At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Bombay Tobak showed off a new addition to the MBombay Vintage Reserve Series. This one, the MBombay | Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973, is in the form of a lancero and is said to have some very old vintage filler. The blend consists of an Ecuadorian DesFlorado wrapper, a Dominican binder and a combination of Dominican and Peruvian fillers. Owner Mel Shah says there are some very old filler components used in the blend, some dating back to the ’70’s. The DesFlorado wrapper is the same one found on the other installment in the Vintage Reserve Series – the MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka, which we reviewed last year and gave a 93. The Vintage Reserve Series made its debut late in 2015 with the MBombay KeSara Vintage Reserve Nikka. The Nikka was based on the popular MBombay KeSara blend, but included tobaccos aged an additional three years. The Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 is a different blend, and features even older tobaccos than the Nikka.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The cigar itself is in the company’s signature lancero vitola size – an 8 1/2 x 38. It is covered with a large cedar sleeve extending from the footer to the band. The cigars are packaged in 25 count boxes. The cigar has limited production gated by the availability of the aged tobacco components. One thing that differentiates the Vintage Reserve series from other limited editions is that it is a line that focuses on incorporating older, aged tobaccos into the blend. For the Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973, the 1973 refers to the year that Bombay Tobak owner Mel Shah was born.
For this review we decided to try something a little different with our format. Instead of each reviewer smoking just one cigar, we had each of the 4 reviewers smoke two of the unknown cigar before submitting their scores and notes to get and even better feel for the cigar. Due to limited quantities and costs of cigars, this is probably not something we will be able to do all the time, but there will be more in the future.
Ring Gauge: 38
Country of Origin: Costa Rica
Wrapper: Ecuadorian DesFlorado
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican, Peruvian
Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
Blender: Mel Shah
Number of reviewers: 4 – Stefan (Stefan) Matt C. (Big Matt) Kyle (kaleehb) Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: Bombay Tobak
“Sample 579 is a gorgeous cigar, and it appears to be an extra long lancero I’d guess its approximately 8″… ring gauge is about 40. This premium cigar offering sports a brushed footer that is about 1/2″ long. Seams are almost invisible and is topped off with a nice pig-tail cap. The wrapper itself reminds me a lot of the Warped La Colmena which is an Ecuadorian DesFlorado. Off the brushed footer I am picking up a lot of cedar, ancient tobacco and must. Wrapper appears to be fragile and delicate. Cold draw is what I would consider optimal, I am picking up lemon cake, ancient tobacco, cedar and a faint cream.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“The wrapper has a noticeable cedar aroma, with a slight sweetness. After the cut, the cold draw is more cedar with a cut grass aroma and more sweetness.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“The first third exhibits notes of strong tobacco, aged wood and cocoa powder, complemented by spice and by cream — the latter fades out toward the end, the smoke becoming drier as it approaches the second third.” –Stefan (Stefan)
“Exhale on the 1/2″ brushed footer is cedar, antique tobacco, cinnamon and a really nice white pepper. This premium cigar offering burned through the brushed footer perfectly, very impressive. On the retro once we hit the wrapper.. I find lemon cake, dry malts, cedar, and old library. On the exhale the antique tobacco becomes sweeter and has a gorgeous dollop of cream on top of it now. This is an amazing 1/3.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“As we venture into the 2/3, exhale is cedar, white pepper, herbs, cinnamon and cream. Retro is cream, dry malts, airy lemon cake, and cedar. This cigar is perfectly balanced in every damn way possible. This has to be a multi-country blend, so unique. People we have complexity here, I’d smoke this cigar if it was 10′ long.. please don’t ever end. I digress. Finish is clean as it gets. Construction.. Perfect. There is a natural tobacco sweetness that is building.. aroma is still ancient book closing in face. I love books.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“Cigar picked up a bit in the tastes with notes of honey and licorice making an appearance. Thin white smoke gave way to a pleasant room note and grey ash mix. Cigar did have to be touched up during the second third due to an extremely lopsided burn.” –Kyle (kaleehb)
“Cedar, pepper and cream begin to dominate in the 3/3 and it is a perfect ending to a complex cigar that fired on all cylinders. Ancient tobacco builds on the retro. Herbs, malts and airy lemon cake take a back seat but still flirt with the profile. This cigar seriously reminds me of 1980’s Cohiba I’ve had recently with double the body.. I want to go hug someone and do good things for random people. Damn the pusher man.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“The final third is consistent and flavorful, still with plenty of smoke output. The cedar notes and sweetness are still there. The only new player in the flavor profile during this final third is a very slight dry note. Almost like the mineral hint in a dry wine, but very subtle. It is just a nice addition and contrast to the sweetness and woody notes. A little strength kick closes it out, while the retrohale is still a mild black pepper and cedar.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“A cigar this long can have draw problems, but this one did not. The airflow was even and the smoke output was tremendous all the way.” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
“This cigar burned perfectly. The resulting ash was more salt.. less pepper and in medium density.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“The torcedor could have rolled cigars for Castro.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 92
“A very good-looking vitola that would be best appreciated by a more seasoned smoker.” –Stefan (Stefan)
“Perfectly balanced and medium bodied is the best way to sum up this cigar. I had the opportunity to smoke two of these premium cigar offerings… that is like 16″ of cigar.. never once did a harsh flavor cross my palate. On the exhale we had cedar, white pepper, herbs, antique tobacco, malts, and a little bit of sweetness. Retro had a delicious creamy airy lemon cake and cedar. Multi-country blend for sure. Perfect construction and burn. This cigar had flavors that reminded me of a old Cuban cigar from the 1980’s with double the damn body. Aroma had an ancient library smell. This cigar would do very well in the European market. I’m done. Bravo.” –Matt C. (Big Matt)
“From the cigar’s appearance, performance, and over-done appearance (my opinion) I would not recommend these sticks to others, especially with so many other great cigars currently on the market. For me the experience with both cigars was not enjoyable enough to make me want to pursue more of these sticks in the future.” –Kyle (kaleehb)
“Not only was the flavor profile interesting and pleasing, but the cigar burned beautifully. I did not have to fight with it, so I could just enjoy the flavors and the flavors were very nice. While the transitions were not plentiful, the flavors that stayed consistent were incredible and readily available in the thick smoke output. Bravo!” –Matthew T. (A Huge Nerd)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 91
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.