The MBombay Kesara is among Mel Shah’s first four releases from his relatively new boutique. The first thing aficionados are going to notice is that the shagged foot is back. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before; Shah retired from his day job to become a cigar retailer in the early 2000s. After many years on the seller side, Shah has decided to move into manufacturing. The brand’s first few releases, namely the Classic, Corojo Oscuro and the Mora were all well-received by reviewers, and it appears this stick will be the next in line for that honor.

The wrapper on this smoke is an Ecuadorian Connecticut Florado from 2002. The binder is an Ecuadorian Havana, and the fillers are from the Dominican and Peru, which is a common mark among Shah’s cigars. Again, what stands out with the stick is the shagged foot, and the MBombay Kesara will grab some eyes because of it. Other than the shagged foot, the stick is light tan and has some veining to it, which is common when working with a shagged foot. The band is a multicolored affair with an intricate floral design behind bold red type. The cigar is made in three sizes, including a Robusto Larga (4 1/2 x 54), a Toro (6 x 52) and a Pyramid (7 x 54). The cold draw hits with wood, cedar, natural tobacco and a little cream that unifies everything.

In the first third of the MBombay Kesara, the initial draws bring out cedar and wood flavors, which are expected given the exposed foot. Before long, a cream flavor shows up and takes over the profile to an extent. Eventually, the profile settles into a primary mix of cedar and cream, with the wood notes hanging in the background. One reviewer also detected some hay and red pepper on the retrohale, but the profile is sweet overall.

During the middle third of the MBombay Kesara, the cigar ramps up in complexity though the cream flavor remains the strongest. The cedar flavor steps into the background, where it joins the wood and some grass notes. Around the halfway point, some natural tobacco, fruit, and vanilla flavors join the mix and help fill out the background more. Also, the grass note slowly shifts to something akin to pine, with a fresh evergreen taste that is refreshing.

The last third sees the natural tobacco and grass flavors taking over the profile, bumping the cream into the background with the cedar vanilla. The red pepper is not clearly apparent on the retrohale, and this mix of notes is how the cigar finishes off.

The MBombay Kesara is a mild-medium stick, for the most part, with occasional forays into the medium territory. And while the concern with shagged foot cigars is always how they will burn, reviewers raved about how straight the burn remained on this one. So far, Shah has placed a lot of emphasis on construction, so that’s not entirely surprising. However, it is surprising and impressive that a company so young could pull it off this convincingly.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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