MBombay Classic by MBombay Tobak
The MBombay Classic cigar was created by Mel Shah, the owner of Fame Wine and Cigars in Palm Springs, California in May of 2014. Mr. Shah has been on the retail side of the cigar industry for the past decade and a half after retiring from the IT industry in 2001. He had decided to include the cigar manufacturing aspect of the cigar industry into his growing portfolio.
To make this happen, he worked with the contacts he made over the years in Ecuador and Nicaragua. He began searching for cigar factories that would allow him to create his cigars the way he wanted in terms of rolling and fermentation. He finally discovered what he was looking for in the Vegas de Santiago factory in the province of San Jose, Costa Rica.
“I was given more freedom in using the tobaccos that we purchased three years ago. The factory has an outstanding record in making cigars like Atabe, Byran, and few other highly rated and popular names in European market.” – Mel Shah
The MBombay Classic (5.5 x 43 vitola) employs a 5 country blend incorporating an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper from the 2001 harvest. The binder is from the Dominican Republic while the filler tobaccos are from Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. The binder and fillers are aged tobaccos from 2006 and 2007.
“The wrapper tobacco used for our classic line is Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade from 2001, binders and fillers are well aged from 2006 and 2007. After the cigars are rolled by only four to five rollers in the factory, the cigars are kept in the ‘caparate’ for more than 6 to 7 months before we start to import to the United States.” – Mel Shah
The MBombay Classic will come in 5 vitolas:
Robusto (4 1/2 x 48)
Corona (5.5 x 43)
Belicoso (5 x 52)
Perfecto (6 x 50)
Churchill (7 x 48)
Nevertheless, there are only 4-5 torcedores (cigar rollers) in the factory and there are 1,000 boxes manufactured per month. Pricing is between $8.50 to $11.50 per stick. They are sold by available retailers in intricate 20-count boxes and are only being distributed to 200-250 retailers. The price for this reviewed Corona is $8.95.
“Cigar, for us, is a way of life. The philosophy is simple; use of the best quality of tobaccos and make a best quality cigar.” – MBombay Tobak
The MBombay cigar is a beautiful stick with an interesting foot. The wrapper leaf extended out from the fillers in such a manner that it was folded and smashed back into the foot making it a closed foot. The wrapper has a light brown tint to it. Like a peanut color. There is some oiliness on the wrapper, but not a lot. The aromas coming from this beautiful wrapper leaf are light tobacco, white chocolate, and oak. The wrapper is silky smooth all the way around from the foot to the cap. There are no visible veins to be found and the seams are tight. This is a soft stick as I gently squeeze it between my fingers. There are some softer spots on this cigar, but it’s a nicely packed stick.
Time to cut the cap in preparation for the cold draw test. The cut went very well with extremely little loose tobacco falling. The dry draw is bringing light flavors of tobacco, oak, and earth. Also, since the opening of the cap, I am now able to smell the filler tobaccos which bring great scents of oak, tobacco, and some chocolate. The band on the MBombay is a very intricately designed band with some artwork of a lion on its hind legs on one side and a peacock on the other among other exquisite art. The word “MBOMBAY” is inscribed on the bottom of the band in dark gold lettering with a red background. I read in an interview with Mel Shah that he says his wife designed the band herself. She possesses some very creative skills as well. Let’s light ‘er up!
Upon toasting and lighting this cigar I’m getting flavors of nuts and earth to start. This is a mild-bodied cigar at the beginning. About an inch in, it has a spot-on even burn line with a nice gray ash. As it burns closer to the next phase, there is an oak flavor presenting itself to the profile. The first third had a burn time of 20 minutes. The ash fell just at the end of the initial start of the smoke. The burn line is perfectly even.
The beginning of the 2nd portion of the smoke is bringing some coffee and a hint of chocolate malt. The earthiness is starting to linger in the background. The second ash has a white-on-gray color to it in the middle part of the smoke. It hasn’t moved from the mild-bodied position it started out as. The nutty flavor is leading the profile with oak coming in second. The coffee and chocolate malt are next with the earth lagging behind. The smoke coming off the foot is of sweet tobacco and oak. The retro-hale is of oak, earth, and nuts. The ash is still hanging on at the end of the middle sector of the cigar. It’s a nice white-on-gray hue. The burn line is still perfectly round. The burn time for this section is 25 minutes.
The final third is starting with the same profile as the last part of the mid-section: nuts, oak, coffee, chocolate malt, and earth. The second ash finally fell about midway through this final part of the stick. The burn line is still not giving up its perfectly even burn. The cigar is beginning to move into full-flavored mode just past the middle part of this final third. The coffee has become the second runner-up to the nutty flavor with the oak moving back with the chocolate malt. The earthiness is still in the game. The burn line is starting to become a little jagged, but still mostly even. Closing in on the final draws, the flavor profile is nuts, coffee, oak, chocolate malt, and a little earth. The burn line remained even till I put it down. It burned down to my fingers. The burn time was another 20 minutes for the final third of this cigar.
This was a fantastic mild-bodied smoke with lots of good flavors of nuts, oak, coffee, chocolate malt, and earth coming out of it. It moved to full-flavor towards the final parts of the stick. The 65 minute burn time was very much enjoyable. This would be a great morning smoke to start any day. If you haven’t yet experienced this little piece of goodness, you should definitely give it a try. I’d recommend a box purchase of this cigar from your nearest available retailer. Till next time, my friends.