Back on track this week and braving the crappy winds I find myself out back enjoying a Bombay Tobak Gaaja Maduro paired with a bottle of Liefmans Goudenband.
The Good Stuff:
The Gaaja Maduro is the follow up release of last years natural version of the Gaaja (you can read my review of that one here) with made it’s debut at the 2016 IPCPR trade show. The Gaaja Maduro started shipping to retailers across the country last week. Mel Shah, owner of Bombay Tobak states the the only difference in tobaccos used in the Maduro version is the Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. While the are no new tobaccos in the Gaaja Maduro, some of the blend proportions were modified to reach desired tastes. That being said, the Gaaja Maduro features a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, Ecuadorian Binder, and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador, and Paraguay. The Gaaja Maduro will launch in only two formats, a 6 x 54 Toro and 6 1/2 x 54 Torpedo. Both run $15.50 a stick.
Size: 6 1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Dominican, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan
Pairing: Liefmans Goudenband (Flanders Oud Bruin 8% ABV)
The Bombay Tobak Gaaja Maduro starts with a gorgeously consistent, dark brown wrapper with only a few darker areas around the natural webbing on the wrapper’s leaf. The wrapper sports a few medium veins, while its laid seamlessly over itself. The wrapper’s texture is rather smooth, with a good amount of oils residing on the leaf’s exterior. The wrapper is very thick, and very dense while the cigar itself is pretty heavily packed resulting in a very hard, heavy cigar. This particular Gaaja format sports a soft box press and a long, tapered torpedo style cap. The cigar is polished off with the standard gold, blue, and red band we saw on the natural Gaaja, and the first departure from the bands we had grown to expect on the Mbombay releases.
The wrapper on the cigar gives off some slight tart, and natural tobacco aromas while the foot of the cigar carries some good amount of spice, pepper, cedar, and natural earthiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces some light spice, sweetness, and a nice little tart on the tip of my tongue.
The Gaaja Maduro starts out with some very subtle pepper, muted spice, bold sweetness and tartness with some great cedar and pecan flavors. The flavors started out a bit mild but started to ramp up as the cigar heated up. The draw is absolutely perfect. Each little puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick, white smoke which lingers quite some time before dissipating. The burn line is pretty wide, and pretty wavy, but I haven’t had to touch it up or relight so no complaints there. The ash is semi flaky, medium and dark gray, and very light. The first ash held on for about 3/4 of a inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Gaaja Maduro and the flavors haver really started to become more pronounced. The flavor profile leads with some coffee, pecan, cedar and spice backed by brown sugar, tartness, and a bit of tartness. The cedar really lingers on the aftertaste. The retrohale coats my nasal passage with even more of the cedar and lots of the spice. I rather enjoy it and find myself retrohaling this cigar pretty often. The burn line has completely cleaned up and is not razor thin and dead even. I close out the second third with almost nothing in the nicotine department.
Into the final third of the Gaaja Maduro and the flavors have continued to impress me as they lead with cedar, spice, and pecan coated in maple syrup with some light coffee and brown sugar. The cigar was in the medium body range through most of the experience but has jumped into the medium/full arena here in the final third. The burn line has been flawless since the second third and I never once had to reach for my lighter to either touch up or relight. I experienced no harshness nor any extended heat even into the final inch of the cigar. I close the cigar out after about an hour and a half with absolutely nothing in terms of nicotine.
I wasn’t huge on the natural Gaaja. I felt it just needed something, and the Mata Fina wrapper was just the thing. The flavors in the Gaaja maduro are complex, balanced, and well-formed. Plus, they fit my desired palate really well. I always love of all the Bombay Tobak cigars tend to concentrate on flavor over strength. The price on these cigars are pretty steep, but not high enough for me not to consider having a few of these on hand for whenever I am looking for a great, flavorful experience without getting knocked on my ass.
The Liefmans Goudenbnad is a Flanders Oud Bruin straight out of Belgium. Coming in at 8% ABV this treat of a beer starts out with a ton of sweetness, brown sugar, caramel, apple, and spice with some slight hop and a very light mouthfeel before finishing clear with more sweetness, tart, caramel, apple, cinnamon, and a bit of hopiness. This is one of my favorite beers and a perfect example of the style. It’s often easy for this beer to overpower a cigar, especially due to the amount of sweetness but in this case not only did the Gaaja Maduro hold it’s own, but it made for a perfect compliment for the beer.