: Most cigar companies have a narrow blend profile. When I started my business, I always made sure I had a variety of blends that would appeal to most aficionados who enjoy fine cigars. We have close to 18 different flavor profiles ranging from extra mellow to aggressive, heavy, full-bodied smokes. I believe there is a cigar for every single enthusiast out there. Why would you only want to create one or two cigar profiles when you can create a wide variety? There is a Gurkha cigar out there for everyone.
CC: What are the most unique tobaccos you’ve worked with?
KH: I used tobacco for a small batch of cigars we created eight years ago for a member of the Saudi Royal Family. He wanted the same husk and peaty flavor he would usually get when enjoying a hookah. The cigar was a blend of Indian and Colombian fillers. Boy, that was hard as hell to create, but we did it and he was ecstatic.
CC: You made the two most expensive cigars in the world; Black Dragon Edición Especial and His Majesty’s Reserve. What was production like on these lines in terms of volume and what made them so special?
KH: Black Dragon Edición Especial was a brain child of mine 10 years before production. The tobacco was spectacular and we only had enough to make five boxes, essentially, 500 cigars. We started the “super premium cigar price” category 20 years ago when an average cigar ranged anywhere from $2.95 to $3.95 —we came out with a cigar for $15.00 and people thought we were absolutely nuts. We sold out of all our production in every store that carried our product.
CC: Any plans on doing something even more high end in the near future?
KH: Yes, I’m currently working on a project called “Raja” which basically means “King of kings.”
CC: When you take time for yourself, what cigar do you enjoy?
KH: I really enjoy Gurkha Beauty and recently I’ve been enjoying Archive. I love the burn, wrapper and most of all, the draw. You don’t want to fight with a cigar.
CC: You must travel a great deal. How many days out of the year are you on the road and where do you end up?
KH: I’m usually traveling 2 to 3 weeks per month and most of my travels lead me to Asia. I truly enjoy Thailand and Hong Kong. Those are my two favorite places since the ambiance of both countries is so unique.
CC: Tell our readers what you do in your free time.
KH: I enjoy movies and designing knives but prefer to spend time with my 3 kids since I’m constantly traveling.
CC: I heard rumors you are a big gun buff and have quite a collection. What is your most prizes firearm and why?
KH: My most prized firearm is a Steyr Sniper Rifle. It’s completely customized and I could hit a flea’s ass at 500 yards.
CC: Well, I’ll be sure to pay your bills when they come due and if not, I’ll be sure to keep 500 yards away. It was great meeting with you, anything else you’d like to say before we go?
KH: I am proud to be here with Cigar.com. It is time to separate the men from the boys so go for the Gurkhas. Like the motto, we take no prisoners. They might be a little bit more expensive than your usual cigar, but are well worth every penny. Plus, you only live once, so enjoy life.
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