HBTC Review: Bombay Tobak M. Esteli Torpedo

With all of the variety in the world of premium cigars, Bombay Tobak has still managed to stand out in the last few years as a brand. The blends and designs brought to market by owner Mel Shah have been extremely well received since the company launched in 2014. Today, Matt reviews a new offering known as M. Esteli.

In addition to the Torpedo vitola reviewed here, the M. Esteli is also available in a 6 x 54 Toro ($7.95 MSRP) and a 5 x 54 Robusto ($6.95 MSRP).

M. Esteli Torpedo
MSRP: $7.95
Size: 6 x 54 Torpedo
Origin: Tabacos de Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
Wrapper: Habano 2000 (Ventanas, Ecuador)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican (HVA, Piloto Cubano) Nicaraguan (Pelo de Oro)

This torpedo has a smooth wrapper with very little visible tooth, and also a covered foot. It has a very oily sheen to the surface, with a medium-light tan color. There are a few small green spots on the wrapper, with very few pronounced veins. The wrapper has a some leathery aromas, with a hint of sweet cut grass. Since the foot is covered, that brings the same aromas. Also due to the covered foot, the cold draw is very tight, but has a few nice grassy notes with a little sweetness that reminds me of vanilla.

Act I
The draw open immediately after the covered foot burns away. That reveals bountiful smoke output, and a little hint of black pepper and a brightness that reminded me of orange peel. There was also an almost buttery mouth feel from this cigar, perhaps due to the extremely oily wrapper. The retrohale has a nice sweet start, with very gentle peppery bites on the finish.

Act II
When the burn line moves toward the middle of the cigar, some contrast really starts to show. While some of those core components are still present, I also get notes of light coffee, some earthiness, a little bit of cedar wood, and a bit of a leathery aroma. There is a sweet note on the palate that reminds me of candied pecans. At this point, the retrohale has become a medium black pepper, with a mix of sweet and sour citrus aromas.

I am still seeing some changes in the final part of the cigar. Gentle spices like cinnamon and nutmeg balance with a stronger kick of black pepper and dark espresso. The earthiness from before is also a little more pronounced, almost with a slight aroma of soil. The oily mouth feel is almost like an ice cream sundae, but with a little spice and earthiness just to kick it up a bit. The retrohale continues on that past of black pepper, with a little citrus sweetness.

There is really a lot going on in this cigar. There is a complexity of flavors, but at the same time it tends to land on a home base of flavor characteristics. One of the things that could be considered a problem, was a wrapper leaf that had trouble keeping up with the burn. The truth is, I didn’t really have a problem with it. They never required a relight, and just a couple touch ups. With a leaf that oily, I makes sense that it would not maintain a razor sharp burn. The smoke production and flavors were consistent and enjoyable. On occasion, the citrus sweetness and lighter notes do take on a sourness and a bitterness, but that does not at all ruin the overall smoking experience. This cigar smokes well beyond the price point, and I would consider giving it a regular space in my humidor.

Bombay Tobak M. Esteli Torpedo – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A 5er?
Overall Score: 89
PAD: +1.5 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Citrus, Coffee, Pepper, Earth, Baking Spice
Strength Assessment: Medium
Source: Cigars for this review were provided by Bombay Tobak

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