MBombay Kesara Pyramid

MBombay Kesara Pyramid

Origin : Costa Rica
Format : Pyramid
MBombay CigarsSize : 7 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Dominican Republic and Peru
Binder : Ecuador
Price : ~$18 each

If you are shopping at the tobacconist and you spot MBombay Kesara cigars on the shelves, they’ll stand out instantly. They are quite unusual to look at, particularly where the band is concerned (more on that shortly). MBombay is a pretty new brand owned by Mel Shah. You may previously have known him better as the owner of Fame Wine & Cigar Lounge in Palm Springs. Shah’s cigar company MBombay launched in June of 2014 with two different lines: MBombay Classic and MBombay Maduro. The third line, Mōra, debuted that August. At the end of the year, Kesara came out.

Kesara is available in three sizes: a 6 x 52 toro, a 4 ½ x 54 robusto, and a 7 x 54 pyramid. Mel Shah, the owner, sent me a sampler of the pyramids (thanks Mel!), which I am reviewing today. And we’ve got some more cigars to give away, read on for details!

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★★
These cigars are unique inside and out. In terms of appearance, there is a shaggy foot, which is something you don’t see everyday. The Ecuadorian wrapper is a light brown color with some noticeable veins. The tapering pyramid shape is of course unusual as well (the shaggy foot helps to exaggerate it). When you consider what’s inside is a filler made of Dominican and Peruvian tobacco and an Ecuadorian binder, you know you are in for a distinctive experience.

MBombay Kesara Pyramid - the band

The band deserves particular attention as well. It’s a huge band, covering maybe a third of the stogie. The intricate designs that adorn the band are absolutely gorgeous. They are ornate without being ostentatious, thanks to the subtle coloring.

MBombay Kesara Pyramid - shaggy foot

Construction : Rating: ★★★★★
The construction on the cigar is excellent. The burn was steady from the beginning to the end. The draw was also perfect, not too loose or too tight, and the cigar produced plenty of smoke. Ash hangs on nicely for most of the smoke, but it does get flaky in the last third.

Flavor : Rating: ★★★★½ (4.25)
This is a mild cigar, which somehow is not a surprise given its appearance and packaging. Just as there is subtlety in the artwork adorning the band, there is subtlety in the flavor profile as well. The main flavor I pick up during the first third distinctly is cedar. There is also some sweet natural tobacco, hay, what tastes like cooking herbs, and maybe just a hint of some kind of pastry. This is yet another way in which the flavors mirror the label—intricacy.

During the second third, I pick up a bit of pepper. Dry wood and grain remain the most dominant notes, but there is a hint of something else as well, possibly coffee. It is hard to pick out the individual notes because they are woven so well into the whole. On the final third, I get similar flavors, with maybe just a hint of citrus thrown in for good measure.

Overall, the flavors did not transition all that much. There were subtle changes throughout the experience, but no radical shifts. Strength never tipped above medium. This cigar won’t throw you any curve balls, but sometimes that is a good thing.

Value : Rating: ★★★½☆
This is the only area where I really have to dock points. I really enjoyed the MBombay Kesara Pyramid, but I am not crazy about the high price tag. Eighteen clams isn’t something I can afford to pay too often for a smoke.

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★★½ (4.25)
Aside from the high price, I loved everything about the MBombay Kesara Pyramid. The unusual, distinctive appearance and the excellent construction made me inclined to enjoy this smoke right from the start. The flavors were beautifully blended, and even though they didn’t offer much in the way of surprises, they were thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. I also loved the fact that somehow this cigar had exactly the kind of flavor profile I would have expected from its appearance and the design elements used in the band and packaging. That doesn’t happen all that often.

At $18 each, you probably won’t be able to smoke these too often, but you should definitely treat yourself to at least one or you’ll be missing out!

Now the part you’ve been waiting for – the giveaway. Thanks to Mel Shah and MBombay cigars, we’ve got three 2-packs to give away to three lucky readers – each pack will contain one Kesara Pyramid and one Vintage Reserve Nikka (one of the Halfwheel’s top 25 cigars of 2015). That’s ~$30 value per sampler! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post – and please share it with your friends!

Contest is open internationally, you must be of legal age to smoke in your country. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced in one week, next Thursday.