Cigar Review: Gaaja by Bombay Tobak

Cigar Review: Gaaja by Bombay Tobak

Bombay Tobak
Country: Costa Rica
Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut Desflorado – Variety Hybrid Mejorado 2004)
Binder: Ecuador (HVA Seca Mejorada)
Filler: Peru (Hybrid Habano), Ecuador (Criollo 98), Paraguay (Hybrid Habano 2000) & Dominican Republic (Criollo 98 k HVA Mejorado)
Size: 6” x 54
Strength: mild-medium to medium
Price: $15.00

Overall Rating: 9.0

After much success (and two Top Ten Cigars on this site) with the MBombay brand, Mel Shah’s Bombay Tobak has expanded. The Gaaja, is a mild-medium bodied cigar, that makes use of some very fare tobaccos, including Paraguayan tobacco which is not used particularly often in premium cigars. Like previous Bombay Tobak releases, the Gaaja is complex cigar with a wonderful  balance between the flavors. While the Gaaja takes its name from the Sanskrit word for elephant, but there is nothing bulky or ponderous about the cigar.


Pre-Light: The first box-pressed cigar from Bombay Tobak has a nice caramel colored  Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. There just is just the slightest oil to the dry to the touch wrapper. As with the MBombay band, the band on the Gaaja was designed by Shah’s wife, and fits the brand’s theme perfectly.


Aromas of wood and hay come from the Connecticut Desflorado wrapper of the Gaaja. From the unlit foot there are scents of wood and herbs, with an overall sweetness. The cold draw allows through and interesting mix herbs, wood and natural tobacco notes.


Burn: The draw on the Bombay Tobak Gaaja has a perfect draw, and it allows a good deal of smoke. The cigar is even burning throughout, and holds a very nice white ash quite well.


Flavor: The Gaaja starts with a sweet mix of wood, natural tobacco and floral notes. About an into an inch into the Gaaja there is an extremely mild spice and white, that blends perfectly with the existing flavors of the first third. On the retrohale there is a mix of wood and herbal notes. There’s a nice creaminess to the smoke that makes the flavor profile even more interesting. As the cigar begins its transition to the second third there is the more generic wood becomes cedar like in aspect, while there is also a pleasing herbal spice. A balance of cedar, herbal spice, caramel, natural tobacco, mild white pepper and slight floral notes during the second third of the Gaaja from Bombay Tobak. Cedar and spice become the primary flavors during the transition to the final third of the cigar. The herbal spice, while coming to the foreground, never overpowers the lesser wood, caramel and natural tobacco note that remain throughout the final third of the cigar. In the last inch of the cigar, there is just a small amount of graham cracker that joins the rest of the cigar’s flavor.


Overall: Any company that has had a cigar in our Top Tens Cigars of 2014 and 2015 is one certainly worth keeping an eye on, so when Mel Shah sent along their newest cigar I was very excited to try it. Like his previous releases, the Gaaja is a complex cigar with a balance amongst the flavors. The quality, look and construction of the cigar are all top notch. Tending towards the milder side of medium, the Gaaja is a cigar that will be expectable to both mild cigar smokers and those who enjoy a more solidly medium bodied smoke. Those wanting something with a bit more strength will likely have to wait for the maduro (which I hear is coming). One thing that stands out is that although it’s of the same quality of Bombay’s MBombay line, the cigar is definitely different and worthy of a brand all its own. Although we don’t take price into consideration in our Overall Ratings, it must be said that with a $15 price tag the Gaaja is a tad on the pricy side. Personally, I found the Gaaja to be an excellent first cigar of the day, but the blends in the MBombay line are more to my liking. All in all, the Gaaja is a good cigar that is a must try for those who have liked the MBombay line.


Pairing: I suggest trying the Gaaja with sparkling water the first time you smoke it to allow for the best experience of the complexity, nuance and balance the flavor profile has to offer. If you do want to pair the Gaaja with a beverage, it will pair well with a wide variety from coffee and wine to rum and scotch.


Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210

Cigars for this review were provided by Mel Shah of Bombay Tobak. No request for review was made. MBombay is an advertiser with Although the support and generosity is greatly appreciated, it does not effect the Overall Rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot LLC we remain committed to providing impartial cigar and product reviews.