In July 2016, Bombay Tobak launched the original MBombay Gaaja, a cigar made up of in a single 6 x 54 box-pressed toro size whose name is taken from the the Indian word Gaja, which refers to the elephant that is ubiquitous in Hindu culture. The blend—which took four years to develop—was meant to to offer an abundance of flavor and well-integrated strength and includes tobacco from fiver different countries.
Earlier this year, the company announced the addition of a maduro-wrapped version of the Gaaja that would be available in the original size, as well as a 6 1/2 x 54 box-pressed torpedo. Appropriately named the Gaaja Maduro, the new blend keeps the same Ecuadorian HVA mejorado seco binder and filler composed of Dominican HVA mejorado ligero, Dominican criollo 98 viso, Ecuadorian criollo 98 viso, Peruvian hybrid habano and Paraguayan hybrid habano 2000 viso. The change is a Brazilian mata fina wrapper replaces the original Ecuadorian hybrid version.
In addition, Mel Shah, owner of Bombay Tobak, confirmed that the proportions of tobacco in the each of the new cigars have been adjusted slightly to make them taste more “complete.”
The MBombay Gaaja Maduro line is made up of two vitolas so far:
- MBombay Gaaja Maduro Torpedo (6 1/2 x 54) —$15.50 (Boxes of 10, $155)
- MBombay Gaaja Maduro Toro (6 x 54) —$15.50 (Boxes of 10, $155)
As with the rest of MBombay cigars, they are rolled at Tabacos de Costa Rica in Costa Rica. The three vitolas shipped to retailers on Feb. 13.
- Cigar Reviewed: MBombay Gaaja Maduro Torpedo
- 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 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Torpedo
- MSRP: $15.50 (Boxes of 10, $155)
- Release Date: Feb. 13, 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The MBombay Gaaja Torpedo Maduro is covered in an gorgeous espresso brown wrapper that is silky smooth to the touch, but devoid of both oil and any noticeable viens. The cigar features both a torpedo cap and a fairly extreme box-press and is quite firm when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of creamy oak, bitter cocoa nibs, black pepper, manure and dark fruit sweetness, while the cold draw brings flavors of the same creamy oak, leather, gritty earth, sawdust and the same dark fruit sweetness from the cold draw.
Starting out the first third, the Gaaja Maduro Torpedo features a very obvious and dominant creamy oak note carried over from both the aroma and cold draw, interspersed with lesser flavors of cinnamon, peanut shells, hay, fresh brewed coffee, cocoa nibs and leather. A wonderful cotton candy sweetness is noticeable on the retrohale, while there is a small but obvious black pepper on the finish that seems to be getting stronger as the first third burns down. The draw is fantastic after a simple dickman cut, the burn is razor sharp and the smoke production is both copious and dense. Strength-wise, the MBombay Gaaja Torpedo Maduro starts off fairly mild, but ends up quite close to the medium mark by the time the first time comes to an end.
The cotton candy sweetness that was such a major part of the profile in the first third becomes a bit less distinct in the second third of the MBombay Gaaja Maduro Torpedo, becoming less of a dominant flavor and more of a complimentary note that combines nicely with the still strong creamy oak note that is coming right behind. In addition, there are other flavors of cocoa nibs, black pepper, coffee beans, hay and gritty earth that flit in and out, as well as a slight floral note on finish that is quite noticeable and bumps up the overall complexity a bit. Construction-wise, the draw continues to impress, and while I have to correct the burn once just after the halfway point, it not in any danger of getting out of control at this point. The overall streghth easily hits the medium mark by the end of the second third, but seems to be content to stay at that level, at least for now.
Despite the fact that it is never a major part of the profile, the floral note on the finish continues to pop up now and again, increasing the complexity of the Gaaja Maduro when it is present. However, for the most part, the dominant flavors continue to be a very distinct creamy oak combined with hay and dark chocolate. Other notes of fresh coffee grounds, earth, barnyard, dried tea leaves, black pepper and a touch of cinnamon are obvious at different points, while the cotton candy sweetness from the first two thirds has increased a bit compared to the second third. The burn has evened up nicely and the draw continues to impress, and although the strength does increase slightly compared to the second third, it barely makes it past the medium mark before settling down for good, and I put the nub down with less than an inch to go.
- The name of the Gaaja line is pronounced GUY-yuh.
- I really love the logo on the bands: it is distinctive and original without going overboard, and I imagine it really stands out on the shelf.
- Speaking of the bands, this is the first time in recent memory I have had a problem with too little glue, as the bands seemed to come undone with seemingly no provocation at all. In fact, I had to tape the band back on the cigar for the sample I photographed for the review.
- The construction overall was excellent, and the smoke production was well above average for all three samples.
- Although I took it slow on each of the cigars, the final smoking time for all three samples still averaged a relatively quick one hour and 32 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Bombay Tobak.
- Site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars is a Bombay Tobak retailer, but has not yet listed the Gaaja Maduro for sale.
Since its debut in 2014, I have felt that Bombay Tobak has been one of those brands that have continued to fly under the radar for most of the cigar smoking public. I have found the vast majority of the brand’s releases to be not only well-blended and well-constructed, but most importantly to me, continuously interesting. The Gaaja Maduro continues that trend in earnest, with a wonderful and distinct cotton candy sweetness on the retrohale and a intermittent floral note that that really sets off the rest of the flavors in the profile. Construction was quite good overall, and the strength was well-integrated, working with the blend instead of against it. While the price of the Gaaja Maduro might turn off some people, it is well worth a try if you are in the market for a full-flavored, medium-bodied blend.