Today we take a look at the Toro size of the Gaaja Maduro Toro by Bombay Tobak. Bombay Tobak is the company founded by Mel Shah. It is the company behind the MBombay line of cigars. In 2016, Shah brought an all-new brand into his portfolio known as Gaaja. Gaaja was a project that Shah had been working on for three years. While Gaaja would become Bombay Tobak’s first box-pressed offering, it also is a line that incorporates tobacco in its blends from Paraguay – a country not known for being used in premium cigar blends. Gaaja first made its debut in a natural (Ecuadorian) wrapper, but at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, Shah showcased a maduro counterpart for Gaaja. Earlier this year, the Gaaja Maduro offering was put into widespread distribution. Gaaja has been a solid performer on Cigar Coop, and today we break down the Gaaja Maduro Toro in more detail.
First, here is some background we’ve covered on other Gaaja reviews describing the meaning of Gaaja and how it fits into this project.
Gaaja (pronounced : Gaa-ya) is a name that traces back to the Sanskrit name “Gaja” (pronounced guy) which means elephant. As mentioned Gaaja was a project that was worked on for three years and the connection with the name elephant represents the slower and patient pace by which Shah brought this brand to market.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Gaaja Maduro Torpedo and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Gaaja Maduro is a five-country multi-national blend. The wrapper used is a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. According to Shah, this wrapper has played a very important factor in the flavor, complexity and the body to the cigar. While the Gaaja Maduro uses the same binder and filler as the original Gaaja, the proportions were adjusted to accommodate the new wrapper.
The Paraguayan tobacco is a part of the filler, which also includes Ecuadorian, Dominican, and Peruvian tobaccos. Peruvian tobacco is a tobacco that is a common denominator across the entire Bombay Tobak portfolio for both MBombay and Gaaja.
Wrapper : Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder : Ecuador HVA Seca Mejorada
– Seco: Peru Hybrid Habano
– Viso: Ecuador Criollo ’98, Paraguay Hybrid Habano 2000, Dominican Criollo ’98.
– Ligero: Dominican HVA Mejorado
Country of Origin: Costa Rica (Tabacos de Costa Rica SA)
The Gaaja Maduro is available in two box-pressed sizes. Each size is available in ten-count cedar boxes.
Toro: 6 x 54
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 54
The Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper of the Gaaja Maduro Toro has a medium roast coffee bean color. Depending on how the light shines on it, it may exhibit a colorado red tint. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling could be seen on the surface. There is also a coating of oil on the surface. This was a smooth wrapper that was mostly void of veins and only had some very thin visible wrapper seams. I found this box press to be on the firm side.
The band on the Gaaja Maduro is the same that is found on the Gaaja Natural. This band was designed by Shah’s wife (who designed the other MBombay bands). The Gaaja band is a departure from the Indian mosaic-style band found on the MBombay lines. The band features colors to represent the four elements: Red (Fire), Gold (Earth), Green/Blue (Water), Dark Blue Swirls (Wind). The left and right side of the band is gold with blue trim. On the left side of the band is the text “Bombay Tobak” in red cursive font. The right side has the text GAAJA: in red print.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Gaaja Maduro Toro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of mocha (a combination of chocolate and coffee components) and citrus. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Gaaja Maduro Toro and begin the smoking experience.
The Gaaja Maduro Toro started out with notes of chocolate malt. In addition, there were several secondary notes of cedar, citrus, herbal spice, and white pepper. Even though it was.a secondary note, I did notice the Toro had more in the way of citrus on the tongue. Meanwhile, the retro-hale delivered a mix of cocoa and mixed pepper.
Later in the first third, the chocolate malt notes still delivered the primary flavors. Of the background flavors, the cedar and citrus were the next most prominent. These two notes alternated in intensity. There were still herbal and pepper notes in the more distant background. This flavor profile continued well into the second third of the cigar.
Toward the latter part of the second third, there were some notes of coffee I found mixed in with the chocolate malt. By this point, I noticed an increase in both the cedar and pepper notes. By the last third, these notes took over as the primary flavors. The chocolate malt, coffee, herbal and citrus notes moved into the background and all still were contributing. This is the way the cigar experience of the Gaaja Maduro Toro finished up. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Gaaja Maduro Toro had a slightly jagged burn line. While the cigar maintained a straight burn path, there were a few points where the burn path seemed to want to meander. These were remedied by some touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. I didn’t find this to be the firmest ash, but it wasn’t loose or flaky either. Meanwhile, the Gaaja Maduro Toro maintained an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw to the Gaaja Maduro Toro was on the open side. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from. This was also a cigar that produced a nice amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Gaaja Maduro Toro started out as a solid medium. As the cigar experience progressed, I found both attributes to increase in a linear and gradual manner. By the second half, the Gaaja Maduro Toro was in medium to full territory for both strength and body. Throughout the smoking experience, I found both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Overall the Gaaja Maduro Toro is quite an enjoyable smoke. It delivers excellent flavor from start to finish. The chocolate malt note is one that I particularly liked. This is a cigar that is best smoked undistracted as you will pick up the nuances of the blend. In terms of the Paraguayan tobacco, you will pick it up through the herbal notes. While I found these notes more prominent on the Gaaja Natural, I still like the way they contributed to the flavor profile of the Gaaja Maduro.
Overall, this is a cigar I would easily recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast. It’s also a cigar I would not hesitate recommending to a novice looking to “graduate” to something in the “medium plus” range. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d easily smoke again and one worthy of a box purchase.
Key Flavors: Chocolate Malt, Cedar, Citrus, White Pepper, Coffee, and Herbal Notes
Complexity: Medium to High
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Bombay Tobak Releases Gaaja Torpedo and Gaaja Maduro
Source: Bombay Tobak
Brand Reference: Bombay Tobak