Cigar Details: Bombay Tobak Gaaja
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Desflorado Hybrid Mejorado 2004
- Binder: Ecuador HVA Seca Mejorada
- Filler: Peru Hybrid Habano, Ecuador Criollo ’98, Paraguay Hybrid Habano 2000, Dominican Criollo ’98 and Dominican HVA Mejorado
- Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
- Blender: Mel Shah
- Price: $15.50
- Release Date: June 2016
- Source: Bombay Tobak
The wrapper is a golden light brown. The veins carry a lighter color and almost give a turtle shell effect for the wrapper. The seams are slightly visible but very smooth. The cigar has a dramatic box press on one side and a more rounded press on the other side. The caps are applied very well. The band has a simple artwork, but the colors go very well together and with the wrapper. The aroma from the wrapper is a barnyard with a very mellow pepper. The foot gives a sweet tobacco aroma. The pre-light draw brings a slightly gritty leather.
The Gaaja Toro has a silky smooth Ecuadorian Connecticut Desflorado Hybrid Mejorado 2004 wrapper. The veins are so well pressed it’s almost like they don’t exist. Also, seams are relatively tight. The cigar is packed full of tobacco with just a hint of give. The head is finished off with a well applied double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives pungent sharp cedar and white pepper spice. Nosing the foot provides sharp cedar, white pepper, leather and sour stone fruits. Cold draw reveals sharp cedar, tongue tingly white pepper spice and sour stone fruits.
The cigar begins with a creamy and spicy cedar. A few draws in, a roasted nuttiness joins the mix. About half an inch in, the spiciness mellows out in the mouth, but a good dose remains on the retrohale. A little past an inch, the cedar transitions to a very creamy general woodiness. The nuttiness seems to go back and forth from a roasted type flavor to a toasted type flavor. At about an inch and a half, the nuttiness goes away all together. The general woodiness transforms back to a slightly spicy cedar with a light cream. The retrohale has dialed back the spiciness to a similar level of what is present in the mouth. As the third comes to a close, some leather comes in to mix with the slightly creamy and spicy cedar. The strength in this third was just below medium.
First thirds profile gives tongue tingling white pepper spice, airy bread, lightly charred oak, sugar cane sweetness, floral perfume and crushed rocks minerality. On the retrohale, nose stinging white pepper, followed by dry roasted nuts and sharp cedar. The finish consists of lingering lightly toasted oak, charred bitterness and white pepper spice on the rear palate. About 1.5 inches in, an intermittent sour stone fruit (perhaps cherries) enters the profile. Also, the sugar cane sweetness and floral perfume intensifies, but there is a charred bitterness overshadowing those notes. Both body and strength is at a medium within the extent of the first third.
As this third begins, the leather and cream are ramping up and taking over the cedar as the dominant flavor. At a quarter inch in, some pepper comes in to mix with the leather and cream while the cedar is a minor player in the mix. At a half inch in, the cream fades a little and the leather is now the primary flavor. There is still a little pepper and cedar in the background. At an inch in, there is a fairly substantial transition with the cedar changing to oak that has a toastiness to it and this flavor takes over the lead with some cream and leather in the background. At an inch and a half, the oak has lost some toastiness, but some cream remains in the background. The retrohale is a very smooth slightly creamy oak. Nearing the end of the third, some minerality comes into the mouth flavor and retrohale. The strength in this third was medium.
The second third continues with a similar flavor profile as the first third. Starting the second third, the strength creeps to a medium-full, giving me a cloudy head and relaxation. Flavors of sugar cane sweetness, dry roasted nuts, airy bread, charred oak and intermittent floral perfume. The sweetness takes the lead against the charred wood notes (a welcoming trend). On the retrohale, still the same nose stinging white pepper, followed by dry roasted nuts and sharp cedar. The finish still consisting of lingering lightly toasted oak, charred bitterness and white pepper on the rear palate. Body continues to be at a solid medium.
As this third begins, the cream increases to blend well with the oak. There is still a little minerality in the profile as well. At a quarter inch in, the toastiness comes back to the oak to mix in with the creaminess. At a half inch in, the toastiness leaves again. The minerality I was getting earlier has now transitioned to a slight bitterness, but not a negative flavor. At an inch in, the mix of oak, cream and slight bitterness is working well. The retrohale is primarily creamy with oak in the background. A little further in, the oak gains a char and the bitterness turn into a slight mintiness. An inch and a half in, the char leaves the oak and the toastiness comes back. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
Last thirds flavor profile starts off with a nice mixture of sugar cane sweetness, sharp cedar, dry roasted nuts, bread/yeast and crushed rocks minerality. On the retrohale, there is no let down of the nose stinging white pepper, followed by dry roasted nuts and sharp cedar. On the finish, still the same lightly toasted oak, charred bitterness, and white pepper on the rear palate. Halfway through the last third, much of the sweetness and bread is lost, leaving namely crushed rocks minerality, toasted oak, dry roasted nuts and dominating charred bitterness. Last thirds strength and body continues to be medium-full and medium, respectively.
The burn was a little wavy in the first third and then was nice and straight the rest of the way. The ash held in inch and a half segments. It also provided plenty of smoke on each draw.
Absolutely zero complaints on the burn. In terms of burn rate, the Toro smoked cool for 168 minutes. In terms of burn line, razor sharp. The ash held on tight averaging 1.5 inches. Fantastic!
The draw was perfect with a resistance level right where I like it.
This cigar had a nice and mellow flavor with some pretty interesting transitions. The transitions were also plentiful which really kept my interest throughout the cigar. Great performance was also a plus. I think that this would be a fantastic morning cigar and would pair well with tea or coffee with cream. This is definitely approachable by any level smoker and could convince some people to make it a frequent revisit. Definitely retrohale this cigar as it adds to the enjoyment.
The draw on this box pressed Toro was amazing. Just the right amount of give. Perfection!
Pre-light ritual of reading through all the unique tobaccos (especially hybrids) used in this cigar, I was excited and somewhat expected to taste greatness, and if not greatness, uniqueness. What my palate noted was namely an earthy, spicy, nutty and sometimes sweet profile. Although these flavors were good, nothing quite “wowed” me. The charred bitterness was a bit too dominating at times (especially on the finish). With that said, I wouldn’t refuse to smoke another but would be a bit hard-pressed to buy more than one or two especially given the steeper price of $15.50 a cigar.
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