When MBombay announced it was adding a maduro version of its Gaaja line, the plan was for it to come in two vitolas.

However, earlier this year when the company began shipping the new line, it shipped only one size: a 6 1/2 x 54 box-pressed Torpedo. As I found out a few months later, the Gaaja Maduro Toro (6 x 54) was delayed until the summer.

Summer is over, but the Toro is now shipping. It uses the same internal blend as the regular Gaaja line, an Ecuadorian HVA mejorado seco binder over five fillers: Dominican HVA mejorado ligero, Dominican criollo 98 viso, Ecuadorian criollo 98 viso, Peruvian hybrid habano and Paraguayan hybrid habano 2000 viso.

The change comes in the wrapper, where a Brazilian mata fina leaf replaces the Ecuadorian hybrid from the original line.

  • Cigar Reviewed: MBombay Gaaja Maduro Toro
  • Country of Origin: Costa Rica
  • Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Binder: Ecuadorian HVA Mejorado Seco
  • Filler: Dominican Criollo 98 Viso, Dominican HVA Mejorado Ligero, Ecuadorian Criollo 98 Viso, Paraguayan Hybrid Habano 2000 Viso & Peruvian Hybrid Habano
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $15.50 (Boxes of 10, $155)
  • Release Date: August 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

It’s a familiar look if you’ve had any experience with the Gaaja Maduro Torpedo. The dark wrapper has some reddish hues and a soft box-press. Aroma off the wrapper is quite strong with sweet chocolate, coffee beans and a touch of leather. The foot is creamier with some milk stout characteristics, Hershey’s chocolate, and faint touches of cedar, all of that similarly around the medium-full flavor. The cold draw has coffee ice cream, some burnt steak, and a floral flavor that emerges a few seconds after I’ve stopped sucking air out of the cigar.

The Gaaja Maduro Toro begins with a surprising amount of floral flavors, some cedar, a bit of toastiness, barbecue sunflower seeds, and faint notes of black pepper. It’s somewhere in between medium plus to medium-full depending on the sample, but all three quickly pick up to full. There’s a plethora of flavors with a creamy key lime pie and Ritz cracker combination upfront ahead of some damp leaves and black pepper on the back of the throat. Right as the middle portions of the cigar near, there’s some cinnamon that builds on the tongue. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is between medium plus and medium-full, again, depending on the sample. Construction is good, although the draws are a bit different cigar to cigar.

There’s apple and cinnamon for the first half of the second third, a pumpkin note away from a seasonal Starbucks’ ad. Pizza dough takes over at the midway point with an earthiness underneath, some salt and a black pepper flavor relegated to the finish. Interestingly, if I push the cigar in terms of the quickness of puffs, a sweet chocolate flavor overtakes the profile, though it remains as smooth as when I take my time, with the black pepper flavor simply relegated to the finish. One sample needs a touch-up, but construction is otherwise fine across the board. I think the Gaaja actually reduces down from overall full to medium-full, particularly in regards to flavor intensity.

Bread continues to be the dominant force of the Gaaja Maduro as the cigar comes to a close, but it’s now more like a fresh French baguette. Behind that is some Ritz Cracker, a hop-like soapiness and at times, an artificial lemon lime soda flavor. Flavor teeters between medium-full and full, though the strength is now solidly medium-full and the body is full. Construction remains fine as the cigar burns down to a pleasant conclusion.

Final Notes

  • Gaaja has based on the word Gaja, which refers to the elephant that is so popular in Hindu culture.
  • I really like this band. MBombay has always done a good job with its intricate bands. This is admittedly a bit simpler, but I really like the design.
  • Thankfully these come in boxes of 10. For whatever reason, the $155—before discount—box price seems a lot more palatable than $15.50 per cigar, even though the math obviously makes it the same.
  • I am pretty sure this is the first time I’ve reviewed a cigar with tobacco from Paraguay. Well, more specifically, the first time that it has been disclosed.
  • Strength is medium plus for a bit over half the cigar, but closes at medium-full.
  • Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by MBombay.
  • Final smoking time is two hours on average.
90 Overall Score

One sample was good, not great, and that’s the most obvious difference between Brooks Whittington’s review of the Torpedo and this review of the Toro. I haven’t smoked the Torpedo, though after looking over his review and its tasting notes, it wouldn't appear that these two cigars are related, other than their name, the band and how the cigars scored. This is far and away the best MBombay cigar I’ve smoked to date and one that I think will improve a bit with just a month or two of rest.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.