Up for review is the Gaaja by Bombay Tobak. The name Gaaja is a reference to the elephant-like Hindu god. It looks like these run about $15/ea, which puts them amongst stiff competition. They have an excellent looking wrapper and a nice sweet cedar smell. We like the unique box-press – flatter on the bottom than the top. Once lit up, it is shockingly mild for the first two-thirds, just a sweet cedar flavor. In the final third it gets a little more interesting with a nutty and peppery flavor. Overall, this is an extremely mild cigar that really lacked in the flavor department for the first two thirds. In Terry’s words, the real “elephant” in the room is the price. There are so many fantastic options in the $15 category that we just cannot recommend this one.
Flavor and Taste: 14/20
Price Point: 3/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 3/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
StraightUpCigars: Strong sweet cedar smell to this Gaaja. Wrapper is exquisite. Good draw after cutting. Unique box press – flatter on the bottom than it is on the top half.
Terry1: Agree it has a very nice wrapper. Smells nice. Cold draw is good on mine. Getting a walnut, cedar note on the cold draw.
Terry1: Lighting up.
StraightUpCigars: Mine is starting off very mild. Some dry cedar is about all I’m picking up so far.
Terry1: Same for me. I get some sweetness and cinnamon every few puffs. Cigar seems like it wants to take off but it’s not ready yet.
StraightUpCigars: Waiting for liftoff…
Terry1: Mine is slowly coming alive. Bold cinnamon/spice is taking over. Made my eyes water on the retrohale. Cedar and some acidity hanging around the finish.
StraightUpCigars: Mine isn’t there yet, but it’s got to happen soon.
StraightUpCigars: Funny thing is, I picked this one out without once thinking that Susie cooked up Indian food to eat tonight
Terry1: You are right about the box press. This cigar has that twinkie shape. Cigar is smoking well. Plenty of smoke. Burn is off a little. That cinnamon blast only lasted a short time. The cigar has mellowed out again to the cedar, some sweetness, cream and mild spice. I can enjoy this but I am hoping for more.
Terry1: Looks like one side of the wrapper is out. Getting about a inch difference between the two sides. Going to correct the burn.
StraightUpCigars: Lol, Twinkie shape is the perfect description. The devil’s advocate in me has to wonder if they even did that on purpose. It definitely works either way. I haven’t had any burn issues whatsover yet, and it’s smoking nicely… but where’s the flavor?
Terry1: Not excited about the band. Maybe it means something in India but I don’t get it. Just read that Gaaja refers to the elephant mythological symbol.
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, in addition this brand, like the city, has a branding problem. Mbombay, Bombay… what is it?
Terry1: Good point. Too much creativity may just cause more confusion. Flavors are there but very subtle. The cigar is getting more creamy, mild sweetness, mild spice and cedar. Hasn’t changed during the middle third but I’m liking it.
StraightUpCigars: Getting a little more in terms of flavor, some very mild sweetness and some cedar. This cigar is a severe let down so far though. I LOVE a good mild bodied cigar every once in a while, but this thing has been utterly flavorless. Was really hoping for more.
Terry1: I agree liking a mild cigar. This would be a cigar I’d consider buying because I’m actually really liking the mild flavors. For me the flavors are getting stronger as I move into the final third It’s different from the Connecticuts I usually go to. The price of $15 is what would hold me back from pulling the trigger. If these were half that price I’d be more likely to buy more.
StraightUpCigars: Good point, in the $15 price range this cigar is unique – most others are full bodied pepper monsters. At the same time, this has not been a cigar I’d ever buy at $15, though. I’ve started looking at other reviews, and Casas had the same experience. I HATE nailing a boutique cigar, but this thing has been a real let down for my taste.
StraightUpCigars: On a more positive note, I am now getting some spice and a nutty flavor, but I’m in the final third now. Tasting decent now.
Terry1: Spice is picking up. Getting richer and better. I’m getting a peanut flavor on mine. Burn has been perfect since my correction. Starting to feel a bit of nicotine now.
StraightUpCigars: Yeah, what’s up with that! Mine is strong too! Surprising. Weird, weird cigar.
StraightUpCigars: I’m gonna do some pros and cons. Pros: love the wrapper and construction has been perfect on mine. Unique shape (I did read that was on purpose). Cons: flavorless for first 2/3. Too expensive.
Terry1: I’d agree. It started to come alive in the second half. The price is the “elephant” in the room. Not sure if half a cigar is worth the price.
Terry1: Down to the last inch. Getting a hint of mint now. That peanut note is gone. Still has a mild sweetness but it’s the pepper that dominates at this point. Strength is up there now but we have had stronger cigars.
StraightUpCigars: Got booted for a second. Lol, you nailed it – I was cracking up over here with the elephant in the room comment. Awesome!
Terry1: Lol, couldn’t resist. Last few puffs lost much of the pepper. The cigar ended with a creamy sweetness with a cinnamon tingle. I enjoyed the second half. I’m done and ready to rate when you are.
StraightUpCigars: Mine has finished up. Mine had some pepper and spice to accompany the cedar mild sweetness at the end. Would have loved it if it started like it finished.
Terry1: I agree. It took too long to get going. Finished well.
StraightUpCigars: This cigar just will never rate well with our system, not a good value, and not something I’d ever buy again. Redeeming qualities were construction and wrapper. Strength was a shocker. Unfortunate.
StraightUpCigars: I said buy again, that was a misnomer as this was provided free of charge by Bombay Tobak.
Terry1: Not sure where to go with this one. I really enjoyed the second half and would recommend it because of that. The first half and the price makes it hard to buy more. And your right it wouldn’t score well with the rating system we use.
StraightUpCigars: Glad we smoked one tonight, and looking forward to next time. It’s always a pleasure, Terry. Hope your week is off to good start.
Terry1: Thank you to Mbombay or Bombay, which ever it is. Enjoyed trying this cigar. Thanks for sending this my way. See you next week.