Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MBombay Corojo Oscuro Perfecto - Cigar Review + Who What When Where Why w/ Mel Shah of MBombay

"Well, you don't know what we can find --
Why don't you come with me little girl,
On a magic carpet ride." - Steppenwolf

MBombay Tobak
Corojo Oscuro Perfecto
5 1/2 x 50 
Ecuador Corojo Oscuro wrapper
Ecuador binder
Ecuador, Peru, & Dominican fillers

Sample courtesy of Mel Shah, Brand Owner

"A flavor­forward creation containing balanced strength and a full bodied experience. With harmonious notes of ground coffee, spice, dark chocolate, and residual sweetness… this mouth­watering Expression is one you don’t want to miss out on!" - via
"Well, you don't know what we can see --
Why don't you tell your dreams to me.
Fantasy will set you free." (still) Steppenwolf

The carpet I'm referencing is the now quite recognizable Persian inspired big-tuchus band which rests over a 'regular' sized bans a la MBombay's M.O. I give their marketing an imaginary 8 on an arbitrary scale of ten. See? That's why I don't rate smokes thatta way. WTF is a level 6 pepper???

I digress.

I love this format, this Perfecto. The choice of circa 1930s cartoon toughies and those from any era, who think a passably even burn is not a big deal. Although this taper is far less severe than a lot. Removing the bands! LOTS of oils over-top. Heavy shiny pomade looking oils on a richly roasted coffee bean surface with a fiery hue of lesser roasted beans underneath. Not an entirely even complexion, as the fire licks up hotter here and there, but it is a smooth complexion. Average doses of non-threatening veins. Lotsa spiders. Not entirely even, nor tight, seams -- but nothing egregious. Cap is well affixed, but the foot's a bit of oy vey wrapping. Some reddish tobacco peaks out there. Just a Perfecto touch o' the stuff. 

Hand-feel is a near Vaseline schmear. Balance is good, yes? Yes. Charmin squeezing the MBombay offering shows a very spongy quality -- at a medium density and quite a softer spot at the onset of 3/3. Rolling it around in my paw, I get a very supple leather vibe from the thing. Damp with oils and softnesses. Lush, like my Uncle Irving.

Schnoz-testing results in a sweet barnyard replete with saddle. Some red fruits and a pip of chocolate from the shaft. More sweetnesses from the small foot. Nibbling off the cap, I'm given a cold pull of fruity chocolate on a full-barn-experience and rather high, backing. Resistance on the draw is a spongy medium+. Very naturally sweet tobacco. 

Toasting the foot lets loose an aroma of densely sweet tobacco laced with barn and fruit syrup. First hot pull is Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda. I'd spot that taste anywhere. There's a silky dark chocolate there as well. And there's barn. There's barn so far up, that it pokes at the primary notes. Seeps. Can you seep upwards? Second hot pull is retro-haled to show smoky black pepper hauntings and a rich cedar. Hauntings: I get the vibe that it's a black pepper remnant. Something you cooked an hour ago and left the fry pan unwashed on the stove. That. Third hot pull is a lot of cherry. More chocolate, sweeter base flying upward, and a nice warm mouth-feel off the black pepper. No tingle, just warmth. A creamy chocolate is teasing cream from the cedar too, and forming nicely on my cheeks. Long sweet finish. Medium+ profile out of the starting gate, and a -medium zetz of strength.

Burn is slow and staggering off an outdoor wooden match lighting. Ash is 50 Shades of Grey, and no means no, gentlepersons. Medium grey to charcoal. I'd say the grey level is a 6 on my scale of 10. See? Meaningless! Draw is a bit swampy but smoke-hole fills evenly.
Very smoky. A rich heavy room-note of fruit syrup drenched tobaccos. I fix the burn with my Djeep. No points deducted. Just a hint of blistering that might have been my light's fault. Dr. Browns Black Cherry. Chocolate puts me in mind of an Egg Cream. I miss my Brooklyn. Cedar has dialed back and sunk into cream. A slight heavy red floral thing hits the immediate finish, then leaves. A big tropical island flower. It stays half a tick longer, comes on half a tick quicker, on each of the next couple/few puffs.

Newer ash pales a bit. Burn is very wavy, but not running. I'm laughing. Dr. Browns Soda and Egg Cream. A Facebook friend told me what he paid for a Knish when he left NYC years ago. "I wonder how much they run now?" He waxed financially. ""Knishes don't run." I said. "Neither do you after eating one." He said. "LOL" I said.

That spiky backing of barnyard is composting further and the moisture weight has settled it down well. I walk away a couple of minutes and at first, I think it went out. No foot-smoke. I pull lightly and VOOSH. How do ya do!?. Nice. I do nice. The black pepper is still a haunting of one and not a tingle. Just enough of a zetz to mock a carbonation which lends heavily to Black Cherry Soda and Egg Cream dreams. Burn evens quite well; ash is solid as a soda jerk's jerking arm after a double shift. 

At the end of the opening act a slight and fleeting catch is in my throat. Profile is still a medium+, strength is now a medium and I foretell a mounting. Draw remains moist and a bit spongy, but gets its job done well. Packaging softens an even tick throughout, but holds. Sweet sweet sweet oily damp mouth-feel. Pomade consistency. This Mbombay ain't exotic, it's a Jewish kid in 1950s Brooklyn, trying to be Italian kid cool. I suppose that's exotic here in the Pacific Northworst.

Ash clumps onto my right thigh. I had my schmatta on my left. Why must I suffer so? Pomade thick and oily.

Wet supple oily leather mounts a tick or two. Floral/cedar are married and quite high now -- beverages take a backseat to them. The burn-line occasionally blisters and the slow cool char has trouble self-correcting. A coffee syrup vibe plays in and out. The burn is never even, but very OK considering the Perfecto format. Lots of smoke -- spongy and cool all around experience. 

At the half, the mouth-feel is very weighty as is the body. Much syrup, yes? Oh, yes. Much. Black pepper haunts the house next door and in its near absence, more oily syrups settle -- coffee and black cherry. Black pepper reemerges perhaps stronger than before and clears out some black cherry. A wood note, damp, joins the leather. Some cedar. I roll an inch+ of ash into my $0.99 Walmart plastic molded tray. SO THICK AND OILY. Like I like my women. Various greys. Like I like my cardigans.

Occasionally, I'll think this MBombay wants to go out, then VOOSH, on a slight pull. Strength is a medium and a zaftik one, but all else is so cushioned, it's like being pummeled in a pillow fight. The smoky smoke looks like pillows, actually. I re-touch another blister. Flavors down a notch but are still high up there. They consolidate some. Primarily there is wood with a cedar breath, and a nicely roasted pepper, finely ground and sauteed over low heat in many oils. Secondly there is black cherry, cocoa, and floral stuffs. Compost backing lies further below in a very dense manner.

Strength is medium+ now and I think someone put a roll of times in their pillowcase as we enter

For such a damp, smoldering coolly affair, this Corojo Oscuro offering is not as slow a burner as it seems, judging by the clock on my Chromebook. It's about average there, but feels so languid. I'm an hour in, and if I spent that long on a roller-coaster, it'd feel like 30 seconds. Such is time. I rate time on a scale of ten. This feels like a nine. Meaningless! Feh!

Notes hold, as a thinner black cherry carries the sweetness on an even further down and heavier compost. The band nears and I re-touch another blister and choose a toothpick. Nub is quite soft, but draw remains true and though warmer, still cool. Strength holds at medium+ on a -full profile. Not a nascent smoker's stick, but a good first stepper into the dark beyond.
I wanted the Dr. Browns Black Cherry and Egg Cream to stay. I miss them -- on a scale of 10 -- a solid 9.5. But that is pretty darned subjective, gentlepersons.

Slick back yer hair with Pomade and pour yerself some Manischewitz! Old Time Rock-n-Roll.


Smooth/Coarse? Predominantly smooth
Sweet/Spicy? Predominantly sweet
Mouth-feel? Thick sweet syrups
Strength? Med+
Draw? Even but damp
Burn? Good, considering format
Construction? Wet
Primary Note(s)? Black cherry, cocoa, pepper, wood, compost
(In no particular order)
WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY w/ Mel Shah of Mbombay

Who has mentored you and who have you mentored?
When we look into our small industry, we definitely see all the successful brands. But yet, we don't recognize the hard work behind the "mega" brands. Padron, Fuente, Rocky, LFD are just a few from the vast numbers. I look up to these ppl.

What have you compromised and what won’t you compromise?
It has been a very short journey for me, only a year and half, compared to many people in our industry. I may have compromised few things which I am not aware of yet, but for sure I could stress on is "I will not compromise the quality"

When is it a failure?
I learn everyday. I become better everyday. Failure is when you give up. The word does not exist in me.

Where are you on your journey and where are you going?
We are a small company with a very small factory. Small budget too. It is always a challenge to buy good quality tobacco. Slowly but surely we are on a path where things are getting easier where We get calls from co-ops and tobacco merchants wanting to sell us more and better grades of leaves. The practise that I want to get into is to provide a variety of cigars, using variety of good quality tobacco

Why do you succeed?
Same thing with success. Its a journey, success is not a destination.