MBombay Kesara Vintage Reserve Nikka
With more than a decade of cigar retail under his belt, Mel Shah built upon his experience and entered the manufacturing world with Bombay Tobak and its MBombay line. Since its initial releases in 2014 of the MBombay Classic and Maduro, the company has continued to grow its portfolio with its latest addition being the KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka.
KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka is built on the original KeSara line with three additional years of aging. The cigar utilizes an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Ecuadorian binder, and Dominican and Peruvian tobaccos in the filler. Like the original KeSara, the wrapper is aged in Spanish cedar coffins for nine months. Produced alongside the other MBombay lines in Costa Rica, the Nikka is manufactured at Tabacos de Costa Rica in a single vitola, a 6 1/2 by 26 Grand Corona.
Samples Provided by MBombay
Vitola: Grand Corona
Size: 6 ½ by 46
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican and Peruvian
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is light to medium tan in color with a slight goldish hue. What the wrapper lacks in oil, both in sight and touch, is made up in bumps. The veins are tiny on this cigar. The aroma from the wrapper is of honey, natural tobacco, and faint cedar notes. With the foot being closed, I am only able to pick up a little bit of earthiness and a mild spice.
The MBombay Kesara Vintage Reserve Nikka comes to an end with a small pig-tail cap. A quick cut through the thin wrapper reveals a firm draw and cold draw notes of potpourri and rich cedar, but the flavors are muted.
The opening flavors are mild to medium and soft on palate. Cedar, natural tobacco sweetness, pepper, and a faint floral/fruity essence are first to appear. The spice is warming up my mouth much more than expected. Just short of an inch, the texture of the smoke in the mouth thickens and the flavors deepen with some new found coffee. A thick eyeliner burn is leaving behind a flimsy ash the is dropping every three-quarters of an inch.
As the flavor have deepened, the sweetness has increased alongside it keeping a nice balance. Thick, yeasty bread notes continue to gain ground in the profile and the finish remains dark with earth and coffee. Moving the smoke through the sinuses, the pepper is very mild but a strong saltiness is highlighted. MBombay’s Kesara Vintage Reserve is burning nearly perfect and the smoke production is excellent.
The floral quality that appeared in the first third following a departure in the second third has now returned in force. The floral is paired alongside cedar, toasty bread notes, and the sweet tobacco that continues to round out the flavors. I couldn’t ask for a better performing cigar.
The MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka smoked like a well aged cigar from its performance to its flavors. The cigar burned along perfectly and smoked production was satisfying despite of the firm draw. The only down side was the flimsy ash, but not unexpected considering the smaller ring gauge. But the Nikka really shined in the flavor department. While milder than my typical go-to cigar, the cigar delivered well balanced flavors that were both intriguing and quite complex and each third showed off a different dimension of the cigar. The price is a little steep, but considering the aged tobaccos used to build the blend and the overall experience, the MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka is worth the coin.