Note: The Cigar of the Year Countdown will not publish on Thursday January 18th, 2018. We will announce our winner for the Prime Time Award for Person of the Year. The countdown resumes on Friday January 19th with the unveiling of the #1 and #2 Cigars for 2017.
“When Shah released Gaaja Natural last year, he knocked it out of the ballpark. Now with the Gaaja Maduro, Shah hits another home run… The end result is (he) created another stellar cigar and a great complement to the original Gaaja. Flavor-wise, this is one of the finest Brazilian Mata Fina box-pressed cigars I have smoked.”
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)
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 54 (Box Pressed)
Review: Gaaja Maduro Torpedo by Bombay Tobak (3/14/17)
Brand Appearances on Countdown: 2 (2015, 2016, 2017)
Coming in at #3 is the Gaaja Maduro Torpedo. In 2016, Bombay Tobak launched a new brand called the Gaaja. It’s the maduro counterpart to the Gaaja Natural – which captured the #5 Cigar of the Year in 2016.
Gaaja (pronounced Gaa-ya) is a name that traces back to the Sanskrit name “Gaja” (pronounced guy) which means elephant. 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. Gaaja was Bombay Tobak’s first box-pressed offering, but what was more interesting was the incorporation of tobacco from Paraguay into the filler – something not often seen in premium hand-made cigars.
The Gaaja Maduro replaces the Hybrid Ecuadorian wrapper found on the original Gaaja Natural with a Brazilian Mata Fina one. The remainder of the Gaaja Maduro uses similar components to the Gaaja Natural, but some of the proportions were adjusted to accommodate the new wrapper. This includes an Ecuadorian HVA binder, and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, and even tobaccos from Paraguay. The box-pressed Gaaja Maduro Torpedo measures 6 1/2 x 52. The cigar is produced in Costa Rica at the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory.
The Gaaja Maduro Torpedo lands Bombay Tobak on the Cigar Coop Countdown for the third consecutive year. While this is the first entry on the 2017 Countdown for the nation of Costa Rica, it also becomes the highest placed cigar in the history of the Countdown from that country. For those also keeping score, Gaaja Maduro is the eleventh maduro on the 2017 Countdown and the fifth box-pressed cigar. It is also only the third figurado to make this year’s Countdown,
Flavor-wise, the Gaaja Maduro Torpedo delivers notes of mocha, cedar, white pepper, citrus, and herbal spice. Along the way, there are plenty of flavor transitions. This is a cigar that starts out medium in strength and body before both attributes progress to medium to full in the second half.
The Gaaja Maduro Torpedo is a unique and enjoyable cigar. It’s one of the best of the best from the pool of cigars eligible for the Countdown – and worthy of a top three spot on the Countdown.
For details of the 2017 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2017 criteria.
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop