Cigar Review: MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka – Rated 97

Last year at the IPCPR, Mel Shah, the owner of Bombay Tabak was showcasing his latest line of cigars known as the MQBA Vintage Reserve. The name MQBA by the way is pronounced “em-kyoo-bho” in case you were wondering. I sampled the Nikka vitola, at the show and was impressed even though they just arrived. Mel was kind enough to send me the full line last month and I have smoked a few different vitolas in collection. Today I offer the first review of the one of these, the MQBA Nikka, a 6 1/2 x 42 vitola. Not quite a lancero and not quite a lonsdale but right in the middle of the classic definition of both.

MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve

The tobacco used for MQBA cigars are 100% from the company’s farm in Ventana, Ecuador. The first seeds were planted in 2009, and it ws this harvest that was incorporated into the MQBA Vintage Reserve line. Like all MBombay cigars, the MQBA cigars are meticulously hand rolled at Tobaccos de Costa Rica.

MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka at the 2018 IPCPR
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka at the 2018 IPCPR

Mel Shah – Bombay Tobak Owner states:

In producing the MQBA, Bombay Tobak employed a vertical expansion of the company where we leased a 70 acre farm in Ventana, Ecuador. Vertical expansion is always a welcome for any cigar manufacturer, to have access to quality tobaccos. It was a major undertaking for a new brand like ourselves. This helped us to have MQBA in our regular production schedule.

MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka

The multi country blend of the MQBA is described as:

  • Wrapper – Ecuador
  • Filler – Ecuador
  • Binder – Dominican Republic, Peru, & Ecuador

The MQBA is offered in 4 vitolas each packaged in 24-count boxes and gift packs of 4 except the Diadem which will be 3-count gift pack:

  • Diadem (7 x 56)
  • Toro (6 x 52)
  • Torpedo (6 x 52)
  • Nikka (6 1/2 x 42)

Retail pricing has been set at $12 – $16.60/cigar.


Pre-Light Examination

The MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka, is a silky smooth, medium tan cigar. It has fine oily sheen and is neatly finished with a twisted closed foot and a double cap. I have to say, the cigar looks stunning and inviting.

There are two bands that brand the cigar. Both are white bands with gold writing. The primary band has a golden peacock in the center of a border full of dots. The secondary band is a narrow white band that declares this as the “Vintage Reserve”.

The aromas on the MQBA NIkka are just as enticing as the looks with notes of spice and sweetness along on barrel and a hint of fruit and sweetness off the foot.

I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and gave it the obligatory cold draw. The draw was tight of course because it has closed foot (thanks Captain Obvious) but it did offer a terrific natural tobacco sweetness and a light cayenne pepper grows and warms the cheeks as you puff it a little more before hitting it with a flame.


Cigar Review Notes

MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
  • Early notes of coffee and fruit fill the palate
  • Full volume of creamy smoke
  • Immediate cocoa aromas develop and fill the air in the Stogie Press lounge
  • White ash evolves resting on a medium char line
  • Citrus notes enter to blend with the coffee and brighten the initial fruit notes
  • Almond notes join the mix after the first third
  • Long ash is building and eventually falls after a solid run
  • Well formed and centered burn cone is revealed
  • Cedar notes intrigue the palate near the midway point
  • A touch of dry leather appears
  • Smoke continues to be full and creamy in texture
  • Spice and sweetness forms rounds the profile at the start of the final third
  • Finishes with a delicate sweet nut in both flavor and aroma
  • Mild to Medium in Strength
  • Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes

Overall, the MBombay MQBA Nikka was an elegant smoking experience with delectable and balanced flavors ranging from coffee and fruit to spice, cedar and even almond! The flavors and aromas made this cigar interesting from foot to nub. The burn was all but perfect all the way through the journey. This was quite a memorable cigar and I solidly rate this a 97. If you like Lanceros/Lonsdales then go buy a box!!

Point Deductions: None

Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box

MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka
MBombay MQBA Vintage Reserve Nikka

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