Bite Size Review: MBombay Mora
It gets hard sometimes to ignore the ravings of fanboys/fangals about this stick or that stogey. Always pushing. I just figure they must be getting some kind of kickback or perhaps have a voluminous portfolio of blackmail fodder on the owner. When MBombay hit the scene, the steady crescendo from social media became deafening, so in late 2017 we decided to add MBombay’s Gaaja and Mora to our bullpen. Up first was the Gaaja, a medium-bodied treat that left us wanting more – a unique and tasty flavor profile, solid combustion/burn and great quality. We couldn’t wait for the Mora.
There’s a lot to like about MBombay’s cigars. First, some of the bands are beautiful – ogleworthy, in fact. Second, Mel Shah has demonstrated his predilection to go ‘off recipe’ and for experimenting. For example, Shah is known to utilize tobaccos from atypical regions like Paraguay (Gaaja). Mora was launched in 2014 as part of the original MBombay 3-cigar line-up and it has received positive reviews over the last few years. With price points inching towards the $15 mark, MBombay has set the bar high and delivered with critically acclaimed favorites like Gaaja. So, how does the Mora measure up?
The aforementioned band is simply breathtaking, particularly when you look closely at the fine detail. There is a second, smaller band hidden underneath identifying the cigar. The shaggy foot combined with the ornate band kind of reminds me of a prayer rug. With 15 months of age, the Mora is semi-oily, features one large vein and the marbled, russet-hued corojo skin shows some tooth. Construction is flawless highlighted by a uniform firmness, a nice cap and a seamless roll. Fragrant aromas of cocoa powder and caramel emanate from the foot and wrapper. The cold draw is superb without being too loose and there’s a spiced raisin quality on the palate.
The shaggy foot portion offers a savory, bold mélange of black peppercorn and charred wood. The profile becomes more intricate with caramel, toast and wood intonations. There’s an addition of black coffee to the long finish. The palette is very tasty and smooth and the balance is spot on. The middle transition was my favorite highlighted by a piney foundation surrounding a spicy mix of graham cracker, marshmallow and leather. The burn begins wavy, but improves with no touch ups. The ash is very flaky and falls unencumbered after only half an inch.
The final transition offers some chocolate and cedar notes, but they become lost in an overtly woody and black pepper profile. Overall, our Mora gets solid marks for a smooth texture, construction and combustion, but unlike it’s sibling, Gaaja, there’s too little on the flavor wheel to hold your attention. The middle transition is Mora’s strong suit, but the bookend profiles, while enjoyable, are just not that special, particularly when you consider the $13+ price tag. Can’t see a boxworthy benefit here, but keep a few to share as an after-dinner smoke (the band makes a great conversation piece) or to accompany a special coffee. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The beautiful bands adorning MBombay cigars are designed with the influence of Mel Shah’s wife.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Toro
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″x52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
- Binder: Peruvian
- Filler: Dominican, Ecuadorian
- Cutter: Colibri ‘V’
- Lighter: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $13.25
- Humidor Age: 15 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Lancero [8.5″x38], “A” [9.5″x47], 585 [5″x58]
Smoke Time: 1:44
Build: Shaggy foot; seamless, 1 large vein; marbled, reddish-brown wrapper; semi oily; some tooth; nice cap; struggles to hold 1″ ash; ash flaky.
- Wrapper – Cocoa powder, caramel
- Foot – cacao, cocoa powder
- Cold Draw – spice dark fruit (rasinesque)
- Initial: Black peppercorn (on draw) and charred wood; light hazelnut on retro after shaggy foot burned off; more caramel intonations; long toast and wood finish; hints of baking spice on retro; addition of black coffee on finish; becomes more complex w/more spice and dark fruit.
- Transition: Pine wood profile; graham cracker and marshmallow intonations; leathery draw; hints of dark fruit; toast and coffee on lingering finish; uptick in spice in nose.
- Transition: Woody profile; loss of complexity; spice reduced with return of black pepper; notes of chocolate and cedar; light caramel on retro.
Complexity: Very good
Balance: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Good – burn begins wavy, but improves
Weaknesses: Flaky ash; mediocre transitions; price point
Recommendation: 2. 5-packer
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead