The MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka is a new line extension to MBombay Cigars’ KeSara line. KeSara is one of MBombay’s regular production line. The cigar was introduced in 2013 with additional line extensions added in 2014. The KeSara features a blend of Ecuadorian, Dominican, and Peruvian tobaccos. The KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka builds upon the experience of the original KeSara by incorporating tobaccos aged an additional three years. The end goal of the Vintage Reserve Nikka is to deliver a richer cigar experience. Recently I have had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall, I have found this cigar to live up to its expectations and provides an offering that continues to enhance the MBombay portfolio.
MBombay Cigars was founded by Mel Shah. Shah got his start in the cigar business as a retailer in Palm Springs, California. After spending over a decade on the retail side, Shah moved over to the brand development side. Shah had a vision for how in terms of how he wanted to ferment tobaccos and roll his cigars. The challenge was to find a factory to carry out his vision. This led him to Costa Rica and the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory, who would become his manufacturing partner for his brands.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned the KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka uses the same blend components as the original KeSara. It features the same Ecuadorian Connecticut Deas Florado wrapper hat has been aged in Sandalwood / Spanish cedar coffins for nine months. The difference is that the Nikka incorporates a special blend of tobaccos aged three years longer.
As with all current MBombay blends, the blend incorporates a Peruvian tobacco component into the blend.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Deas Florado 2002
Binder: Ecuadorian Havana
Filler: Dominican and Peruvian (Aged an Additional three years)
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
The MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka is offered in one size – a 6 1/2 x 46 vitola.
The Nikka is offered in MBombay’s can packaging. This was something introduced into several of MBombay’s lines earlier this year.
Like the rest of the KeSara line, the Vintage Reserve Nikka’s Ecuadorian Deas Florado wrapper has almost a butterscotch color to it. I didn’t find much in the way of oil on the surface of this wrapper. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible seams. There is a short pig-tail on the cap and the footer is covered.
The band features a rose, red, and gold Indian-inspired mosaic design. There is red and gold trim across the top and bottom of the band. Prominently displayed on the band is the text “MBOMBAY” in large red font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the pig-tail of the MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka, I opted to go with a straight cut. This is par for the course with me when it comes to pig-tailed caps. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of cedar, wood, and cream. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Nikka and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
Overall I found the KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka to be in the wheelhouse of the KeSara line. While there are similar notes across the vitolas of the KeSara line, I find each of the vitolas have a unique story to tell. The Nikka is no exception.
The Nikka started out where the pre-light draw left off with notes of cream, cedar, and classic wood. In addition, there was a slight citrus component that surfaced early on. The cream and cedar notes became primary early on while the wood and citrus notes became secondary. Meanwhile the retro-hale produced a classic cedar sweet-spice note.
As the Nikka moved through the first third, I found the cedar notes remained in the forefront. During the smoking experience, notes of natural tobacco and mixed fruit also surfaced in the forefront. Meanwhile the classic wood and citrus notes had pretty much dissipated. I found the cream notes floated back and forth between the background and forefront. This flavor profile continued into the second third.
By the last third, I found the cedar spices of the Nikka really surfaced – becoming the dominant note. The background still delivered both some natural tobacco and mixed fruit notes. Meanwhile the cream still floated between the forefront and background. This is the way the cigar experience of the Nikka came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Construction-wise, I found the KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka to be excellent – and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The burn path took a straight track from start to finish. There was a slight jaggedness on the burn line itself, but this cigar was never in danger of getting uneven and only required an occasional touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firm side. In addition, the ash had a nice silver gray color to it. The combustion to the Nikka was outstanding as this cigar had an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
On the three samples I smoked, there was a touch of resistance on the draw – something that I like on a cigar. This made the Nikka an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
Strength-wise, I actually found the KeSara Vintage Reserva Nikka to be slightly dialed back than some of the other vitolas under the KeSara line. I assessed the Nikka as mild to medium strength from start to finish. As for the flavors, I did get more in the way of richness to them. This resulted in some additional body. I assessed this cigar as starting out mild to medium-bodied, but by the second third, it had progressed to medium-bodied.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge from start to finish.
As I mentioned up-front, one thing is that each of the sizes of the KeSara line delivers its own experience. With the Vintage Reserve Nikka, I found this cigar lived up to exactly as advertised. It took all the cedar and cream qualities that are a foundation to the KeSara line and did deliver that additional richness. Overall this was an excellent addition to the MBombay portfolio, and I’m curious to see what the additional aged tobacco will do in some other sizes with this blend. This is a cigar I could recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I look forward to smoking again – and it’s certainly box (can) worthy.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka to be Released in December
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer *
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
* MBombay Cigars is a sponsor of Cigar Coop / Stogie Geeks